Jeremy Hornik's Reviews > Lucinella

Lucinella by Lore Segal
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's review
Oct 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: borrowed-from-library
Read in October, 2011

I'm going a little crazy for Lore Segal right now. This is a sort of memoir, like all her books, and sort of a magical realist thing, and sort of a satire on the literary life. What she does is make these wonderful characters, full of emotions and needs, and moves them along at a pace that is completely unforced and natural. And they have the neat trick of being both unpredictable (you don't know what they'll do next) and sympathetic (you believe what they do, and empathize with them for doing it.)

Anyhow, this is the story of Lucinella, a poet. She meets a variety of other literary types: a boyfriend, younger and older versions of herself (both called Lucinella), celebrated old poets, adolescent young poets, Russian poets, black poets, little magazine publishers, critics, and a pair of Greek gods. She meets them at retreats, and parties, and symposiums, and more parties. It's a bit precious, spelled out like that, and I don't imagine it's for everyone. But in the reading, it feels like the story of a life both deeply questioned and deeply felt, even at its most ambiguous.

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