This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. The Globe and Mail The ensuing events blend the visceral and the metafictional, leading to an utterly chilling conclusion. The arrival of a young woman named Liujin provides the catalyst for a multifaceted look at the residents, encompassing various philosophical conundrums as well as some glorious weirdness.
Go, Went, Gone , by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from German by Susan Bernofsky New Directions, September Whenever the political psyche strains to find a signal within the noise, some novels seem perfectly timed to answer the call. What could easily end in trite kumbaya idealism instead evades simple answers, preferring to linger in awkward spaces, amid unpleasant truths: How willing are we to upend our own comforts to help a stranger? But in telling the story of a man named Odonato, who is slowly fading out of existence, and the chaotic city around him, Ondjaki takes risks that actually smooth the flow.
The Dishwasher - Biblioasis
Some of its fragmented chapters link up with sections elsewhere in the book, while others appear briefly, make their point, and vanish. Throughout, Tokarczuk deftly shifts perspectives from the intimate and memoir-esque to the sweeping and historical. There had never been any other people, not in my lifetime, nowhere in the whole world. After his regiment commandeers a resort town, he enters a house and fancies himself the new owner, willing himself to forget the war.
Problems arise when the legal occupants show up. This novella is a fascinating portrait of a solipsistic mind, a scrupulous rendering of the erosion of human empathy that resonates in these uncivil times. It tells the story of three inmates and the three women they convince to bring drugs into prison. All are described in language by turns exalted and vulgar. A junkie, with his head cocked to the side to stare out of the tiny opening of a cell door, is likened to John the Baptist with his head on a plate.
Elsewhere, a body cavity search becomes an occasion for a phenomenological meditation on the malleability of desire. Death Is Hard Work takes place in the current day, in the midst of the brutal war most of us experience merely as headlines. They are a telling of a shattered world back into being. Couto, the winner of the Neustadt International Prize, and a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize, has an uncanny ability to create miniature worlds peopled with wonderful characters, images and happenings.
In some tales war is still a present quantity, in others it is past but only barely. Some tales are apocryphal in tone, others tragic, yet others simply enchanting. Throughout the collection, the accounts are seasoned with witticisms, aphorisms, and gentle wisdom. And what a world it is! Little Gigito:.
The work he detailed was fantasies and fine-lacery. Tell me everything, Gigito! Until he discovers that a girl offers other, shall we say, insights. But the story does not end there. Exactly so: blood. The fruit cried and lamented in a human voice.
Suleimane took no exaggerated measures: his wide-open hands dropped the coconut, the red stains spread. He stood there, dumbfounded and overwhelmed, spent. The shock made his soul vanish into the low tide. The narrator rushes to help, finding his friend sunken but with all traces of the incident cleaned away. He also divided out his affections in calculated doses, limiting love to its numerical equivalent.
Love affairs, women, children: all those things were null hypotheses.
Feelings, he was fond of saying, have no logarithm. For that reason, there was no reason to even solve the equation. From an algebraic point of view, he would say, tenderness is absurd. Like a negative zero.
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For the rural cosmovision is equally the product of exchanges between different cultural worlds. The vast majority of young people from the rural culture of my country dream of being Michael Jackson or Eddy Murphy. In a word, they dream of being Black Americans.
He was himself a bridge between two continents. Nor could he have been otherwise. To forget Europe cannot be to eliminate the internal conflicts that have shaped our very identities. Europe was inside the African poet and it could not be forgotten by imposition. Between the invitation to forget Europe and the dream of being American, the solution can only be seen as a step forward.
African intellectuals shouldn't be ashamed of their predilection for hybridity. They don't need to correspond to the image of European myths concerning them. They don't need artifices or fetishes in order to be African. They are Africans just as they are, urban dwellers with a mixed and tangled up soul, because Africa has every right to modernity, it has every right to assume its hybridities, which it initiated itself and which make it more diverse and therefore richer.
We need to escape from this trap, and this can only be done by those Africans prepared to accept, without fear, their membership of a culturally mixed world. Some self-styled Africanists, no matter how much they may resist so-called European concepts, nevertheless remain prisoners of these same concepts. Nor is it that they attach importance to them, but that importance is accorded for negative reasons. It's not a question of finding identity by retreating into some ancestral purity. The most ferocious defenders of African cultural nationalism are designing houses that are contrary to, but still within the overall framework of the architecture of the Other, of that which we call Western.
A fetishistic attitude, turned towards customs, folklore, tradition, is of little value. Colonial domination invented a considerable proportion of Africa's past and tradition. Some African intellectuals, ironically, in order to negate Europe, ended up embracing European colonial concepts.
Ethnography and anthropology, disciplines that, until recently, sought to identify essence rather than process, also trod that path. The discoverers of identities were like those navigators of the sixteenth century: anxious, some of them, to baptize territories that had, in fact, long been baptized; others, in a hurry to label population groups whose characteristics they didn't even know: tribes, ethnic groups, clans.
Think, for instance, of the culture produced by Africans. Instead of valuing the diversity of such production and seeing the book as a cultural product, literary appreciation is often substituted by a more or less ethnographic set of values. Or a certain idea of identity. Demands are made of an African writer that are not made of a European or American writer. Insistence is made on proof of authenticity. Questions are asked about the degree to which it is ethnically genuine.
It's irrelevant to know whether James Joyce corresponds to the cultural standards of this or that European ethnic group. Why should African writers have to show such cultural passports? What they are producing isn't literature but a transgression of what is accepted as traditionally African. The writer isn't just someone who writes. More than this, the writer challenges the basis of thought itself. He goes further than challenging the limits of political correctness. He subverts the very criteria that define what is correct, he questions the boundaries of reason.
Mozambican writers nowadays fulfil a commitment of an ethical type: to reflect on this Mozambique but to dream of another Mozambique. They run the risk, like all artists in every other country, of being devoured by the same nation they helped to liberate. We have passed from a period in which our heroes always ended up by being killed — Eduardo Mondlane, Samora Machel, Carlos Cardoso — into a time when heroes are not even born.
We await the renewal of a state of passion that we have already experienced once, while hoping for the re-kindling of love between writing and the nation as a home we can dream of. What we want and dream of is a nation and a continent that no longer need heroes. In the years after his country gained independence from Portugal, he was director of the Mozambican state news agency, and worked as a newspaper editor and journalist.
Since the s, he has combined the profession of environmental biologist with that of writer. Couto is the author of more than 25 books of fiction, essays and poems that have been translated into more than 20 languages. African critics chose his novel Sleepwalking Land as one of the twelve best African books of the 20 th century. Mia Couto lives with his family in Maputo, Mozambique, where he works as an environmental consultant. He is Professor Emeritus in Lusophone Studies at the University of Bristol, with a special interest in postcolonial literatures and literary translation.
Mia Couto awarded the Neustadt Prize. She has more of it than any singer I have seen or heard in recent times. She sings into being whole landscapes. The relationship, in the Orient, between poetry and song is absolute. She herself has spoken of how its meaning has made her attentive to every plea there is, and also of how it infuses her songs and the manner in which she performs them. Almost as hard to render in prose is what her music does to me. I may have found a key, however, and appropriately it is situated at a meeting point between European and Oriental cultural traditions.
When speaking of duende Lorca comes at it from various angles, not defining but alluding rather to its properties.