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I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Mário de Sá-Carneiro: The Ambiguity of a Suicide by Giuseppe Cafiero and share a guest piece written about Mário de Sá-Carneiro.

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The apparent suicide in 1916 of the writer Mário de Sá-Carneiro causes his friend, the poet Fernando Pessoa, great distress. Pessoa feels compelled to trace Sá-Carneiro’s final movements, to understand what could have caused him to lose all hope.
Exploring byways of the imagination and ambiguity with the investigator David Mondine and Dr. Abílio Fernandes Quaresma, solver of enigmas, the three men decide to uncover the conclusive certainties which led Mário to poison himself.
These suicide investigators travel to Lisbon – Mário’s birthplace – and to Paris, talking to strangers and friends who might shed light on the poet’s mysterious and sudden decline. As the city wrestles with the grief and tumult of war, the men hold court at the cafes and bistros Mário would have frequented. Their witty, enigmatic and sometimes obscure conversations illuminate the friendship between Mário and Fernando Pessoa, their poetry and their literary ambitions, revealing the tragic end of one of the founders of Portuguese modernism.

 

You can buy a copy of Mário de Sá-Carneiro: The Ambiguity of a Suicide via Amazon


Guest Post:

Mário de Sá-Carneiro with his chronic oddities. Mário who went about Paris in melancholy and shy solitude. Mário who believed it necessary to inflict heartache upon himself to atone for his dark irreverences. Mário who played the part of a fashionable anti-conformist. Mário who was so self-absorbed that he seemed to live in a constant dreamlike delirium. Mário who seemed to want to be surrounded by an atmosphere of non-involvement and thus to enjoy his disquietude. Mário who was afraid to retrace his steps because nothing could ever be the same as before. Mário who wallowed in his contemplative ecstasy because the rest was extraneous to him. Mário who complacently felt that he did not belong to any city or country. Mário who was extremely concerned about the dark sensations of his instinct. Mário who considered his mind able to create an inappropriate reality disturbing to the society he was compelled to endure. Mário who complained of a nostalgia which, in truth, he did not feel because no nostalgia could satisfy him. Mário who wasted time in remembrances that responded to memories recovered from a reality experienced in a distorted manner and never loved. Mário who wished to construct a world in his own image and likeness, even though an innate discontent forced him to presume that there could never be a world in his image and likeness. Mário who was tirelessly seeking a fictitious gratification of his intimate desires which seemed to him impossible on account of that kind of apathy in which he delighted in living. Mário who seemed to have a poor ability to reflect realistically about himself and his fantasies because he was a simple dreamer who did not wish to realize any dream. Mário who exhibited, according to many who knew him, a strong affective deficit and a smug reluctance to establish cordial friendships. Mário who seemed to feel the irrepressible desire to influence the world, to be a protagonist as a poet and playwright. Mário who had a true servile propensity for Pessoa, for which he was ready to satisfy any request or desire merely to please him.

 

My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Authoright for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

Check out the other stops on the blog tour:

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I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for “Gustave Flaubert: The Ambiguity of Imagination” and share with you a brilliant piece written by the author about the inspiration behind the novel.

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What would happen if a character, even if only roughly sketched in the mind of a writer, decided to take on a life independent of his creator in order to take revenge against all the other characters that this author had created in his other books?

This is what happens to the legendary writer Gustave Flaubert, when his character Harel-Bey comes to life with a grudge to bear. Even the imaginary characters of books that Monsieur Flaubert has never actually written, but had long pondered and discussed with his most intimate friends, begin to stir with their own motivations.

Quite unexpectedly, Harel-Bey begins a long and difficult journey through the writings of Monsieur Flaubert to try to understand the reasons that induced the writer to write so many books and stories, but never the one that would have had him as leading protagonist. As a vengeful killer, Harel-Bey is determined to murder all of the protagonists of the books and stories Flaubert has written.

In the company of a certain Monsieur Bouvard, himself the star of another book which Flaubert had started but never finished, Harel-Bey seeks his revenge. There’s will be a mission rich in disturbing discoveries, revealing the reasons and the irrationalities of fictionalised reality and unreal fiction.

You can buy a copy of “Gustave Flaubert: The Ambiguity of Imagination” in the UK here and in the US here

About the Author:

Giuseppe Cafiero is a prolific writer of plays and fiction who has has produced numerous programs for the Italian-Swiss Radio, Radio Della Svizzera Italiana, and Slovenia’s Radio Capodistria. The author of ten published works focusing on cultural giants from Vincent Van Gogh to Edgar Allan Poe, Cafiero lives in Italy, in the Tuscan countryside.

Website: http://giuseppecafiero.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/giuseppe.scrittore


THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE NOVEL

Flaubert is a unique writer, sublime in his stylistic perfection. Flaubert is a writer so perfect, so infallibly perfect that he aroused in me the necessity to investigate him more closely. An exploration of him in his entirety was necessary, which involved his life but also – something very important – the characters he created.

An arduous but rewarding journey because Flaubert, over and above my literary game, remains unrivalled in the creation of a myriad of planned and created characters whom he then left to continue living their own lives.

Therefore, I found it very stimulating to write a story that involved the characters of Flaubert’s books, making them live a fascinating tale that arose from Flaubert’s unintentional carelessness on the evening of 29 March 1862 when, while conversing with his friends the De Goncourt brothers in their elegant salon at 43 rue Saint-Georges, he reported his intention to write a novel about the East. A novel that was to have as its protagonist an Arab named Harel Bey.

From there the inspiration for my book, in which it was necessary to use a literary form that would allow me to create such a story involving real characters and unreal characters. In addition to Harel Bey, the protagonists had to be Monsieur Bouvard and Monsieur Pécuchet, protagonists of a famous novel penned by Flaubert, as well as Flaubert’s niece Caroline Commanville, his former lover Madame Louise Colet and his close friend Monsieur Maxime Du Camp. Characters who necessarily begin to argue among themselves, reproaching each other for ignoble sins, brazen acts of spite and awkward secrets among disconcerting gossip and an intricate game of prevarications.

Returning to the evening of 29 March 1862 at the home of the De Goncourt brothers, Flaubert had unwittingly given life to a character, he had outlined his facial features, the characteristics of his life, his way of being; in short, he had made him live only then to abandon him to a fate without fate because he would never write a novel with Harel Bey as its protagonist.

Yet Harel Bey, at the very moment in which Flaubert hinted of his existence, had virtually come to life with his own human experiences, with his own existence, even if fictitious.

Harel Bey was born, therefore, in the salon of the De Goncourt brothers on 29 March 1862.

Slowly but inexorably Harel Bey became for me an obsessive presence that began to haunt me, to enervate me, to cohabit with me, because I had sensed the drama of this character created and abandoned with impunity. Hence it was necessary that I seek a solution in order to be able to truly give life to him, since his creator, Monsieur Gustave Flaubert, had lost interest in his fate immediately after giving birth to him, albeit merely in the literary world.

Moreover, if one wished to write about Flaubert, who better than this character could know Flaubert, the man who had created him and then abandoned him within his memory? Thus a showdown was necessary. A showdown between Harel Bey and Flaubert. A showdown that also involved others of Flaubert’s characters, because each of them knew the secrets of the others. Secrets that were mentionable or unmentionable, real or false.

Therefore, what great intrigue could I come up with, rendering Harel Bey alive and making him conduct an intricate game of vendettas and fictitious realities, to become almost a dark avenger and to meddle in the life and works of Gustave Flaubert, his putative father?

Thus began a literary “divertissement” between truth and untruth in a sort of literary ambiguity and inventive veracity. Hence each narrative passage becomes false reality and real falsehood, which should engage the reader who is, in the end, the only true protagonist able to solve this narrative enigma. It is necessary then that the reader have the desire and the will to solve the enigma in order to satisfy his curiosity and thus to know the end of the story, assuming that he wishes to know the end and assuming that there is a real end. It is important that, in this way, it is the reader himself who to grants Harel Bey a new life and allows him to become, exclusively for the reader, a real character.

It was also necessary to follow a path rich in lexical nuances by means of different languages: dialogue and correspondence. Thus not only written words but also the representation of physicality consisting of breaths, of timbres, of vibrations, of noises. Almost a phonetic music which had to pass through the narrative, amplifying it and modifying it as necessary, determining the boundaries between the characters and the images that had to be sought to give life to a story that had, in spite of everything, Monsieur Gustave Flaubert as its protagonist.


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for reviews, extracts and guest posts by the author.

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