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Impressions of Africa (French Literature)

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Impressions of Africa (French Literature) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a mythical African land, some shipwrecked and uniquely talented passengers stage a grand gala to entertain themselves and their captor, the great chieftain Talou. In performance after bizarre performance--starring, among others, a zither-playing worm, a marksman who can peel an egg at fifty yards, a railway car that rolls on calves' lungs, and fabulous machines that paint, weave, and compose music--Raymond Roussel demonstrates why it is that André Breton termed him "the greatest mesmerizer of modern times." But even more remarkable than the mind-bending events Roussel details--as well as their outlandish, touching, or tawdry backstories--is the principle behind the novel's genesis, a complex system of puns and double-entendres that anticipated (and helped inspire) such movements as Surrealism and Oulipo. Newly translated and with an introduction by Mark Polizzotti, this edition of Impressions of Africa vividly restores the humor, linguistic legerdemain, and conceptual wonder of Raymond Roussel's magnum opus.

Review:

"A group of wonderfully talented castaways held captive by an African potentate undertake elaborate stage productions in this ingenious exercise by experimental French author Roussel (1877 — 1933), first published in 1910 and newly translated. Washed ashore in a fictional equatorial African kingdom run by Emperor Talou VII, the passengers — a historian, an aging Russian ballerina, a French falsetto, a sharpshooter, a pyrotechnics engineer, and the narrator (among others) — are held in captivity, awaiting ransom and release. After witnessing the emperor's parade, showcasing marvelous feats of artifice, endurance, and torture, they begin to enact their own theatrical productions so that each captive might 'distinguish himself through either an original work or a fabulous demonstration.' The emperor's numerous children also play key roles. Clever devices are built by the engineers, the chemist, and the sculptor; Romeo and Juliet is artfully staged; and prizes are awarded. Tales within tales of Talou's ancestry abound in this demanding nonlinear narrative, as dryly descriptive as it is wondrously absurd. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

The long-awaited new translation of the most dazzling and unclassifiable work of fiction in any language.

About the Author

Raymond Roussel was born in Paris in 1877. His writings, including the novels Impressions of Africa and LocusSolus and volumes of poetry and drama, were largely ignored in his lifetime, but have since been championed by the likes of Raymond Queneau, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Georges Perec, Harry Mathews, and John Ashbery. Roussel died under mysterious circumstances in 1933, decades before his work began receiving the popular acceptance he craved.Mark Polizzotti is a prize-winning translator, and the author of eight books, including Revolution of the Mind: A Life of André Breton. His translations include works by Jean Echenoz, Paul Virilio, Jean Baudrillard, Raymond Roussel, Maurice Roche, Gustave Flaubert, Jen Senac, and the Surrealists.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781564786241
Author:
Roussel, Raymond
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Author:
Polizzotti, Mark
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Series:
French Literature Series
Publication Date:
20110631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
280
Dimensions:
8 x 5.5 in

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Impressions of Africa (French Literature) New Trade Paper
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Product details 280 pages Dalkey Archive Press - English 9781564786241 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A group of wonderfully talented castaways held captive by an African potentate undertake elaborate stage productions in this ingenious exercise by experimental French author Roussel (1877 — 1933), first published in 1910 and newly translated. Washed ashore in a fictional equatorial African kingdom run by Emperor Talou VII, the passengers — a historian, an aging Russian ballerina, a French falsetto, a sharpshooter, a pyrotechnics engineer, and the narrator (among others) — are held in captivity, awaiting ransom and release. After witnessing the emperor's parade, showcasing marvelous feats of artifice, endurance, and torture, they begin to enact their own theatrical productions so that each captive might 'distinguish himself through either an original work or a fabulous demonstration.' The emperor's numerous children also play key roles. Clever devices are built by the engineers, the chemist, and the sculptor; Romeo and Juliet is artfully staged; and prizes are awarded. Tales within tales of Talou's ancestry abound in this demanding nonlinear narrative, as dryly descriptive as it is wondrously absurd. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , The long-awaited new translation of the most dazzling and unclassifiable work of fiction in any language.
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