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Claudio Magris; italian Master
Topic Started: May 26 2008, 08:01 AM (1,758 Views)
onefatman
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Well. It's all...just...so many things coming together, each of which might be innocuous on their own, together though...hm.



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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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i brought forward/changed my ordering so as to see for myself in the next few days, according to the wikipedia entry, he's written essays on Musil, and Svevo too
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onefatman
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
May 27 2008, 11:30 PM
i brought forward/changed my ordering so as to see for myself in the next few days, according to the wikipedia entry, he's written essays on Musil, and Svevo too

he's an expert on German literature, and teaches it, too, if I got that right.
an awesome writer, I might never read another book of his just to stave off disappointment.

and svevo gets a few pages in that book too. ;)
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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onefatman
May 27 2008, 05:31 PM
oneofmurphysbiscuits
May 27 2008, 11:30 PM
i brought forward/changed my ordering so as to see for myself in the next few days, according to the wikipedia entry, he's written essays on Musil, and Svevo too

he's an expert on German literature, and teaches it, too, if I got that right.
an awesome writer, I might never read another book of his just to stave off disappointment.

and svevo gets a few pages in that book too. ;)

well it's on its way so i should begin with the book before the weekend

and your new avatar is dear! :lol:

xxxxx
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A novel by Magris that had been out in German translation for ages, is now out in English translation. Well, it had been out in Canada since 2010, but has been (re-)published in July by Yale UP (I think it's the same translation)

Seems to be right up our alley, from this review http://amilanoappel.com/MagrisBlindly.htm

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Hailed as a masterpiece on its initial publication in Italy, Blindly (Alla cieca, Garzanti, 2005) is a novel of highly original, poetic intensity. One reviewer, writing in La Repubblica of May 19, 2005, describes the work as a voyage through time and space, whose innovative form is the narrative voice of a pazzo lucido, a lucid madman. The unity of time and place are shattered, and there is not so much a plot as two categories operant in the world: the revolutionary and his inquisitors and persecutors. Formalistically speaking, the novel is an experiential vortex: the narrative is a river of words, a flood, a sea – a stream of consciousness and flow of associations that becomes a torrent.


I've only read one Magris book, but that is a fantastic book. Given that his name keeps coming up in Nobel discussions, we should talk more about his work, no?

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roger
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Bookslut Jessa has a very nice interview with Magris
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Didi
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Non luogo a procedere released in Italian October 2015 in English (Yale) 2016 Not to prosecute

per Anne Milano Appel (translator)

"Non luogo a procedere by Claudio Magris (to be published by Garzanti) is a fictional work that centers on a deceased protagonist who has left behind a storehouse of armaments and weaponry to be housed in a museum devoted to war. In his diaries and notes, the man names the museum the Comprehensive War Museum for the Advent of Peace and the Disarming of History. Luisa Brooks, assigned the task of planning and organizing the Museum, is aided by these notes, which speak of “the coming of an age of infinite goodness, when evil will be abolished and all that will remain of weaponry is the cosmic energy that relates to their beauty and their functionality,” and which envision the end of the universal Power of evil, of war, of killing. A specific example of evil in the novel – since Trieste is never far from Magris’ creative vision – is the Risiera, a rice factory in Trieste, which functioned as a Nazi concentration camp during World War II; used to detain and execute political prisoners, it also served as a transit camp for Jews who were later deported to Auschwitz.
The narrative is a complex one, with multiple threads that range back and forth in history. For example, there is Luisa’s story, the daughter of a Jewish woman from Trieste and an American sergeant with the 92 Infantry “Buffalo” Division, made up entirely of African American soldiers, which served in the Italian Campaign of World War II. And there is the account of Carl Philipp (or Carlo Filippo or Carlos Felipe, Magris tells us) who accompanied Captain Bolts to Delagoa Bay on the South East African Coast in the 1700s and returned with a Black woman named Pearl whom he claimed he’d saved from some brutal Portuguese seamen: “The footprints of Pearl’s slender feet disappeared beneath the packed earth flattened by the hooves and caterpillar tracks of the conquerors… [who] deluded themselves…that they had completely erased all traces of Pearl, her people and others like her, trampled by their boots... But it’s not true, Luisa thought; the footsteps of those who fled in the forest haven’t disappeared, no drop of dried blood is truly erased.”
Most of all the narrative becomes a hymn to peace, a plea to eliminate war and a condemnation of those who condone evil: “This is hell; general amnesty, absolution before trial, the decision not to prosecute. The true offenders are those who overlook, who ignore, who tolerate evil – those who turn a blind eye as Magris showed us in Alla cieca (Blindly). “It doesn’t matter if the traces disappear, the names of the victims and the executioners don’t interest me, I know who they are, we already know who they are. It’s those other names I want; not the hands with blood on them, but the ones that shook them, the clean hands of the true masters of the world.”
In the novel’s final image, men are dumped like garbage into the sea: “throwing garbage into the sea is a crime and so is throwing men in, but the judge declares there is no cause to prosecute.” In the end this book, like Blindly, represents an act of love and of faith: the author’s attempt to remove the shroud and reveal the senselessness of wars, cruelty and oppression. To abolish indifference – “absolution before trial, the decision not to prosecute” – and to attest to truth."


http://amilanoappel.com/mylatest.htm

certainly reading this when it comes out.
Edited by Didi, Sep 29 2015, 04:44 PM.
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redhead
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Thanks for the info! It sounds interesting. I just finished Danube, it's weird, when I think about it, it should not work, and yet it does.

Here's a review I posted on goodreads:

Though marketed in some editions as a novel, this is anything but. Taking a trip down the Danube from its source down to its end as a springboard, this unorthodox travelogue (in which Magris himself barely figures) examines landmarks, historical events, and philosophical and literary ideas, all based around the Danube. Topics vary from Celine and Hegel to beer and Bulgarian bandits, from giants you’d have to be born under a rock not to heard of to obscure people mysterious even to PHDs.

It’s impossible to discuss all the themes and ideas presented in here, as it’s basically a cultural biography of the region, but if I had to identify one, identity plays a huge part. Identity is one of those big themes in literature, and many a writer has set out to record on it in all kinds of manners. But this is a wholly original book. Historical stories on ancient peoples migrating and assimilating throughout the ages populate it, and as far as writers go, it seemed like Elias Canetti and IB Singer came up the most regardless of the specific area Magris found himself in, two once great giants of literature who lived all over Europe and America. This is one of those rare books where subject and theme align perfectly, like they were made for each other.

It’s slow going at times. There is no real plot or conflict to motivate the reader to read on. And yet, each day, I would pick up this book and read a few pages (it’s so dense, expect to take your time with this). The prose is beautiful, but looking at other reviews on here it is definitely not for everyone.

Encyclopedic in scope, I’d like to recommend this book but I can’t actually think of anyone in real life I know who would like it. Danube is not the kind of book you can pick up and quickly power through; it needs to be read slowly, let your attention meander like the river, look up some other books as you make your way through this one, and if you’re the kind of reader look past the lack of a traditional story into the history or philosophy or literature, this is for you.
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johnnywalkitoff
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It was asked up-thread...does Magris share more than just theme with Sebald? It sounds to me Magris is more...how the fuck do I know?... propulsive, exuberant, dense...whereas Sebald is calm, circling, spacious in his ramblings (yet also terrifying, I don't know how, it's just...it is...)...well, Danube for 3 bucks anyways so bought it, will read soon...and only Austerlitz left of Sebald's work (well of the four novels....you can put quotation marks around them, I'd rather not) I've slowly been parceling to myself.....
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