This is a 3.5 book, loved it whilst was reading & sped through it a good pace, but.............. really not a great deal to say. yes it was cleverThis is a 3.5 book, loved it whilst was reading & sped through it a good pace, but.............. really not a great deal to say. yes it was clever, yes it was funny, although I'd say more amusing than laugh out funny. The problem is that it knows it's all of the above....more
Fairground Magician, is an exploration of love told through a series of thirteen tales. Via these short stories the author examines, probes and delvesFairground Magician, is an exploration of love told through a series of thirteen tales. Via these short stories the author examines, probes and delves into its various guises, revealing the conflicts that tear people asunder and the moments that, although go unnoticed, bind two individuals so that: “Soul and body have no bounds” * . Jelena Lengold uses various genres from realism through the use of thriller & eroticism to shade the nuances of the relationships, whether it’s the cold loss of a love unfulfilled, or that heat that first burns before leaving a tranquil euphoria in its wake.
On reading the blurb on the back cover, I was slightly worried with the idea of eroticism, purely because of the likes of fifty shades of grey & its ilk, I needn’t have been - although several tales explore the nature of sexuality - they do so as an integral part of existence & the erotic elements are like love, they have no safety net or get out clause. This is a sensuous, sexy, intelligent collection of tales that may shock, but will make you think, it has already won a number of European prizes including The European Union Prize for Literature (2011)
Fairground Magician is a collection of thirteen tales revolving around the various faces of the Gods of love, whether this is Eros, who represents love, sexual passion and naughty thoughts or Yue-Lao, who binds two people together with an invisible red string - it doesn’t matter, they will find themselves reflected within this book’s pages.
I read this in the English Translation through the publisher Istros
This book is a series of Micropoems (33) in this slim volume by W.G. Sebald, each one is accompanied by a pair of eyes which are actually photo realisThis book is a series of Micropoems (33) in this slim volume by W.G. Sebald, each one is accompanied by a pair of eyes which are actually photo realistic lithographs created by Jan Peter Tripp. Some of the individuals featured are William Burroughs, Jorge Luis Borges, Rembrandt, Francis Bacon and Javier Marias plus various other people including Sebald himself.
Most of these poems are around the 20 word mark or less and although they do not have a direct relationship to the picture, act as a dialogue between the two, with some offering a possible greater clarity to us as onlookers than others.
Whilst others appear to be merely chance, leaving you to form your own connections, your own dialogue with the images and lines on the page, like some interloper into the hermetic world of this small book.
There is also a great deal of information here; the translator is Michael Hamburger, a poet in his own right, who provides a translators note as an introduction to the work.
This is followed by fellow poet Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s contribution, two poems - one concerning Sebald the other Tripp.
Then almost like a bookend there is an essay on the work of the artist, Jan Peter Tripp by Andrea Kohler
Which brings us nicely to the artist. Sebald has described Jan Peter Tripp's art as taking realism to an almost unimaginable extreme. In an essay about Tripp's work, Sebald talked of 'the role of the observer and the observed objects being reversed. Personally my first look whilst flipping through these poems and what I presumed were photographs,when the realisation dawned that these weren’t,that they had been created by the artist’s own hands, well I didn’t know what to think, I scrutinised them, I tried to sneak up on them, quickly casting glances, when I thought they weren’t looking. I failed and went back to the words.
Some books let you in from the turning of the title page, others leave you as though on the doorstep, a foot in the door, not sure of welcome, you’re going to have to earn your entrance. Unrecounted is definitely one of the latter, you’ll peruse the images and accompanying poems, eyes gliding off the eyes on the page to the words and back again, making connections, trying to find routes into its dialogue but this is ideolectic, the patterns here are those of an individual, there probably are reference points, but like all reference points, they act as signposts to something - not the thing itself.
If I followed this book's conceit, I shouldn't write this. The Letter Killers Club is a collection of tales, bonded by the idea of a club where a grouIf I followed this book's conceit, I shouldn't write this. The Letter Killers Club is a collection of tales, bonded by the idea of a club where a group of seemingly like minded individuals come together to tell tales. Although any idea of a cosy reading club where people come to express their love of the written word would be an anathema to these individuals, They believe or follow the idea that the tale once confined to the page is corrupted. Following this logic they meet in a black room and conceive stories, taking turns each month to express their conceptions, that the others then dissect, discuss, before they die in that room. This is described to us by someone who has been admitted to this club, to be the idea of a reader, following the idea that for the conceptions to breathe there needs to be an ear, a pure reader. That they couldn't be conceptions unless they are tested by someone outside their clique. This is the binding for what are five separate tales, ranging from a story set around Hamlet, to a really dystopian horror about turning individuals into automatons. If you read several of the other reviews on goodreads, names like, Borges and Calvino are mentioned, & I kind of agree, although there seems to be a darker process in these tales, they seem to have that light that penetrates Borges, but especially Calvino's work, whether that is down to the era of Krzhizhanovsky's writing (1920), or just him, I don't know as this is the first book I've read by him, but it's a darkness that I could grow to love....more