Category Archives: Reviews

Bastard Battle by Céline Minard

Céline Minard’s novel is written in a brilliant pastiche of Middle French speckled with amusing anachronisms. She has drawn inspiration from Jean Froissart’s Chronicles as well as Villon’s poems and Rabelais’ satirical pentalogy. The other major source of influence lies in … Continue reading

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Finisterra: Landscape and Settlement (Finisterra: Paisagem e Povoamento) by Carlos de Oliveira

Carlos de Oliveira’s brief novel is a thing of exceptional, exquisite beauty. It’s one of the rare cases when the expression “to paint with words” is not just a glib figure of speech, but the only possible way to characterise … Continue reading

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Guest Post: Matthias Friedrich on Karin Moe’s 39 Whirlwinds: The Immeasurable Wanderings of Louise Labé the Younger & Other Specula (39 fyk: Louise Labé den yngres ustyrtelige vandringar & andre spekulum)

This is a novel, a hybrid, a text collage, a poem, which disappeared nearly immediately when it was published. Øystein Rottem, who wrote a small paragraph about it in his Norwegian post-war literary history (1998), stated that it was “a … Continue reading

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Games of Eternity (Giochi dell’eternità) by Antonio Moresco

                                    The trilogy consists of the following novels: The Beginnings (Gli esordi), Songs of Chaos (Canti del caos), and The Uncreated Ones (Gli increati). … Continue reading

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Dedicated to Piranesi (Посвящается Пиранези) by Joseph Brodsky

A while ago, my tweet about the Joseph Brodsky poem apparently recounting the conversation between the too tiny figures at the bottom of Piranesi’s famous etching provoked lively interest among my literary-minded followers. Apart from the highly original premise of … Continue reading

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The Secret Year (Тайный год) by Mikhail Gigolashvili

It wasn’t Sergey Eizenstein’s bombastic epic Ivan the Terrible that Mikhail Gigolashvili had at the back of his mind when writing The Secret Year, but, as he mentioned in an interview, Alexei German’s infernal fresco Hard to be a God. … Continue reading

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Guest Post: Luís Miguel Rosa on Dom Tanas de Barbatanas by Tomaz de Figueiredo

Dom Tanas de Barbatanas is a weird novel even by the standards of the Portuguese fiction of its time. When it arrived in bookstores in 1962, Portugal was already awash in the literary experimentalism that electrified a big chunk of … Continue reading

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Guest Post: Matthias Friedrich on En Australiareise (A Voyage to Australia) by Svein Jarvoll

Not long ago, I wrote a brief post about the Norwegian writer Thure Erik Lund and his mind-boggling tetralogy Myrbråtenfortellingene. As you might already know, most of English-speaking readers first learnt about Lund from his mega-popular compatriot Karl Ove Knausgård. I have recently … Continue reading

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The Harmonious Forest (O Bosque Harmonioso) by Augusto Abelaira

licobodiscivacacotopelinamgdevogradivenliptordugalsentu rfgalipntocsersagalmutpvar No, this is not some tongue-twisting onomatopoeic coinage from Finnegans Wake. As a matter of fact, in the language of  a certain tribe inhabiting the interior of Java Island, this word is habitually used  as the coordinate conjunction … Continue reading

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Solenoid (Solenoide, Solenoid) by Mircea Cărtărescu

I have read Mircea Cărtărescu’s latest novel in Marian Ochoa de Eribe’s Spanish translation, which was kindly   provided for this review by the publishing house   Impedimenta. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that there will be an English translation any time soon – indirect evidence of that is … Continue reading

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