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Nostalgia by Mircea Cartarescu
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Nostalgia (original 1993; edition 2009)

by Mircea Cartarescu, Gerhardt Csejka

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1083111,760 (4.46)7
Member:gangleri
Title:Nostalgia
Authors:Mircea Cartarescu
Other authors:Gerhardt Csejka
Info:Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp, 2009.
Collections:r�q�r�s m�nt�n�nc�,
Rating:
Tags:Mircea Cărtărescu, Gerhardt Csejka, @others, ↑GBV, , ↑DNB↓↓••, ♠♠♥♥♦♦•, ¬@

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Nostalgia by Mircea Cărtărescu (1993)

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This train ride is bleak. I'm high up in the air and I can see ..why, I can see the whole of the world, it seems. There's this feeling like I'm spying on something, seeing something I shouldn't be able to see at all. But it's more like a ride underground than on top of the world; it fells mysterious and gray, if you know what I mean. The train moves slowly upwards, all sound is extinguished and there is no breath of wind to cool off the T-shirt stuck to my sweaty skin. No, there's something wrong - this doesn't feel like an amusement park. Everything is just too weird and slo-whoa! What just happened there? What? Who said that?

Oh, it's You. I wasn't sure if you were going to show up. Some writers do, you know, but others find it intrusive. But you want to guide me. You're telling me to prepare myself. Prepare myself because the ride is going to begin and then it's going to drive me crazy - with pleasure, with sadness, with nostalgia, you don't know. Can't tell. It's up to me. You tell me you will try to show, try to make me understand. But you have tears in your eyes. "You would like to turn the reader's heart inside out" - you growl - "and what does he do? At three he's done with your book, at four he takes up another - no matter how great the book you placed in his hands." The sign ahead says "First Chapter: The Roulette Player" and the train keeps moving. Slow. Chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug. And then I see it. I see that the train has reached its peak going upwards and that in one blink of an eye it will start speeding downwards, laughing and choo-chooing and acting all crazy - a long mad worm doing somersaults through the air - but it still takes me by surprise when it does. I didn't think it would happen this way, like this, so wild-wild-wild and oh my God it feels wonderful! And even when it slows down - every time it slows down and I start getting bored - I think of you, and I remember what you said. What you said about wanting to rip my heart out and I feel guilty for pages I'm skimming, even skipping, for the pages slipping away, getting me closer to the end of the book. I've enjoyed the ride but you haven't done it yet, no, and you so wanted to and just when I think "it's too late, it's almost three o'clock" the last sign comes up ahead announcing the last chapter "The Architect". And I give into it one more time and this time - yes! - this time you rip my heart out with one quick move, one quick final story about the creation of the Universe, a sci-fi story as weird and unlikely as it is wonderful. And man, I'm so glad you had a chance to do it because it's almost four now - time for a new book. ( )
12 vote girlunderglass | May 20, 2009 |
From Publishers Weekly
"Romania's leading poet plays with ideas of authorship and authority in this collection of five unconnected stories—his English debut—which he contrarily subtitled "a novel," asserting that "each part reflects all the others." Given the author's pedigree, it's disappointing that the book, extracted from its cultural context, loses much of its power. Cartarescu employs postmodern effects—shifting points of view, blurring of dreams and reality, episodes of magical realism—without enlarging in a meaningful way on the experiments of Kafka, Borges or García Márquez (all invoked by the book's narrators). The first story involves a roulette player who survives against astonishing odds and a narrator who admits the roulette player could not have existed, but did, because "there is a place in the world where the impossible is possible, namely in fiction, that is, literature." "The Twins" consists of a fairly banal adolescent romance sandwiched between long descriptions of a man dressing in drag. Occasionally Cartarescu's prose shines, as with the description of a suicide on the pavement in "Mentardy": "his noble profile displaying its contour against a cheery stain, light purple and widening leisurely." But the self-conscious postmodernism of this collection may prove off-putting for American readers accustomed to conventions of realist fiction. (Nov. 29)
Copyright "
© Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/01/RVGQFGC5DM1.DTL
  hycjan06 | Jan 23, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0811215881, Paperback)

The astonishing debut in English of one of Romania's foremost writers.

Mircea Cartarescu, born in 1956, is one of Romania's leading novelists and poets. This translation of his 1989 novel Nostalgia, writes Andrei Codrescu, "introduces to English a writer who has always had a place reserved for him in a constellation that includes the Brothers Grimm, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Bruno Schulz, Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, Milan Kundera, and Milorad Pavic, to mention just a few." Like most of his literary contemporaries of the avant-garde Eighties Generation, his major work has been translated into several European languages, with the notable exception, until now, of English.

Readers opening the pages of Nostalgia should brace themselves for a verbal tidal wave of the imagination that will wash away previous ideas of what a novel is or ought to be. Although each of its five chapters is separate and stands alone, a thematic, even mesmeric harmony finds itself in children's games, the music of the spheres, humankind's primordial myth-making, the origins of the universe, and in the dilapidated tenement blocks of an apocalyptic Bucharest during the years of communist dictatorship.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:49 -0400)

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Voland Edizioni

Two editions of this book were published by Voland Edizioni.

Editions: 8886586981, 8862431139

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