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The Dark Brain of Piranesi: and Other Essays (1978)

by Marguerite Yourcenar

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1875129,909 (4.05)6
Seven of Yourcenar's most important critical essays, on subjects ranging from the Historia Augusta to Piranesi's engravings. Essential to the understanding of the searching and remarkably informed spirit of this protean writer.
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Showing 4 of 4
If you want exquisite prose that provides new insights into a wide variety of literary icons then this is the book for you. Yourcenar's prose is stellar and one can relax and enjoy the essays for that alone, but if you are intellectually curious you will be excited and challenged by the ideas that inhabit every page and paragraph. ( )
  jwhenderson | Aug 22, 2022 |
Quite a book, recommended by my friend Anne Skillion when we both working NYPL. So many of the. essays were so gorgeous. I guess I should congratulate one good translator, the luscious Richard Howard. The essay "Ah, mon beau chateaux" is, is everything. ( )
  RODNEYP | Feb 10, 2022 |
A beneficio de inventario reúne siete ensayos críticos en los que Marguerite Yourcenar, con la profundidad de pensamiento y la belleza de estilo que le caracterizan, recoge temas y figuras bien conocidas de la literatura y el arte, trazando en torno a ellos nuevas aproximaciones que nos los devuelven originalmente transformados.

Así encontramos un estudio sobre la Historia Augusta que revela la decadencia y la muerte de roma a través de una serie de crónicas parciales y hasta escandalosas, de asombrosa modernidad, tres ensayos están dedicados a otros tantos escritores esenciales: Selma Lagerlöf, Constantino Cavafis y Thomas Mann.

Pero probablemente el corazón del libro lo constituya El negro cerebro de Piranesi, luminosa exploración de la vida y obra del enigmático grabador veneciano, donde Yourcenar nos enfrenta al misterio y el vértigo de esa obra que muestra cómo los sueños de los hombres se engendran unos a otros.
1 vote ArchivoPietro | Nov 2, 2020 |
So I can't remember how I heard about this book, only that it intrigued me a lot. I'd heard of Yourcenar's [b:Memoirs of Hadrian|12172|Memoirs of Hadrian|Marguerite Yourcenar|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1416448158s/12172.jpg|1064574], and I'm curious about it, but I still don't know what led me here, since I wasn't familiar with Piranesi by name. It might've been the Thomas Mann essay, or perhaps Cavafy, not that I've read any Cavafy, but he's a poet so deeply in line with my interests that I've got to now. The critical introduction to Cavafy was my favourite essay of the lot, though throughout this collection Yourcenar's style and thought process are so intricate and intelligent. A curious and thought-provoking collection.
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Les visages de l'Histoire dans l'Histoire Auguste

Si, de toutes les Histoires qu'a enregistrées la mémoire humaine, celle de Rome a fait réfléchir le plus de philosophes, rêver le plus de poètes et déclamer le plus de moralistes, c'est en partie grâce au génie d'un petit nombre d'historiens romains (et d'une couple d'historiens grecs) qui ont puissamment contribué à prolonger jusqu'à nous le souvenir et le prestige de Rome. [...]
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Seven of Yourcenar's most important critical essays, on subjects ranging from the Historia Augusta to Piranesi's engravings. Essential to the understanding of the searching and remarkably informed spirit of this protean writer.

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