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The Delighted States: A Book of Novels, Romances, & Their Unknown Translators, Containing Ten Languages, Set on Four Continents, & Accompani

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The Delighted States: A Book of Novels, Romances, & Their Unknown Translators, Containing Ten Languages, Set on Four Continents, & Accompani Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Having slept with a prostitute in Egypt, a young French novelist named Gustave Flaubert at last abandons sentimentality and begins to write. He influences the obscure French writer Édouard Dujardin, who is read by James Joyce on the train to Trieste, where he will teach English to the Italian novelist Italo Svevo. Back in Paris, Joyce asks Svevo to deliver a suitcase containing notes for Ulysses, a novel that will be viscerated by the expat Gertrude Stein, whose first published story is based on one by Flaubert.

This carousel of influence shows how translation and emigration lead to a new and true history of the novel. We devour novels in translation while believing that style does not translate. But the history of the novel is the history of style. The Delighted States attempts to solve this conundrum while mapping an imaginary country, a country of readers: the Delighted States.

This book is a provocation, a box of tricks, a bedside travel book; it is also a work of startling intelligence and originality from one of our finest young writers.

Review:

"In his labyrinthine and surprisingly engrossing epic of literary influence and translation, Thirlwell (Politics) provides an idiosyncratic perspective on a wide range of authors and books, from Don Quixote to Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age by Bohumil Hrabal. A leading young British novelist, Thirlwell creates narrative enthusiasm and vividly drawn characters in a welcome departure from the academic approach to this kind of project. His technique is generally conversational rather than thesis driven, and his dips into notoriously tricky works like Ulysses and Tristram Shandy are characterized by impressively observed but plainly written close readings in the vein of the popular literary scholar Harold Bloom. One of Thirlwell's basic conceits is that style is inherently translatable, 'even if its translation is not perfect,' and he argues this earnestly and convincingly across eras and borders. Some of Thirlwell's arguments will undoubtedly cause debate among critics and readers, such as his defense of Constance Garnett, the original English translator of War and Peace, whose work has been criticized and possibly superseded by recent high-profile translators. However, Thirwell writes more as a reader than as an academic, and his passionate explications of writers from Flaubert to Nabokov is an absolute pleasure. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Thirlwell established himself as something of an enfant terrible with his first novel...and this book should enhance his reputation." Library Journal

Review:

"Often overwrought and ostentatious — like a love letter, which of course it is." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[Thirlwell] hyperventilates a bit, leaping around and making connections, but he has a good time, which is (ahem) always fun to watch." Los Angeles Times

Synopsis:

The Delighted States follows a carousel of literary influence that shows how translation and emigration lead to a new and true history of the novel. This book is a provocation, a box of tricks, a bedside travel book; it is also a work of startling intelligence and originality from a young writer.

Synopsis:

Praised by Tom Stoppard, A.S. Byatt, and critics in the U.S. and the U.K., Thirlwell assembles a playful compendium of anecdotes, photographs, illustrations, lists, indices, appendices, and more to show how even the most stylistically dense novels (of Flaubert, Joyce, Nabokov and others) can in fact always be translated. 

Synopsis:

Having slept with a prostitute in Egypt, Gustave Flaubert begins his first novel, Madame Bovary, which influences the minor French novelist Édouard Dujardin, whose novel is read by James Joyce, whose own novel Ulysses will move the Italian novelist Italo Sveno, and later Gertrude Stein, in radical ways. This carousel of influence shows how we devour novels in translation, while often believing that style does not translate. But the history of the novel is the history of style. The Delighted States attempts to solve this conundrum while mapping an imaginary country, a country of readers: The Delighted States.  As a companion, this book comes with a new translation into English of Vladimir Nabokov's "Mademoiselle O."

Synopsis:

Having slept with a prostitute in Egypt, a young French novelist named Gustave Flaubert at last abandons sentimentality and begins to write. He influences the obscure French writer Édouard Dujardin, who is read by James Joyce on the train to Trieste, where he will teach English to the Italian novelist Italo Svevo. Back in Paris, Joyce asks Svevo to deliver a suitcase containing notes for Ulysses, a novel that will be viscerated by the expat Gertrude Stein, whose first published story is based on one by Flaubert.
 
This carousel of influence shows how translation and emigration lead to a new and true history of the novel. We devour novels in translation while believing that style does not translate. But the history of the novel is the history of style. The Delighted States attempts to solve this conundrum while mapping an imaginary country, a country of readers: the Delighted States.
 
This book is a provocation, a box of tricks, a bedside travel book; it is also a work of startling intelligence and originality from one of our finest young writers.
Adam Thirlwell was born in 1978. His first novel, Politics, was translated into thirty languages. In 2003, he appeared on Grantas list of the best British novelists under forty. His second novel, The Misprint, will be published next year. He lives in London.
Having slept with a prostitute in Egypt, a young French novelist named Gustave Flaubert at last abandons sentimentality and begins to write. He influences the obscure French writer Édouard Dujardin, who is read by James Joyce on the train to Trieste, where he will teach English to the Italian novelist Italo Svevo. Back in Paris, Joyce asks Svevo to deliver a suitcase containing notes for Ulysses, a novel that will be viscerated by the expat Gertrude Stein, whose first published story is based on one by Flaubert.
 
This carousel of influence shows how translation and emigration lead to a new and true history of the novel. We devour novels in translation while believing that style does not translate. But the history of the novel is the history of style. The Delighted States attempts to solve this conundrum while mapping an imaginary country, a country of readers: the Delighted States.
 
This book is a provocation, a box of tricks; it is also an intelligent and original work from a young writer and translator.  Thirwell unravels the heredity of more than a dozen great works, showing what influenced literature that still influences today.
"The Delighted States shoves its delirious way around and through four centuries of great novelists, tumbles them down one trapdoor and hauls them out of another; it provokes as much as evokes . . . As he swirls together his international troupe of writers, along with a fine prodigality of portraits, anecdotes and quotations, Thirlwell argues and sometimes goads at a universal mutual connection and influence. That leads to the question of translation. Though he gives many examples of what is lost, he insists that even a mediocre translation will convey a writer's essence; his style, in other words. Style, he writes, citing Proust, is a matter of vision, not language . . . And then, as a reward to us and to pre-quirk Nabokov, he gives us his own translation of the short story 'Mademoiselle O,' first published in French in 1936, translated into English in 1943, then to Russian, then back to English . . . and revised continually by Nabokov, as if art were not simply long but alive and still growing. Thirlwell's version translates the unaltered original, and it is a treasure."Richard Eder, The New York Times

“Ostensibly devoted to the problem of literary translation, this provocative treatise rambles through the Western canon from Cervantes to Bellow, treating novelists less as subjects than as characters in a sprawling intercontinental epic. Thirlwell revels in the anecdotal (Italo Svevo studied English with James Joyce) and the serendipitous (the French word dada was invented as an equivalent for ‘hobby-horse, in ‘Tristram Shandy); presents indexes whose entries include ‘hamburgers and ‘squiggles; and lauds digression as the best means of capturing the ‘serious nothings of life. While acknowledging the difficulty of conveying the “perpetual giggle” of Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkins name in any language other than Gogols Russian, Thirlwell insists that translation is possible and, to that end, offers his own version of Nabokovs “Mademoiselle O,” evoking the storys trilingual origins in fittingly verdant prose.”The New Yorker

“That Mr. Thirlwell digresses from the standard university syllabus is another sign of his good sense: Overlooked worthies such as Witold Gombrowicz and Italo Svevo, who wrote mostly in obscurity, hear speak clearly, finally drawing level to their more recognized colleagues . . . The Delighted States truly raises questions that are vital to novelists and their readers; it will be hard for anyone with an interest in the subject to keep from defiling the margins with notes.”The Wall Street Journal

“Thirlwell has distilled the wisdom from what amounts to a lifetime of reading onto his pages . . . An expansive, unbound critic, Thirlwell makes a series of unexpected connections between writers of vastly divergent styles and eras.”The Boston Globe

“Thirlwell serves up a gumbo of choice gossip, boyish contradictions, and delicious quotes. So what if these novelists often had to read one anothers novels in translation? The gist came through clear enough to be appropriated.”John Leonard, Harpers Magazine

“However error-ridden and technically troubling a translation might bethe syntax clumsy, the vocabulary misleading, the dialogue woodentranslations have nonetheless managed, somehow, to convey their sources sufficiently for their originals survive, not to say thrive, far from home. That ‘somehowa compelling mysteryis explored in a fine new book by British writer Adam Thirlwell . . . What is most unusual about Thirlwells bookin addition to the quality of his bookshelfs contents, for the writers he chooses to discuss are, as a group, as excellent as they are unfashionably canonicalis the lightness of his formal approach. Typically, treatises on translation, especially the better onesgiven all the talk of ‘fidelity that the subject generateshave tended to the tendentious, while the worse onesgiven the inherent wonkiness that the subject entailstend to skew ponderous or pompous. Thirlwell manages to elude these expectations, while crafting a substantive and resolutely entertaining tour of the subject.”Wyatt Mason, Sentences (Harpers Magazine)

“A scintillating figure-of-eight skate around, inter alia, Flaubert, Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Gombrowicz and Nabokov, on the theme of style and translation, a one-off like a novel with everything cut but the digressions, and an interesting fact on every page.”Tom Stoppard, The Guardian

“A welcome engagement of unjustly marginalized issues . . . Entertaining to read all the way t

About the Author

Adam Thirlwell was born in 1978. His first novel, Politics, was translated into thirty languages. In 2003, he appeared on Granta's list of the best British novelists under forty. His second novel, The Misprint, will be published next year. He lives in London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374137229
Subtitle:
a Variety of Helpful Indexes
Author:
Thirlwell, Adam
Author:
Thirwell, Adam
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General
Subject:
Books & Reading
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
History and criticism
Subject:
Fiction -- History and criticism.
Subject:
Books
Subject:
Reading
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Translating & Interpreting
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20100330
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes black-and-white illustrations t
Pages:
592
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.30 in

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The Delighted States: A Book of Novels, Romances, & Their Unknown Translators, Containing Ten Languages, Set on Four Continents, & Accompani Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 592 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374137229 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his labyrinthine and surprisingly engrossing epic of literary influence and translation, Thirlwell (Politics) provides an idiosyncratic perspective on a wide range of authors and books, from Don Quixote to Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age by Bohumil Hrabal. A leading young British novelist, Thirlwell creates narrative enthusiasm and vividly drawn characters in a welcome departure from the academic approach to this kind of project. His technique is generally conversational rather than thesis driven, and his dips into notoriously tricky works like Ulysses and Tristram Shandy are characterized by impressively observed but plainly written close readings in the vein of the popular literary scholar Harold Bloom. One of Thirlwell's basic conceits is that style is inherently translatable, 'even if its translation is not perfect,' and he argues this earnestly and convincingly across eras and borders. Some of Thirlwell's arguments will undoubtedly cause debate among critics and readers, such as his defense of Constance Garnett, the original English translator of War and Peace, whose work has been criticized and possibly superseded by recent high-profile translators. However, Thirwell writes more as a reader than as an academic, and his passionate explications of writers from Flaubert to Nabokov is an absolute pleasure. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Thirlwell established himself as something of an enfant terrible with his first novel...and this book should enhance his reputation."
"Review" by , "Often overwrought and ostentatious — like a love letter, which of course it is."
"Review" by , "[Thirlwell] hyperventilates a bit, leaping around and making connections, but he has a good time, which is (ahem) always fun to watch."
"Synopsis" by , The Delighted States follows a carousel of literary influence that shows how translation and emigration lead to a new and true history of the novel. This book is a provocation, a box of tricks, a bedside travel book; it is also a work of startling intelligence and originality from a young writer.
"Synopsis" by ,

Praised by Tom Stoppard, A.S. Byatt, and critics in the U.S. and the U.K., Thirlwell assembles a playful compendium of anecdotes, photographs, illustrations, lists, indices, appendices, and more to show how even the most stylistically dense novels (of Flaubert, Joyce, Nabokov and others) can in fact always be translated. 

"Synopsis" by ,

Having slept with a prostitute in Egypt, Gustave Flaubert begins his first novel, Madame Bovary, which influences the minor French novelist Édouard Dujardin, whose novel is read by James Joyce, whose own novel Ulysses will move the Italian novelist Italo Sveno, and later Gertrude Stein, in radical ways. This carousel of influence shows how we devour novels in translation, while often believing that style does not translate. But the history of the novel is the history of style. The Delighted States attempts to solve this conundrum while mapping an imaginary country, a country of readers: The Delighted States.  As a companion, this book comes with a new translation into English of Vladimir Nabokov's "Mademoiselle O."

"Synopsis" by ,
Having slept with a prostitute in Egypt, a young French novelist named Gustave Flaubert at last abandons sentimentality and begins to write. He influences the obscure French writer Édouard Dujardin, who is read by James Joyce on the train to Trieste, where he will teach English to the Italian novelist Italo Svevo. Back in Paris, Joyce asks Svevo to deliver a suitcase containing notes for Ulysses, a novel that will be viscerated by the expat Gertrude Stein, whose first published story is based on one by Flaubert.
 
This carousel of influence shows how translation and emigration lead to a new and true history of the novel. We devour novels in translation while believing that style does not translate. But the history of the novel is the history of style. The Delighted States attempts to solve this conundrum while mapping an imaginary country, a country of readers: the Delighted States.
 
This book is a provocation, a box of tricks, a bedside travel book; it is also a work of startling intelligence and originality from one of our finest young writers.
Adam Thirlwell was born in 1978. His first novel, Politics, was translated into thirty languages. In 2003, he appeared on Grantas list of the best British novelists under forty. His second novel, The Misprint, will be published next year. He lives in London.
Having slept with a prostitute in Egypt, a young French novelist named Gustave Flaubert at last abandons sentimentality and begins to write. He influences the obscure French writer Édouard Dujardin, who is read by James Joyce on the train to Trieste, where he will teach English to the Italian novelist Italo Svevo. Back in Paris, Joyce asks Svevo to deliver a suitcase containing notes for Ulysses, a novel that will be viscerated by the expat Gertrude Stein, whose first published story is based on one by Flaubert.
 
This carousel of influence shows how translation and emigration lead to a new and true history of the novel. We devour novels in translation while believing that style does not translate. But the history of the novel is the history of style. The Delighted States attempts to solve this conundrum while mapping an imaginary country, a country of readers: the Delighted States.
 
This book is a provocation, a box of tricks; it is also an intelligent and original work from a young writer and translator.  Thirwell unravels the heredity of more than a dozen great works, showing what influenced literature that still influences today.
"The Delighted States shoves its delirious way around and through four centuries of great novelists, tumbles them down one trapdoor and hauls them out of another; it provokes as much as evokes . . . As he swirls together his international troupe of writers, along with a fine prodigality of portraits, anecdotes and quotations, Thirlwell argues and sometimes goads at a universal mutual connection and influence. That leads to the question of translation. Though he gives many examples of what is lost, he insists that even a mediocre translation will convey a writer's essence; his style, in other words. Style, he writes, citing Proust, is a matter of vision, not language . . . And then, as a reward to us and to pre-quirk Nabokov, he gives us his own translation of the short story 'Mademoiselle O,' first published in French in 1936, translated into English in 1943, then to Russian, then back to English . . . and revised continually by Nabokov, as if art were not simply long but alive and still growing. Thirlwell's version translates the unaltered original, and it is a treasure."Richard Eder, The New York Times

“Ostensibly devoted to the problem of literary translation, this provocative treatise rambles through the Western canon from Cervantes to Bellow, treating novelists less as subjects than as characters in a sprawling intercontinental epic. Thirlwell revels in the anecdotal (Italo Svevo studied English with James Joyce) and the serendipitous (the French word dada was invented as an equivalent for ‘hobby-horse, in ‘Tristram Shandy); presents indexes whose entries include ‘hamburgers and ‘squiggles; and lauds digression as the best means of capturing the ‘serious nothings of life. While acknowledging the difficulty of conveying the “perpetual giggle” of Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkins name in any language other than Gogols Russian, Thirlwell insists that translation is possible and, to that end, offers his own version of Nabokovs “Mademoiselle O,” evoking the storys trilingual origins in fittingly verdant prose.”The New Yorker

“That Mr. Thirlwell digresses from the standard university syllabus is another sign of his good sense: Overlooked worthies such as Witold Gombrowicz and Italo Svevo, who wrote mostly in obscurity, hear speak clearly, finally drawing level to their more recognized colleagues . . . The Delighted States truly raises questions that are vital to novelists and their readers; it will be hard for anyone with an interest in the subject to keep from defiling the margins with notes.”The Wall Street Journal

“Thirlwell has distilled the wisdom from what amounts to a lifetime of reading onto his pages . . . An expansive, unbound critic, Thirlwell makes a series of unexpected connections between writers of vastly divergent styles and eras.”The Boston Globe

“Thirlwell serves up a gumbo of choice gossip, boyish contradictions, and delicious quotes. So what if these novelists often had to read one anothers novels in translation? The gist came through clear enough to be appropriated.”John Leonard, Harpers Magazine

“However error-ridden and technically troubling a translation might bethe syntax clumsy, the vocabulary misleading, the dialogue woodentranslations have nonetheless managed, somehow, to convey their sources sufficiently for their originals survive, not to say thrive, far from home. That ‘somehowa compelling mysteryis explored in a fine new book by British writer Adam Thirlwell . . . What is most unusual about Thirlwells bookin addition to the quality of his bookshelfs contents, for the writers he chooses to discuss are, as a group, as excellent as they are unfashionably canonicalis the lightness of his formal approach. Typically, treatises on translation, especially the better onesgiven all the talk of ‘fidelity that the subject generateshave tended to the tendentious, while the worse onesgiven the inherent wonkiness that the subject entailstend to skew ponderous or pompous. Thirlwell manages to elude these expectations, while crafting a substantive and resolutely entertaining tour of the subject.”Wyatt Mason, Sentences (Harpers Magazine)

“A scintillating figure-of-eight skate around, inter alia, Flaubert, Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Gombrowicz and Nabokov, on the theme of style and translation, a one-off like a novel with everything cut but the digressions, and an interesting fact on every page.”Tom Stoppard, The Guardian

“A welcome engagement of unjustly marginalized issues . . . Entertaining to read all the way t

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