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Self Portraits: Fictions

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  5 reviews
These mysterious, interrelated stories create a portrait of the author’s life, both real and imagined, as he appears in each tale variously as hero, bystander, artist, and ghost, yielding an enchanting autobiography of the imagination.

Fantasy and reality collide as the book’s principal characters—two lovers—meet, part, and reunite, t
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published September 13th 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company
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"Self-Portraits: Fictions" is a book of 12 short literary stories by Frederic Tuten. Each story shifted around in time and place and between reality and fantasy with no warning, so it was hard to tell what was going on (especially for a linear thinker like me). The characters tended to say philosophical-sounding things, so I had the feeling that there was supposed to be some deeper meaning to it all. However, I couldn't make sense of it so I decided to simply read it as a series of quirky tales. ...more
Tim Meneely
Tuten is insistent on the constant coupling of monotony and extravagance. The book never swallowed me whole - in fact I get the impression it would be troubled by the intention. It did manage to transport me, several times.

It's the sort of thing you could go on reading for years, without realizing. The very content seems to be composed of lazy Sunday afternoons trolling fantasies and museums. The intertextual art references are manifold, and I think Breton plays the trumpet throughout.

I saw hi
I had not opened this book in a long while and when I did, to re-read it, I was staggered by the physical structure of the narrative and the dreamy quality of the stories. But the best struck me like a hot stabbing blade, and that is the first story, “Voyagers.” It alone is worth the price of the book. It tells of a writer’s mind not always on the present planet, of those who dream and act on their dreams. The story opens a strange door on the book’s strange ordinary world. Frederic Tuten deserv ...more
Sara Habein
I’m not going to lie — This book went a bit over my head. Though I did not feel dumb while reading it, I spent the entire time feeling as though I did not have the right points of reference. Filled with allusions to art and literature, Frederic Tuten’s Self Portraits: Fictions would likely be loved by a reader on the same mental trip, but that reader, despite some effort, was not me.

(Read the full review over on Glorified Love Letters.)
Nov 19, 2010 Tuck marked it as to-read
this is one of Publisher's Weekly top 100 books of 2010. some fantastic titles have come out this year. here is the complete annotated list:
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Frederic Tuten is the author of Tintin in the New World, The Green Hour, and Self Portraits, among other fiction. He has received a Guggenheim fellowship and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Distinguished Writing. He lives in New York City."
More about Frederic Tuten...
Tintin in the New World: A Romance Van Gogh's Bad Café: A Love Story The Green Hour: A Novel The Adventures of Mao on the Long March Tallien: A Brief Romance

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