21st Century Literature discussion

2016 Book Discussions > Loquela - General Discussion, No Spoilers (March 2016)

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message 1: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2632 comments Mod
This thread is for general discussion of the book, background material, resources, etc. Please do not include spoilers for those who have not finished reading.

“Loquela is a word that designates the flux of language through which the subject tirelessly rehashes the effects of a wound or the consequences of an action: an emphatic form of the lover’s discourse.” Roland Barthes

ekphrasis: from the Greek description of a work of art, possibly imaginary, produced as a rhetorical exercise,[1] often used in the adjectival form ekphrastic, is a graphic, often dramatic, description of a visual work of art. In ancient times, it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek ek and φράσις phrásis, 'out' and 'speak' respectively, and the verb ἐκφράζειν ekphrázein, "to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name".

Reviews/Links (most contain "spoilers"):
- LA Times Review
- Kirkus Review
- Bookslut Review
- Electric Literature Review
- Three Percent Blogpost/Review

message 2: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
I'm almost half-way through the book, and I am enjoying it, but I'm also finding it slow-going. Like Diving Belles, it seems to be the sort of book where a little goes a long way and I think reading too much of it at one time would be a mistake. I can tell that the author is playing games with me. That's okay, because it is an interesting game, but sometimes I feel like I really need more clues. Also, the author appears to assume that I know what "corpalism" is, and that I am familiar with the works of Onetti. I'm not. I'd never heard of him. For any others who may feel equally clueless, here is his Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Ca...
Now, does anyone have any clues for me about "corpalism"?

message 3: by Marc (last edited Mar 02, 2016 06:20PM) (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2632 comments Mod
Pretty sure "corporalism" is a made-up lit movement for this novel.

There's a two-page "manifesto" four pages from the end of the book (this is nothing that I would consider a spoiler and I'm not sure reading it ahead of time would change your reading of the rest of the book, but of course, I didn't discover it until I got to the end). I read this about one or two chapters at a time and would agree it's better to read a little and let it sit. Thanks for the Onetti link!

message 4: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
I was going to point out the chapter with the CORPORALIZATION MANIFESTO as well. I also agree, not really a 'spoiler' if you want to read it ahead of time. I think the idea of having a strident manifesto behind the work is at least as important as the ideas of the manifesto itself.

I actually had the opposite idea about reading this book, I found it came together better when I read it in larger chunks.

message 5: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2316 comments I'm at the 20% done mark on my Kindle. I can't say I am enjoying it but since it's relatively short I will keep going! I will say that reading it at night after I'm in bed does not work for moving forward, but as a sleeping pill, it is miraculous!

message 6: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
Linda, I have had the same experience. There is something very dreamy about the writing. I am glad I have a paper copy. I keep flipping back and forth to cross-reference things like dates and names. Also, I usually pick up a little ways back from the part where I fell asleep. I recognize the words as something I have read, but my brain seems to have processed it in a different way, and I finding myself thinking, "oh, that's what that meant."

message 7: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2624 comments Mod
I have not found a copy yet, but Amazon suggests the UK paperback will be available on March 17th, and if so I'll try and find it then...

message 8: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2632 comments Mod
Books can be a very safe sleeping pill alternative!

Hugh, we'll take a closer look at availability of the moderator picks (believe it or not, the first pick was ruled out because it would have been very hard for members to find).

message 9: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
We do actually look at availability, but we can't always tell. If there are paperback or used copies available over the internet in the U.S., at a reasonable price ($15 or less), I tend to assume that the book is available. Sometimes we guess wrong. Sometimes prices go up unexpectedly, or people outside the U.S. run into availability problems.

message 10: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2632 comments Mod
Mea culpa. I wrongly assumed that at least Kindle versions were available overseas, which I don't think is the case (just checked tonight). I understand not everyone likes to read on screen (but if you're accessing GR, than you likely have the option to download the Kindle app to your computer/phone/tablet).

message 11: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Oops, that one did indeed slip through the cracks. I usually check an Amazon Europe and Australia site to see if books are at least available in paperback, but this one isn't until the 17th in the UK as you pointed out. Looks like it's available for Kindle at the German Amazon...

message 12: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2624 comments Mod
Thanks Casceil, Marc and Whitney. I don't have a problem with the policy - the books you select are always interesting and I am happy just to participate whenever I can. In this case the second hand price quoted by Amazon UK is ludicrously high - it would probably be cheaper to fly to the U.S. and buy a copy there!

message 13: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2316 comments You know this book frustrated me to no end, but reading and discussing it was educational. I kept thinking of it as I read HHhH, a historical novel where part of the novel was the author's comments on writing the novel and his feelings about the historical event. Then I read the James Wood comment on the back of the book that HHhH was "casually postmodern." That lead me to some discussions of what was "postmodern literature." And that lead me back to the chaotic Loquela with a bit more understanding of what I think the author was attempting to accomplish.

message 14: by Lenore (new)

Lenore Gay (lenorehgay) | 9 comments Just read a review. Maybe in the New Yorker. Yep three tracks going at once. Haven't read the book. Already have a stack but will try to get to it. Thanks, Linda.

message 15: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2632 comments Mod
Kind of a fascinating journey/line-of-thought, Linda!

I think I saw that mention in the New Yorker, too, Lenore. I was impressed since they usually only pick 4 or 5 new books for a write up.

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