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Five Doubtsby Mary Caponegro
Synopses & Reviews
Starting with five iconic images from Italian art and culture, Caponegro uses numerous narrative devices (varying typefaces, question-and-answer, and actual facsimiles of manuscripts and paintings) to begin to draw out the endless stories contained in a simple image: "That sound which remains or seems to remain in the bell after it has received the stroke is not in the bell itself but in the ear of the listener, and the ear retains within itself the image of the stroke of the bell which it has heard, and only loses it by slow degrees, like that which the impression of the sun creates in the eye, which only by slow degrees becomes lost and is no longer seen." The texts that finally emerge are shimmering, multi-layered, and poetic.
"The music of Mary Caponegro's stories is to the mouth what wine is. Readers will find themselves lost among answers, intoxicated." William Gass
"These five experimental short stories enjoy varying degrees of narrative success....Caponegro shows remarkable agility in the use of collage as a method of constructing narrative." Library Journal
Mary Caponegro's latest exploration of narrative possibilities takes as a point of departure five arresting images from Italian art and culture: a Verrocchio painting, an Etruscan tomb, a Roman mosaic, a Renaissance manuscript and a Tombola board — five images that give rise to voices haunted by desire, doubt and death. Within these fictional meditations on Antiquity, the Renaissance, and contemporary life, she creates a tension between spirituality and materiality, between nature and culture, leveling artifice to blood and bone, as the first stage of a complex metamorphosis.
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