"I expect you’ll be becoming a schoolmaster, sir. That’s what most of the gentlemen does, sir, that gets sent down for indecent behaviour.” Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall
Posts tagged "Elena Ferrante"
A total portrait of the artist as an absence

A total portrait of the artist as an absence

Elena Ferrante is traditional in the most radical, boundary-dissolving ways; conventional with subversive fervour and delicately powerful talent. In Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey she proves above all the invincible strength of her authorial translucence, the rock-solid presence of her so-called anonymity, which she invariably corrects as being a determined gesture of absence. The word frantumaglia,...
Erasures

Erasures

Ann Goldstein, the English translator of Elena Ferrante, said in a panel discussion hosted by Rosie Goldsmith at Waterstones Piccadilly this month that she felt “bereft when the last translation was finished.” “The characters,” she felt, “become people we live with.” The same sense of bereavement, of loss of a vital friend or voice, is...
The bazaar and the monastery

The bazaar and the monastery

The Spring 2015 issue of The Paris Review has a scoop to rival a sit-down with Pynchon: The first in-person interview with Elena Ferrante, in which the notoriously reclusive author explains her anonymity: “This demand for self-promotion diminishes the actual work of art,” she says. “The media simply can’t discuss a work of literature without...
Fiction 2014–2015

Fiction 2014–2015

It’s that time of year again, so here’s my list of the best reads from the past twelve months, and some recommendations for a few titles to look out for in the new year. Starting with novels, and a title I would pick as my favourite of the year if pushed – Akhil Sharma’s Family...
Elena Ferrante's shadow lives

Elena Ferrante’s shadow lives

Elena Ferrante writes beautifully. She writes honestly, powerfully, with directness and unflinching immediacy. In My Brilliant Friend and The Story of a New Name, the first two of her Neapolitan novels, she writes about a world which no longer belongs to what we might call our ‘reality’; the world of the fifties and sixties, of...
Hot coffee and no haiku

Hot coffee and no haiku

Mona Simpson is lauded as a sharp and infectious chronicler of American family life. Her latest novel, Casebook, is a coming-of-age story about two boys who unearth powerful secrets that threaten a family’s health and sanity. She invites us into her home and gives an insight into her literary habits. Where are you now? At...