Blindly by Claudio Magris

blindly Claudio Magris

Blindly by Claudio Magris

Italian fiction

Orginial title Alla cieca

Translator – Anne Milano Appel

source – library

Well sometimes you wander your local library just hoping for inspiration and that next great read to jump out and into your hand ,well I was actually looking for a couple of great Japanese novels when I came accross Blindly ,I saw it was one from the Margellos World Republic of letters book  ,which is a collection of books  from Yale that are designed to bring poets writer and voice from around the world to the English readers attention ,a few  that I had my eye on for a while so I thought give it a whirl and so pleased I did .Anyway Claudio Magris is an Italian scholar ,writer and translator ,he studied German lit at University and has been well-known for promoting Central European  culture in Italy .Blindly is his sixth book .

SO THEN , you want to know if my names is Tore .I see there a lot of you asking me that .Do I know what online means ? – aye-aye captain is still the language of the seas and even the Argo ,as  you decided to call this contraption , just to be funny is the name of the ship

Tore is a patient or is he and wasn’t the Argo Jason ship ?

Well now to blindly ,what is it ? well it’s a novel about a man in a  mental hospital called Tore  ! no , it’s not its a book about a man in a Yugoslavian prison island ,no its about a Jorgen Jorgenson a king of Iceland ! no .Well actually it is about all of the above this book is a wonderful mix of a mad man telling his story about his life ,then drifts into the King of Iceland in and around Hobart and the new colonies down under as they are beginning .A man who travelled to help Tito post world war two and set up the New Yugoslavia  but ends up on this prison island .The sea and build new kingdoms whether in central Europe or on the edge of the known world in 18th century Australia .

The Alexander rounds Cape Horn in October .The horizon very near , closer and closer .A wall of water advances and surges over our heads ,a single colossal wave curved like a vaulted arch close in behind the ship ; thunderous bursts shatter that  horizon raising columns of foam that crash into the sky

Sailing to Australia via the Cape

Well that’s it partly in a nutshell Magris prose are that drifting sort ,I was reminded at times of Seblad ,the way he flowed from one storyline to another also the sense of place and history of places like Sebald did so well . I was also  heavily remind of another Italian writer Diego Marini ,the fact the narrator of this book could be one or could be three  or two people ,we aren’t sure who is telling the story or even what is true and what is false of the history we are being told .Did remind me partly of the narrators in the two  Marini novels I have read that like this one get caught not knowing who they are ,but also caught between worlds .What we also see is the tales folding in on one another and the fact that in all the narratives we see the need for a safe world .Complex themes are touched on politics ,utopian dreams ,madness ,sanity .Well I will be trying more in this series of books  ,I have read two so far the first being Diary by Gombrowicz

Have you read any books from the Margellos world republic series ?

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brian Joseph
    Dec 16, 2013 @ 11:32:50

    I tend to really like sprawling, crazy narratives with unreliable narratives that go all over the place. Thanks for the great review!

    Reply

  2. Heather
    Dec 16, 2013 @ 17:29:13

    this sounds like a most worthy collection. I have visited and book marked their site for the future. Thanks for introducing me to this Press.

    Reply

  3. acommonreaderuk
    Dec 21, 2013 @ 22:55:43

    A remarkable book Stu – you make me want to read it.

    Please forgive my neglect of your blog in recent months. I’ve been doing other things this year but hope to return to book reviewing next year. In the meantime I wish you a very happy Christmas.

    Reply

  4. whisperinggums
    Dec 23, 2013 @ 06:50:32

    Sounds intriguing Stu. I have read Marani and Sebald, but not this or any books in from that press. You description of the style appeals to me.

    Reply

  5. Trackback: The Corpse washer by Sinan Antoon | Winstonsdad's Blog
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