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El plantador de tabaco by John Barth
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El plantador de tabaco (original 1960; edition 2010)

by John Barth

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1,658296,332 (4.22)93
Member:olasolib
Title:El plantador de tabaco
Authors:John Barth
Info:Sexto Piso (2010), Perfect Paperback
Collections:Your library
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Work details

The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth (1960)

  1. 41
    Mason & Dixon: A Novel by Thomas Pynchon (thatguyzero, billmcn)
    billmcn: Another sprawling comic picaresque written in 18th century prose
  2. 00
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    Blindspot by Jane Kamensky (Othemts)
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English (28)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
This book is a sheer marvel. Set in the 1600s, it's awash in lyrical excess, bawdy humor, historical satire, human vice, roguish fools, epic intent, and pirates and Indians and prostitutes and poets, oh my! The sheer life force of this novel is amazing, the prose is masterful and wickedly funny, and the journey is like nothing I've ever been on before. Now I'll shut up and let the far more eloquent Mr. Barth take over. Here's the opening line:

"In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talented, and yet more talented than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and string-taut with similes stretched to the snapping-point." ( )
  MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
This book is closer to 3.5 stars. I'd give it more... but honestly, I didn't enjoy reading this book MOST of the time. Not because it was bad, but just because I was simply not interested. In retrospect, with the whole epic tale finished, it is really awesome and interesting... but a lot of the time while reading it I was booored. This book is part Quixote (epic tale with stories within stories), part Candide (wide eyed innocent man discovers the truth), part Dickins (the style of writing), all within a historical fiction and a farce.
Maybe this book needs more time for me to chew on it... ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
Where to begin describing—let alone commenting on—this postmodern take on the 18th-century farce novel. It is, on its surface, an old-fashioned tale of an overeducated young man's travels and lessons in how the real world works, reminiscent of Voltaire's 'Candide' and, more recently, Toole's 'A Confederacy of Dunces'.

While the language, the plotting, and the characters fit this style quite well, this is clearly a modern novel; it winks at the reader throughout and it plays with form in unexpected ways. Don't be surprised when a simple argument between two prostitutes turns into a six-page list of insults, real and made up, in English and French.

The humor here is juvenile, as base as the lewdest of Shakespeare, and lewder. The plotting is outrageously artificial, full of convenient turns and coincidences and revelations. The characters are fluid, changing their motives, reactions, and even appearances every which way. This all fits the book's implied "age", but it's also thoroughly enjoyable to read.

Between all the gross-out jokes about breeches and members, there's a lot of clever (and even touching) insight into the human condition here. And on top of it, while Barth clearly wrote The Sot-Weed Factor as a tour-de-force exercise in jamming into a novel literally anything and everything he could possibly think of, he didn't forget to make each page fun to read. ( )
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
Muy amenas las venturas y desventuras de Ebenezer y la multitud de personajes secundarios encabezados por el camaleónico Henry Burlingame, que pueblan la obra. Mordaz, sarcástica, con un punto de amargura y unos diálogos verdaderamente ingeniosos. La traducción a cargo de Eduardo Lago, formidable. ¡ Pura delicia ! ( )
  FernandoH | Dec 11, 2016 |
This was probably the most difficult of novels for me to rate. As the Chicago Tribune reviews – there are simply so many ways in which to read the novel that where one angle is lacking another fills the gap. Curiously enough though, much of the narrative has to do with just that.
As Barth comments, this novel was not simply inspired by his interest in the history of where he lived, but through the realization that his prior two novels (which I unabashedly adore) had less to do with nihilism than they did with innocence and naïveté. The protagonist doesn’t just portray the idealisms of youth, but the paratext inherent to not just historical fiction, but history as we know it. This novel is more than just a platitude of “the victorious are the writers of history,” but a nautilus spiral of implication for every passing moment.

Most interesting to me portrayed throughout is the concept of identity and its subsequent suppositions. The constant confusion between individuals, posturing, and the ultimate significance of being endowed with titles by “individuals” who have the prerequisite titles to endow, throws the whole story into a chaos of irreconcilable proofs. It is this amorphous rendering of identities, and not just the cherry picking of history books, that give this its peculiar ring: in effect History losses to fiction.

The only linking part to Barth’s prior works is the culmination. The reception of the work is just as chaotic as his characters (satirizing literary simultaneously with historical analysis; with the question being not what is recorded but what purpose does it serve (even serving several purposes through the same interpretation – much like the aforementioned characters)). Barth’s answer is a silent resignation. An acknowledgment without words to the very chatter he so well represented already, an almost Kierkegaardian proclamation in the faith of the ineffable.
( )
  PhilSroka | Apr 12, 2016 |
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In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and the fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talanted, and yet more talanted than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and string-taut with similies stretched to the snapping point.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385240880, Paperback)

This is Barth's most distinguished masterpiece.  This modern classic is a hilarious tribute to all the most insidious human vices, with a hero who is "one of the most diverting...to roam the world since Candide" (Time ).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:17 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Dissatisfied with her arranged marriage, beautiful Dina Reich flirts with a charismatic married man and finds herself condemned by Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community

(summary from another edition)

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