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Imaginary Lives

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  552 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Vidas imaginarias (1895) narra la "vida de algunos poetas, dioses, asesinos y piratas, así como de varias princesas y damas galantes...". Pero no lo hace a la manera convencional de los biógrafos, que sólo apreciaban la "vida pública o la gramática", "las ideas de los grandes hombres" y aquellos puntos en que sus vidas "se unieron a las acciones generales", sino de una man ...more
90 pages
Published March 1989 by Longwood Academic (first published 1896)
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4.11  · 
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 ·  552 ratings  ·  54 reviews


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Glenn Russell
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing


Always fascinating and frequently macabre and chilling - we pull back the curtain and enter the world of French symbolist and decadent author Marcel Schwob (1867-1905).

In his Imaginary Lives we encounter twenty-two portraits that are part fact, part myth, part author’s poetic fancy, where the individuals portrayed are taken from such fields as ancient history, philosophy, art, literature and even the worlds of crime and geomancy, such personages as Septima the enchantress, Petronius the romance
...more
Vit Babenco
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
History and art… I always prefer art to history…
Contrary to history, art describes individuals, desires only the unique. It does not classify, it unclassifies… To describe a man in all his anomalies a book should be a work of art…

And following this modus operandi Marcel Schwob turns any human being into art… Adding a lot of outlandish imaginary details he mythologizes even trivial biographies transforming them into frilly and macabre vignettes…
Tears, he knew, came from the action of certain smal
...more
Fernando
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro de Marcel Schwob inspiró a Jorge Luis Borges para escribir “Historia universal de la infamia”. Así de simple.
Es interesante el punto de vista que toma Schwob para contarnos la biografía de personajes diversos de la historia que fueron reales, pero con ciertos detalles que complementan la historia de vida contada.
Más allá de lo que cuentan los libros, Schwob nos da información adicional (revestida de cierto costado poético, misterioso o fantástico), esa información que no cuentan pre
...more
Mayim de Vries
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book by an author, who able to show the whole depth of human affairs within ten pages. A visionary of history. Clairvoyant of psychology. A connoisseur of the atrocious. Ironist. Lyricist. Poet writing in prose. Researcher of culture hostile to all things scientific. An impressionist with the thinnest brush. A lover of all that is incomprehensible, ambiguous, flawed and primordial. A collector of madmen, eerie feelings, collective psychoses, criminals, losers and unlucky ones. An admirer of myst ...more
Yani
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
De finales de siglo XIX, este libro mira hacia delante y se nota. Me divertí mucho con estas biografías/cuentos basadas en individualidades que la gente (me incluyo) puede no haber advertido (de todos modos, hay figuras conocidas, como "Pocahontas").

La única crítica que tengo que hacerle se relaciona con el narrador, pero aclaro que es un problema personal: no suelen agradarme las biografías o lo que se asemeje a ellas. Las leo por obligación. Por ende, el hecho de que haya una voz casi robótic
...more
Eadweard
These were great, too bad it's such a short work, there are so many historical figures that could be "honored" this way. Pasolini's Decameron came to mind while reading this, I think a similar adaption could work.
Cosimo
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Il sentimento dell'individuale

“L’arte del biografo consiste appunto nella scelta. Non deve preoccuparsi di essere vero; deve creare entro un caos di tratti umani. Leibniz dice che, per fare il mondo, Dio ha scelto il migliore tra i mondi possibili. Il biografo, come una divinità inferiore, sa scegliere, tra i possibili umani, quello che è l’unico. Non deve ingannarsi sull’arte, più di quanto Dio non si è ingannato sulla bontà. È necessario che l’istinto di entrambi sia infallibile”.

Se nel lingua
...more
Laura
Title: Vies imaginaires

Author: Marcel Schwob

Release Date: August 16, 2015 [EBook #49712]

Language: French

Produced by Laura N.R. & Marc D'Hooghe at http://www.freeliterature.org (Images generously made available by the Gallica (Bibliothèque nationale de France.)


I made the proofreading of this book for Project Gutenberg through Free Literature.

The original file is provided by InternetArquive.

PRÉFACE
L'art est à l'opposé des idées générales, ne décrit que l'individuel, ne désire que l'unique. Il
...more
Mariana Orantes
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es un libro elemental. El detalle y su equilibrio (detalle general y detalle único) aparece explicado en el prefacio de Marcel Schwob y retratado en las vidas imaginarias. La edición que yo leí es la de 1922 de cvltvra, colección dirigida por José Gorostiza y en traducción de Rafael Cabrera (si, el poeta). Sin embargo existe una mejor edición en Porrúa hecha por J. E. Pacheco (si, ese Pacheco)en la que viene una vida inédita y no tiene los errores de esta. Así que no hay excusa para no leerlo. S ...more
julieta
Aug 11, 2015 rated it liked it
No sé qué me pasó con este libro, solo que no me conmovió en nada. Entiendo por que se habla de que a Borges lo influenció, porque es toda su onda, pero hay algo en todo eso, inventar, o no, vidas, con todo tipo de detalles que solo me causa un poco de desesperación. Yo se que estoy hablando de un intocable, por lo cual intentaré explicarme. Hay un recurso narrativo que me desespera un poco, bueno bastante, lea en donde lo lea. Y es el contar sueños. En un sueño se puede inventar tanto, y es tan ...more
Carloesse
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vite condensate in poche pagine, dalle quali escono ritratti vivi e completi attraverso poche vicende, arricchite di pochi ma curatissimi dettagli. Ritratti di antichi filosofi, artisti, poeti, eretici (Empedocle, Cratete, Petronio, Lucrezio, Paolo Uccello, Angiolieri, Frà Dolcino,...), regine o principesse, gentildonne o puttane (Pocahontas, Clodia, Kathleen la merlettaia, Sufrah,...) pirati e malfattori (Capitan Kid,Walter Kennedy, Burke & Hare,..).
I miei preferiti? "Septima" (schiava inca
...more
Nuno Simões
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
haja imaginação... excelente exercício de literatura.
Eric
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And Plutarch lived after he begat Walter Savage Landor two hundred seventy and seven years, and begat sons and daughters but sons in the main: And all the days of Plutarch were two thousand and twelve years: and he died. And Walter Savage Landor was two hundred eighty and eight years old: and Walter Savage Landor begat Marcel Schwob and a livery of lilies: and Marcel Schwob begat Jorge Luis Borges and spleen: and Jorge Luis Borges, in laying down his crooked figure at the threshold of the crypt ...more
Stephen Miletus
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
These stories reminded me of the writings of Italo Calvino, specifically Invisible Cities & The Castle of Crossed Destinies, in that these stories read as if they are folk tales. Unlike Calvino, however, these biographies frequently have a macabre tone: there are murders, lovers betraying lovers, & a general sense of decay & loss. Most of these biographies are about historically documented people--Nicholas Loyseleur & Cyril Tourneur did exist as associates of better known histori ...more
Mpho3
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
History for art's sake? Frida Kahlo read this while convalescing from the accident that shaped the rest of her life. I read a biography of Kahlo while convalescing from my life and thus discovered Schwob.

In 10-page biographies, Schwob depicts "the unique existences of ... priests, criminals, or nobodies." Each is treated with an artistic verve that belies the notion that "minute records of great men or epochs or events of the past are not especially needed." Why say what's been said before? And
...more
Elprimordial Sorel
El arte es lo contrario de las ideas generales, describe solo lo individual, no desea sino lo único. No clasifica, desclasifica." Prefacio.

"Los biógrafos, por desgracia, han creído, generalmente, que eran historiadores y así nos han privado de retratos admirables. Supusieron que solo la vida de los grandes hombres podía interesarnos. El arte es ajeno a esas consideraciones."
Prefacio.

"Soñaba eternamente en su sueño estéril con las cosas que no había conocido."
Séptima. Encantadora.

"La fecha de s
...more
trovateOrtensia
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francia
Parafrasando Alfred Jarry e il suo Calendrier pataphisique perpétuel :
"Marcel Schwob, globe-trotter dans sa chambre".
Rafa
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Se entiende la adoración de Borges y Bolaño por este autor.
Francesca
3.5/5
Carolyn
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Strange the ways that one is drawn to a strange book: A cousin sent me a clip of this book cover, obtained from a Sotheby’s auction catalog. I’m certain she thought I’d like it because of our love of sea creatures. But investigating the book made it even MORE interesting.

SCHWOB, MARCEL
Estimate: 6,000 - 8,000 USD
LOT SOLD. 74,500 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)
Vies imaginaires. Paris: Le Livre contemporain, 1929
4to (10 1/4 x 9 in.; 255 x 227 mm). 88 colored illustrations wood-engraved by
...more
Mateo R.
En el prefacio a esta colección de relatos, Schwob afirma su intención de escribir la historia desde las individualidades y los hábitos y rasgos singulares de sus personajes, de hacer de la biografía un arte, de poner el foco en los actos perversos. Como algunos antes de él y tantos otros después, no le interesa la verdad del discurso historiográfico. Partiendo de personajes reales (la mayoría: no lo son Séptima, Sufrah y Catalina la encajera), mezcla datos verdaderos y ficción. Se entiende ento ...more
Nati Korn
ללא קשר לאיכות סיפוריו של שווב, שהשפיעו על רבים וטובים ושראוי גם ראוי שיהיו נגישים לקורא העברי בשפתו, אתייחס בסקירה זו לסוגיה כואבת במיוחד – איכות התרגום לעברית. חוויית הקריאה בספר הייתה בעבור כותב שורות אלו מתסכלת באופן חריג.

הייתי יכול לסלוח על שגיאות הגהה; על טעויות ספורות בביטויים בעברית; על משפטים סתומים, שלא ברור אם היו כך במקור או שתורגמו מבלי להבין את משמעותם; על סדר מילים במשפט, שהיה צריך להיות שונה בעברית מאשר במקור הצרפתי, בכדי לאפשר קריאה שוטפת יותר.

אך לא אוכל למחול על התופעה המשונה ש
...more
Rob Atkinson
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s clear why this was a key inspiration for Borges’ “A Universal History Of Iniquity” which frankly, I prefer. As with his “The King In The Golden Mask” collection of short stories, Schwob mines the arcana of historical record and collages his finds into an imaginative ‘whole’ with his fictive interpolations. His subjects are generally eccentric and morally compromised, which with his creative embellishment makes for entertaining reading. I’m again struck by his proto-post-modern style. I hope ...more
pierlapo  quimby
L'intenzione dell'autore, preannunciata ma forse meglio sarebbe dire spiegata nella prefazione da lui stesso scritta, è senz'altro una rilucente idea letteraria, ma come insegnava il vecchio Platone, le idee stanno lì, in un qualche luogo iperuranio inarrivabile e incorruttibile e le cose stanno qui, divenute pallide ombre, già tutte insozzate di realtà.
Così ammetto che se non avessi letto la spiegazione di Schwob – abilmente inserita all'inizio e non alla fine del testo – difficilmente avrei ap
...more
Esteban
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una forma de presentarlo (impersonal y generalizadora, que sin duda Schwob mismo aborrecería) sería colocarlo entre Poe y Borges. Yendo a lo particular, su técnica es impecable. Lo caracteriza una atención por el detalle abrumadora que puede o no estar acompañada de un golpe de efecto a lo Poe. Cada uno de los relatos es una miniatura barroca que intenta capturar las características de hombres y mujeres infames en un retablo de pocas páginas. De alguna manera, esas coordenadas estéticas (intempo ...more
Ffiamma
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, french
ventitré vite- trasfigurate, romanzate, sognate, inventate. ventitré piccoli viaggi nella storia, nell'umanità; ventitré racconti disegnati con un tratto fine- nel descrivere il lato decadente e prezioso dell'esistenza, condensando la magia del tutto in poche pagine. elegantissimo.
Felix
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very formidable and moving collection of pievces - but too gloomy/macabre for my taste. I could not bring myself to read all of them.
bklyn mike art
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
out of my element, tall tales of pirates, poets, and harlots in an ancient absurdist style.
Marius Ghencea
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bellissimo, per tutti e per nessuno. Per quelli che comunque un senso forse c'è l'ha. Grande letteratura, Schwob.
David Coker (Gentry)
Unique and extraordinary! I had wanted to read this for years and it exceeded my high expectations. Marcel Schwob had a heart and it still lives in these pages.
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107 followers
Marcel Schwob (1867-1905) was one of the key symbolist writers, standing in French literature alongside such names as Stephane Mallarme, Octave Mirbeau, Andre Gide, Leon Bloy, Jules Renard, Remy de Gourmont, and Alfred Jarry. His best-known works are Double Heart (1891), The King In The Gold Mask (1892), and Imaginary Lives (1896).
“There is no science for the teguments of a leaf, for the filaments of a cell structure, the winding of a vein, the passion of a habit, or for the twists and quirks of character.” 12 likes
“Unlike most biographers it is here I leave Messrs. Burke and Hare, at the peak of their glory. Why destroy such an artistic effect by requiring them to languish along to the end of their lives, revealing their defects and their deceptions? We need only remember them, mask in hand, walking abroad on foggy nights. For their end was sordid like so many others. One of them, it appears, was hanged and Dr. Knox was forced to quit Edinburgh. Mr. Burke left no other works.” 3 likes
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