Mahu, Or, the Material
In the tradition of Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds, Gilbert Sorrentino's Mulligan Stew, and Raymond Queneau's The Flight of Icarus, Robert Pinget's Mahu or The Material tells the story of Mahu, a lazy man who may be a character in his friend Latirail's failing novel, which is taken over by characters invented by Sinture, yet another writer. The latter half of the novel...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Dalkey Archive Press
(first published 1966)
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Fun little absurdist surrealism, though the twoparts of this book seem disjointed. Like reading two seperate short stories (though the second is more a group of anecdotes). The amount of word play though makes me suspect about the translation. How has it altered the original? Not as good as Eastern Europeans tackling similar ground.
maybe his humor doesnt translate or its dated ...or it's me, but i'm not sure i get the pinget love. it is a real dry humor, and the idea of characters running around outside of their books/masters can be and was once a good one... i got this cuz i could really make headway into the inquisitory and was hoping this would give me an in. but it didn't.
It seems that early Pinget is significantly different than later Pinget, although I only have Fable to compare this to. It's funny, most of the time, although this level of absurdity often found in 50s avant-garde literature occasionally gets on my nerves. Chapter 37 of Part II is quit prescient as an ending though.