"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 "Europa Editions"
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,...
Delusions of a terrorised conscience

Delusions of a terrorised conscience

“I desire to be humbled before God. It was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time. I did not do it out of anger, malice, or ill-will,” stated Ann Putnam in 1706. When only twelve or so, she had been one of the principle witnesses and accusers in the notorious...
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...
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...
Alberto Mussa's timeless fictions

Alberto Mussa’s timeless fictions

My first introduction to Alberto Mussa’s writing was in 2008, when a mutual friend gave me a copy of his remarkable novel O enigma de Qaf (‘The Riddle of Qaf’) as a gift. I was immediately struck by the extraordinary literary quality; by the extensive research, imagination, and sensibility that had clearly informed the work;...
Elixirs and poisons

Elixirs and poisons

In the work of Ioanna Karystiani, a meeting between worlds takes place. Thought and matter come clashingly together. The old and the new accuse and forego one another. Memory and facelessness stare haughtily at each other. Meaning and incomprehensibility stagger us with their urgency and despair. Dignity tries to speak. It stutters, fumbles for the...