by New York Review of Books

The Hearing Trumpet
Leonora Carrington
New York Review of Books - 17.00€ -

An old woman enters into a fantastical world of dreams and nightmares in this surrealist classic admired by Björk and Luis Buñuel.

Leonora Carrington, painter, playwright, and novelist, was a surrealist trickster par excellence, and The Hearing Trumpet is the witty, celebratory key to her anarchic and allusive body of work. The novel begins in the bourgeois comfort of a residential corner of a Mexican city and ends with a man-made apocalypse that promises to usher in the earth's rebirth. In between we are swept off to a most curious old-age home run by a self-improvement cult and drawn several centuries back in time with a cross-dressing Abbess who is on a quest to restore the Holy Grail to its rightful owner, the Goddess Venus. Guiding us is one of the most unexpected heroines in twentieth-century literature, a nonagenarian vegetarian named Marian Leatherby, who, as Olga Tokarczuk writes in her afterword, is "hard of hearing" but "full of life."

Boys Alive
Pier Paolo Pasolini
New York Review of Books - 17.00€ -

A daring novel, once widely censored, about the scrappy, harrowing, and inventive lives of Rome's unhoused youth by one of Italy's greatest film directors.

Boys Alive, published in 1955, was Pier Paolo Pasolini's first work of fiction and it remains his best known. Written in the aftermath of Pasolini's move from the provinces to Rome, the novel captures the. hunger and anger, waywardness and squalor of the big city. The life of the novel is the life of the city streets; from the streets, too, come its raw, mongrel, assaultive language. Here unblinkered realism and passionate lyricism meet in a vision of a vast urban inferno, blazing with darkness and light.

There is no one story to the book, only stories, splitting off, breaking away, going nowhere, flaming out, stories in which scenes of comic debacle, bitter conflict, wild joy, and crushing disappointment quickly follow. Pasolini's young characters have nothing to trade on except youth, and the struggle to live is unending. They loot, hustle, scavenge, steal. Somehow money will turn up; as soon as it does it will get spent. The main thing, in any case, is to have fun, and so the boys boast and vie, the desperate uncertainty of their days and nights offset by the fabulous inventiveness of their words. A warehouse heist, a night of gambling, the hunt for sex: The world of Boys Alive is a world in convulsion where at any instant disaster may strike.

Tim Parks' new translation of Pasolini's early masterpiece brings out the salt and brilliance of a still-scandalous work of art.

Theorem
Pier Paolo Pasolini
New York Review of Books - 17.00€ -

This tale about seduction, obsession, family, and the confines of capitalism is one of director Pier Paolo Pasolini's most fascinating creations, based on his transcendent film of the same name.

Theorem is the most enigmatic of Pier Paolo Pasolini's four novels. The book started as a poem and took shape both as a work of fiction and a film, also called Theorem, released the same year. In short prose chapters interspersed with stark passages of poetry, Pasolini tells a story of transfiguration and trauma.

To the suburban mansion of a prosperous Milanese businessman comes a mysterious and beautiful young man who invites himself to stay. From the beginning he exercises a strange fascination on the inhabitants of the house, and soon everyone, from the busy father to the frustrated mother, from the yearning daughter to the weak-willed son to the housemaid from the country, has fallen in love with him. Then, as mysteriously as he appeared, the infatuating young man departs. How will these people he has touched so deeply do without him? Is there a passage out of the spiritual desert of modern capitalism into a new awakening, both of the senses and of the soul? Only questions remain at the end of a book that is at once a bedroom comedy, a political novel, and a religious parable.

Sleep
Amelia Rosselli
New York Review of Books - 18.00€ -

A major, career-spanning collection of an Italian master's poetry in English, gathered together for the first time.

Amelia Rosselli is one of the great poets of postwar Italy. She was also a musician and musicologist, close to John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and she waged a lifelong battle against depression. The child of Carlo Rosselli, a significant anti-fascist intellectual who was assassinated with his brother Nello in 1937, Amelia grew up in exile and attended high school in Mamaroneck, New York. English poetry, especially the lyrics and sonnets of Shakespeare and the Elizabethans, became a prime reference for her own poetry, which combines modernist experimentation with variations on more traditional forms.

The elaborate, archaic, yet thoroughly modern poems, at once stumbling and singing, that Rosselli composed in English and gathered under the title Sleep are a beautiful and illuminating part of her work. Six of the poems were published by John Ashbery in the 1960s but have otherwise been unavailable to English readers. They are published here for the first time outside of Italy.

Margery Kempe
Robert Glück
New York Review of Books - 17.00€ -

First published in 1994, Robert Glück’s Margery Kempe is one of the most provocative, poignant, and inventive American novels of the last quarter century.

The book tells two stories of romantic obsession. One, based on the first autobiography in English, the medieval Book of Margery Kempe, is about a fifteenth-century woman from East Anglia, a visionary, a troublemaker, a pilgrim to the Holy Land, and an aspiring saint, and her love affair with Jesus. It is complicated. The other is about the author’s own love for an alluring and elusive young American, L. It is complicated. Between these two Margery Kempe, the novel, emerges as an unprecedented exploration of desire, devotion, abjection, and sexual obsession in the form of a novel like no other novel.

Robert Glück’s masterpiece bears comparison with the finest work of such writers as Kathy Acker and Chris Kraus. This edition includes an essay by Glück about the creation of the book titled "My Margery, Margery's Bob."

About Ed
Robert Glück
New York Review of Books - 19.00€ -

A moving story about love, AIDS, grief, and memory by one of the most adventurous writers to come out of San Francisco's LGBTQ+ scene.

Bob Glück met Ed Aulerich-Sugai in 1970. Ed was an aspiring artist; Bob wanted to write. They were young men in San Francisco at the high tide of sexual liberation and soon, and for eight years, they were lovers, after which they were friends. Ed was an explorer in the realms of sex. He was beautiful, fragile, exasperating, serious, unassuaged. In 1994 he died of HIV. His dream notebooks became a touchstone for this book, which Glück has been working on for some two decades, while also making his name as a proponent of New Narrative writing and as one of America's most unusual, venturesome, and lyrical authors. About Ed is about Ed, who remains, as our dead do, both familiar and unknowable, faraway and close. It is about Bob too.

The book is a hybrid, at once fiction and fact, like memory, and it takes in many things through tales of political activism and domestic comedy and fury to questions of art and love and experiences of longing and horror. The book also shifts in register, from the delicate to the analytic, to funny and explicit and heartbroken. It begins in the San Francisco of the early 1980s, when Ed and Bob have been broken up for a while. aIds is spreading, but Ed has yet to receive his diagnosis. It follows him backward through his life with Bob in the 1970s and forward through the harrowing particulars of death. It holds on to him and explores his art. It ends in his dreams.

Suppose a Sentence
Brian Dillon
New York Review of Books - 18.00€ -

A captivating meditation on the power of the sentence by the author of Essayism, a 2018 New Yorker book of the year. In Suppose a Sentence, Brian Dillon, whom John Banville has called "a literary flâneur in the tradition of Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin," has written a sequel of sorts to Essayism, his roaming love letter to literature. In this new book Dillon turns his attention to the oblique and complex pleasures of the sentence. A series of essays prompted by a single sentence--from Shakespeare to Janet Malcolm, John Ruskin to Joan Didion--the book explores style, voice, and language, along with the subjectivity of reading. Both an exercise in practical criticism and a set of experiments or challenges, Suppose a Sentence is a polemical and personal reflection on the art of the sentence in literature. Whether the sentence in question is a rigorous expression of a state of vulnerability, extremity, even madness, or a carefully calibrated arrangement, Dillon examines not only how it works and why but also, in the course of the book, what the sentence once was, what it is today, and what it might become tomorrow.

Brian Dillon was born in Dublin in 1969. His books include The Great Explosion (short-listed for the Ondaatje Prize), Objects in This Mirror: Essays, I Am Sitting in a Room, Sanctuary, Tormented Hope: Nine Hypochondriac Lives, In the Dark Room, and with New York Review Books, Essayism. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, the London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Bookforum, Frieze, Artforum, 4Columns, and The Yale Review. He is the UK editor of Cabinet magazine and teaches creative writing at Queen Mary University of London.

Published 2020

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