A different sea by Claudio Magris

A different Sea by Claudio Magris

Italian fiction

Original title – Un altro mare

Translator – M.S.Spurr

Source – Library copy

Claudio Magris in yesterdays list of Nobel hopefuls, earlier in the summer. I read this short novella by him. But have waited till now to review it. Claudio Magris has won many prizes with his books like the Stega for his book Danube. Which I hope to bring to the blog at some point. He has also won some prizes for the body of his works like the Prince of Asturias and Franz Kafka. 
In those brief, still days, Enrico had seen the threads of his destiny, had seen the coins of his life thrown up high  and glitter for a moment as they turned over in the air. When Argia was not on the beach she was indoors playing the piano, Playing Beethoven for Carlo she revealed the abyss that comes between the individual and his destiny; she annulled time and with it the misery and transcience of life, and she demonstrated the tragic joy to be gained by living only for the moment.
This piece shows how Enrico lived his life, like his friend had said .
 
This book follows Enrico, a young Greek man, in the early part of the twentieth century. He is good friends with the Italian Philosopher Carlo Michelstaedter. A man who passed away to young. But his philosophy was about living in the moment by living in the moment is how a man can set him free. There is a third friend, Nico whom Enrico keeps in contact with over time. We Follow Enrico after his friend died. He sets forth to try and live in the moment By setting off to Patagonia. The life there where he lives with his Greek books and the idea of his friend. He spends over a decade working herding animals. Whilst he reading as he escaped National service by escaping to South American. He then returns to Trieste and the Istria coast. In those inter-war years, as we see through his eyes. The political landscape  of the time in that region and also what living in the moment can make on one’s life. 
After all , he left the country to avoid military service, and he is fed up with hearing about the Great War. What do they expect of him, sitting there at their desks? Let them learn the aorist tense: that is already enough
In patagonia he kept in his pocket both the Odyssey and the Agamemnon edited with commentary in Latin by Simon Karsten. But a discourse on the fate of the sons of Atreus, or on the suffering of Electra- Carlo liked her best of all – would be out of place in front of these boys.
I was remind of my step grandfather who carried Dickens in his pocket all his working life .
 
This is a sparse novella, that shows how to follow an idea of what happens. When one chooses to live in the present as Carlos had chosen to do so. It is a wonderful insight into the lone life on the Pampas as he searches for a life free of Social falsehoods. The search for who we are set off by the early death of a friend and also wanting to act out on his ideas of Michelstaedter. A man I knew very  little of her is an interesting piece about him here.I liked this novella it left  me thinking of what life is about and also the world they lived in which when Enrico returns is one that is in flux as the clouds of the following years are seen through the world of Istira and Trieste.
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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 ?

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