The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories

The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories Not writing is always a relief and sometimes a pleasure Writing about what cannot be written by contrast is the devil s own job In this unusual text a blend of essay fiction and literary genealog

  • Title: The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories
  • Author: Ivan Vladislavić Sunandini Banerjee
  • ISBN: 9780857420121
  • Page: 155
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Not writing is always a relief and sometimes a pleasure Writing about what cannot be written, by contrast, is the devil s own job In this unusual text, a blend of essay, fiction, and literary genealogy, South African novelist Ivan Vladislavic explores the problems and potentials of the fictions he could not bring himself to write Drawing from his notebooks of the past Not writing is always a relief and sometimes a pleasure Writing about what cannot be written, by contrast, is the devil s own job In this unusual text, a blend of essay, fiction, and literary genealogy, South African novelist Ivan Vladislavic explores the problems and potentials of the fictions he could not bring himself to write Drawing from his notebooks of the past twenty years, Vladislavic records here a range of ideas for stories unsettled accounts, he calls them, or case studies of failure and examines where they came from and why they eluded him In the process, he reveals some of the principles that matter to him as a writer, and pays tribute to the writers such as Walser, Perec, Sterne, and DeLillo who have been important to him as both a reader and an author At the heart of the text, like a brightly lit room in a field of debris, stands Vladislavic s Loss Library itself, the shelves laden with books that have never been written On the page, Vladislavic tells us, every loss may yet be recovered An extraordinary book about both the nature of novels and the process of writing, The Loss Library will appeal to anyone seeking to understand the almost magical and mythical experience of breathing life into a new work of fiction Praise for Vladislavic In the tradition of Elias Canetti, a tour de force of the imagination Andr Brink The prose is stunning It gives the impression of the words and the phrases having been caught from the inside as though the author lives on the other side of language, where every word is strange and dancing, and the way they are put together produces complicated patterned exchanges like minuets Tony Morphet

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      Published :2018-07-12T12:17:55+00:00

    1 thought on “The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories”

    1. At every author reading, invariably somebody asks where inspiration comes from, which is an interesting question more to see the author’s reaction (ranging anywhere from humorous contempt to frustrated anger. I’ve heard stories of people like David Foster Wallace chastising the asker and walking off the stage) than to hear any sort of answer. It’s considered by many to be to be an impossible answer, and perhaps most authors are satisfied to be authors without having to be neurologists as w [...]

    2. I suspect this might be the most post-modern book I have read. It claims to be a collection of unfinished stories with explanatory essays for each, but I'm pretty sure it's a novella whose protagonist is Ivan Vladislavic. Basically, it's a writer writing about not writing, while demonstrating such proficiency that the premise (that Vladislavic did not or could not finish the stories) becomes unsupportable. This is a book that unwrites itself. Worth it for any story, the Robert Walser piece espec [...]

    3. Ivan Vladislavic's collection of unfinished stories is at first interesting as a novelty item - some essays that reflect on unfinished stories in a unique way. But upon reading through these rich essays, the novelty fades away and it becomes clear that Vladislavic had grander intentions in mind when he composed this book. Composition is indeed an apt term for Vladislavic's musings, for they are not merely essays which describe a process. They are rather a collection of prose, pieces interspersed [...]

    4. In recent weeks I have reviewed a couple of books by Jacques Poulin which celebrate the written word, both novels having the protagonist as a writer or translator and working in a remote location, struggling with writer’s block or simply coming to terms with the written word. I have also reviewed “Dear Reader” by Paul Fournel, lamenting the death of publishing and the interference of editors. Another being “The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet Federico Garcia Lorca Ascends to Hell” by Carl [...]

    5. - I want to write a story about the last days of a writer, but I am preoccupied with hats. . . . Of all the things people wear, nothing is more expressive of character than a hat, perhaps because it is so close to the wearer's face, or even to his mind. This dead man's hat is small, light and jaunty, with an impish tilt in the brim. It makes the random ending of his life seem more outrageous. - - In the end, real people are nearly harder to like than fictional characters. Is it fair to weave fic [...]

    6. What do writers do with their unfinished stories, novels and essays?This extraordinary collection of stories by South African novelist Ivan Vladuskavic is an exploration of unsettled accounts of writing; stories begun and abandoned and others that ultimately ended life as a line or two in a notebook. There are eleven in all of what the author calls case studies taken from his notebooks of the past 20 years. Along the way he pays homage to other writers such as Walser, Perec, Sterne, and DeLillo. [...]

    7. Probably 4.5, but to hell. Contextually (smug smiles all around) I read this thing right after racing through Sjón's dark and lovely 'Blue Fox' and 'The Whispering Muse,' so was carrying a fair amount of momentum which Vladislavic failed to trip up; it's the kind of text you can buy into, and commit to, fairly easily. Smoothness doesn't mean facile-ness; the thoughts go down easily, but they're good, and reasoned, and could be mulled over indefinitely. Intertexts all over the place, which means [...]

    8. A beguiling series of lost and near-begun stories, fictions, pieces of life. Vladislavic is as ever effortless in his creation of striking images and catching tales, and as ever honest with his own sense of pride and self-effacement. Stand out stories include the nearly-fledged "The Loss Library", the wonderfully whimsical tale of inadvertent creation "Mouse Drawing", and the whimsically melancholic "Dictionary Birds". As Vladislavic and other reviewers have noted, these fragments work better in [...]

    9. What fun. Stories about lost stories, grouped around a story about a library of lost books. I enjoyed them a great deal and then even more when I stopped taking them at face value. Wouldn't it be delightful if the premise were all a deceit? If Vladislavic hadn't ever started his abandoned fragments but made these up too, and wrote stories around them? I think I half-believed that by the end, when the final piece echoed the first in its description of a photograph of a dead body.All accompanied b [...]

    10. Ron Slate's written a good article on The Loss Library "The Loss Library is a beautifully made book. Illustrations by Sunandini Bannerjee are tipped into the opening pages of chapters – their distortions, suggestions and incompletions complement the author’s intent and style. There is a sly slightness to the book, an airiness that inspires wonder about the elusive narratives all around us."The Loss Library is published by the University of Chicago Press and by Umuzi, Randomstruik in South Af [...]

    11. This is definitely a booknerd's book. When I told someone what it was "about," they asked, "How do you even publish something like that?!"Regardless of the answer, I'm happy someone did. This book feels like being in a modern art museum where half-formed Kurosawan dreams about literary compulsion and bibliophilia line the walls. I didn't really understand the intention of the book until it was over and my rating likely reflects the continual uncertainty that accompanied my read of this book. I r [...]

    12. Beautifully presented, this unassuming little book contains wry observations and great wisdom about the mysterious process of literary inspiration and the ways it can get lost or waylaid. Vladislavić is a gifted writer and to spend time with him in this relaxed format is great gift. For my detailed review, please see: wp/p4GDHM-kc

    13. stories about stories that were not written, stories of failed attempts that are failing and yet succeeding.

    14. the only complete story in the book, "the loss library" is a masterpiece.a very good book of the writer discussing his unfinished work and inspirations behind them.

    15. All of us who write have been through this, it's a well-worn path. So an entire book dedicated to musing about fiction you could not bring yourself to write is, well boring.

    16. Incredible. Loved it, loved it, loved it. A book that is as much about the process of writing as it is about the lost stories. Now really want to read his book/story The Book Lover.

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