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Darconville's Cat (1981)

by Alexander Theroux

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3301056,910 (4.41)78

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
An incredibly odd book. A few interesting passages, but a whole lot more misogynistic ickiness and unnecessary wordiness. ( )
1 vote JBD1 | Aug 5, 2019 |
A bonfire was then lit under a huge pole, and on that pole a huge banner, to hysterical applause, was suddenly unfurled and upon it, upsidedown, were written the words: "In The End Was Wordlessness."

I recall contacting my best friend Joel when marvelling at the rich depths of The Recognitions. Riveted as I was by the symbolism, I was sure I was missing half of the action. My best friend retorted that there are instances where a Catholic education demonstrates its benefits.

Darconville's cat was Melvillean in all its senses, the pejorative maintaining a lasting sting. It was a lengthy effort qua struggle, no doubt also influenced by those medical minds, Celine and Rabelais. Throughout were scattered truly touching scenes which throbbed with impact and emotion. Those stood in opposition to an obstinate macrocehallic umbrage. That said, I'm not sure we needed a six page inventory of Dr. Cruciifer's library. Isn't that a wicked fun name, Crucifer? ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
A book about a professor who has an affair with one of his students. Sound familiar, maybe a bit Nabokovian perhaps? A great book that's full of itself in terms of language, and makes us laugh. ( )
1 vote dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |

As a matter of honour...
Against the disease of writing [reviews] one must take special precautions, since it is a dangerous and contagious disease.
--AbelardI debated in the quiet chambers of my mind many hours how to review this book. I flung ideas at my ever-patient partner about the dialectic of why I thought what I thought, asking to be challenged because this book is seductive by nature and intellectual by design and how can a reader resist such a potent combination? I wrote many opening sentences and discarded those, concocted a structure and buried it under a dense blanket of autobiographical rhetoric which I consigned to the bonfire of my vanity, and considered simply silence, as the excruciating riposte. At the last, it begins and ends with a list.

Read this book if you love:

--vocabulary (any adjective here would render me asinine);
--reading for (as near as you will find) perfect sentence structure;
--sustained voice (pages upon pages);
--puns in apundance, some clever, some from the school yard;
--labyrinthine caricature, sarcasm, invective and ridiculing the stereotypical foibles and follies of those you hold in contempt;
--discourse on the nature of romantic, heterosexual love;
--the logic of hate;
--the rationale of revenge;
--plunging into the abyss of anguish as the rejected;
--virtuous death;
--puzzles that you may or may not decipher;
--lists within books;
--books within lists;
--stories within stories;
--carnevalesque description;
--innovatively phrased aphorisms;
--discovering a source for literature you have yet to read;
--observing a writer's joy in displaying her/his deep knowledge of the literary tradition to which he/she lays claim;
--clues within the text which lead you to obscure knowledge which is valuable the more because of its obscurity;
--re-reading;
--uncovering forgotten and deserving authors; and
--living authors.

Avoid this book if you would:

--define satire as:-
1. Criticism of behaviour with the intent to educate an audience and foster social change;
2. Irony, used humorously, to illuminate the behaviour criticised; and
3. Connotation, to infer the verdict against the criticised behaviour without explicit statement;--prefer writers who reject sexism in both their writing and their public persona;
--insist on finding misogyny (either vindicated or venerated);
--feel offended that the enormity of misogyny is trivialised via the creation of a character which serves not the purpose of villifying misogynistic behaviour, but to satisfy a writer's grudge; and
--expect a writer to maintain authorial distance from her/his protagonist and antagonist.

Read these reviews:

Megha "They don't write [books] like this anymore."
Garima The cause of it all - "How I loved this book!"
Nathan "N.R." "Onanism is the terrible core of creation" and other notes of interest.
Paul Bryant The Lone Ranger lost in the wilderness (it was the cat in the cellar).
Ali "lol" For the updates.
MJ Nicholls A bunch of sentences starting with A for Alex.
Stephen M Disquisition on the moral philosophy of a Cat and its Keeper.
Rob Mayhap misogyny but mystery delights.
Other reviews

Read these links:

http://www.bookforum.com/interview/8796
http://www.bookslut.com/features/2008_03_012503.php
http://www.themillions.com/2010/06/linguistic-revenge-an-alexander-theroux-prime...
http://vunex.blogspot.com/2008/06/monday-cat-blogging.html
http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/cr_interview_alexander_theroux_on_edward...
http://www.dalkeyarchive.com/book/?fa=customcontent&GCOI=15647100507130&... ( )
2 vote Scribble.Orca | Mar 31, 2013 |
ebook version
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
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