jueves, 30 de abril de 2015

I Have Nothing but Contempt for You

I'll say it one more time--"out loud" as it were: I HAVE NOTHING BUT CONTEMPT FOR YOU, YOU FUCKING BLOGGERS!!!  No new reviews.  No histrionic wringing of hands about the lackluster translation rates of foreign language lit making it into English.  Not even one of those alliterative memes that some of y'all super earnest types are so dang fond of.  Instead, all I have--all and nothing but, in fact--is contempt (a/k/a Contempt) in the form of a group read of the 1954 Alberto Moravia novel  [original title: Il disprezzo] being held over Memorial Day weekend, May 23rd thru May 25th, in conjunction with the lovely Frances of the legendary Nonsuch Book and the growing number of other non-contemptible types listed below.  Ignore that horrible NYRB Classics cover if you can (presumably generic clip art lifted from some high school yearbook editor's forgotten bottom desk drawer) and concentrate instead on the potential antisocial pleasures to be had in reading a slim 250-page novel of which no less an unassailable authority than the blurb-writer for the back cover of the NYRB edition has enthusiastically opined: "Molteni is one of the great appalling characters of twentieth century fiction."  So are you an innie or an outie?

In
Out
Everybody Else

38 comentarios:

  1. I'm in! I've been considering this book for a couple of months now. And I actually like the NYRB cover and am willing to overlook the introduction by Tim Parks!

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    1. Scott, delighted to add you to the non-contemptible list even though your appreciation for that eyesore of a cover makes me think you maybe ought to lay off the magic mushrooms for a day or two! What's his face's introduction barely lasts four pages, by the way, so it should be relatively easy to overlook indeed. Anyway, thanks for joining the party.

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    2. The cover reminds me of that old movie "Forbidden Planet." Which is cool. And has nothing to do with an examination of how we fall out of love.

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    3. Forbidden Planet, eh? OK, I stand corrected about your enthusiasm for the cover being aesthetic rather than pharmacological then! One of the reasons I dislike the cover, though, is that it reminds me not of vintage sci-fi but of a fatheaded version of those Mr. Clean commercials that evidently traumatized me when I was a young whippersnapper. Cheers!

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  2. Ah, I have to take a pass, but I'll be following it. I've always wanted to read Moravia, but his other novel, The Conformist (it's such an amazing movie). I'll probably read it in Italian, though, one day, when I run out of Sciascia :)

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    1. Following the group read earns you a free pass from falling into the contemptible bloggers category, Miguel, esp. since Il conformista is the Moravia novel I had initially proposed and most wanted to read before finding out that my co-host Frances had already read it. Care to read that one with me next month instead? Whatever your decision, be sure to check out Séamus from Vapour Trails' review of Bertolucci's The Conformist at http://theknockingshop.blogspot.com/2012/05/conformist.html. A fine film (and review from Séamus) for sure!

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    2. Ah, sorry, Richard but I can't. I've got so much on my plate right now I can't commit myself to anything.

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    3. No worries, Miguel, and best of luck with your non-blog writing & revising this year!

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  3. Con-tempting. But there's no physical copy in sight. And though I have access to ebook, I don't relish reading it in that format.

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    1. "Con-tempting," I could have used that earlier. And I can appreciate your preference for the physical book to the e-book, Rise; my Kindle Paperwhite's fine and all, but I suspect the main reason to have it is to be able to buy a César Aira "book" for ten dollars or less that might cost me thirty dollars or more if I could even find it in a U.S. bookstore. Economics rather than format/medium, in other words.

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  4. I'll have to pass on this one, Richard, as I'm committed to reading from my TBR for the next few months. (Funnily enough, I have Moravia's Agostino, but not Contempt!) I will, however, follow the reviews with interest. :)

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    1. Jacqui, reading from one's TBR is a noble goal that I personally am only able to endure under feelings of duress and deprivation. I salute your willpower, though, and hence will offer you a free get out of jail card similar to Miguel's (and Rise's and Mel's). If you're not already booked up for May, though, please consider reading Moravia's Agostino as an alternate selection in place of Contempt. I'm sure the others would enjoying hearing about that as much as I would as part of the Moraviafest. Cheers!

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    2. Thank you. I'll elevate Moravia's Agostino, then (it was nearing the top of the pile anyway). Not sure when I'll be able to post my review though as I'm hopelessly behind with write-ups and May is looking a little uncertain on the home front. Will let you know. :)

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    3. The pleasure's all mine, and no worries about Moravia posting deadlines or anything like that. Hope you enjoy Agostino and have as stress-free a May as possible!

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  5. I am readIng Moravia's Conformity now. If everyone among the in crowd of sheep following the leaders book bloggers join in, then unless I am fighting Boredom or have a weekend set up with A Woman of Rome I will try to join in.

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    1. I'm not sure that there are any real "leaders" among the book blogging "in crowd," Mel, which is fine considering that everybody should probably be his/her own leader instead. Of course, the irony of the situation is that there sure do seem to be plenty of sheep! Anyway, glad to hear that you're reading a Moravia right now and have other titles by him lined up in the queue; for me, one of the really nice surprises about the group read announcements here and over at Frances' blog has been seeing how many people are interested in reading Moravia or are already fans of his (based on the dearth of reviews of his works on the book blogs I frequent, I had assumed he was more of an overlooked author among book bloggers than actually appears to be the case).

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  6. So, so glad to read with you again, Richard. I've just posted this on Dolce Bellezza, and I can't wait to read your insights as we progress together. Or, as I finish with an exhausted breath at the end of May. xo

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    1. Likewise, Bellezza, and thanks for mentioning the group read on your blog. I've been thinking about dialing back my blogging obligations these days, but it's always nice to read interesting books in the company of interesting others--glad you will give Moravia a go with the gang despite your already busy May. Cheers!

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  7. Every time I think of dialing back, which is more often than I care to admit, a great opportunity like this comes along. For which I thank you.

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    1. You're very welcome, of course, but I must redirect any/all thanks to Frances (the brains of the operation) for suggesting the idea of a new group read in the first place (I only assisted in helping select a title). Glad you consider it "a great opportunity," though!

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  8. Well, well. That is quite the post, Richard. Keep it up when we chat about the book and maybe also like the old days, you can merit some emails of outrage from the "established" set. Glad to re-read The Conformist with you next month if that happens too. I'll end here so you can get back to pissing people off.

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    1. I was really only trying to tap into the spirit of the title and seize the moment, Frances, esp. since our easily-offended, unicorn poster-loving friends apparently stopped dropping by to have their overly-fragile emo egos bruised here a long time ago. Still, I guess it's no secret that the molten lava of my churlishness has to spew out of the volcano every once in a while anyway. In other words, a timely coincidence! Am planning on giving The Conformist a go in Italian sometime this month whether Miguel decides to read along or not, so your company for that (even if comments-only) would be appreciated should you still have the time. Due to my lack of proficiency in reading Italian, I'll have even less of an idea than usual on when I'll be able to finish the novel. Thanks again for suggesting a shared read--you and Moravia would have been motivation enough, but I've been happy to see how much quality company Contempt has brought out of the woodwork!

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    2. (laughing) I bet you secretly love unicorns and your discomfort with admitting that affection, held so deep within your heart, has led to this lashing out at the poster owners.

      Brave of you to read in Italian. I'm going to give it a try in English. Also picked up a copy of Boredom.

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    3. A nice theory, but no, Dr. Frances: I have different complexes. :D

      We'll see how brave I am when it takes me zillions of hours longer to read Il conformista in Italian than it would have in English. Quaking with manly fear already. Boredom and Contempt, by the way? Good for you, but who's lashing out at the bloggers now?!?

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  9. Bellezza's post lead me here, I will be happy to read Moravia's novel together with you, so please count me in :) Ally@ SnowFeathers

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    1. Great to have your Moravia-loving company here, Ally, and I appreciate you mentioning the group read on your blog. Hope getting reacquainted with the novelist is just as rewarding for you as it was back in your college days. Cheers!

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  10. There sure seems to be a lot of contempt for that NYRB cover, so somebody clearly knows how to match cover art to a title!

    Looking forward to this.

    (And "nothing but Contempt" from you? I don't think so…).

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    1. Scott, clearly the NYRB cover selecter had contempt for just about everybody other than your namesake from six words for a hat. I'll stop kvetching about the Russian Moby/John Malkovich-lookalike on the cover one of these years, but it sure would have been nice if that cover could have sported something like the snazzy Antal Szerb Journey by Moonlight artwork instead. I mean, good luck picking up any artsy chicks with this book in hand! Very glad you'll be joining us, of course, esp. since you'll be lending us Italophile street cred with all your Italian readings this year. A presto!

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  11. Having spent twenty minutes trying to locate my (unread) copy only to find it much nearer to hand than I thought, I guess I'll have to read it now!

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    1. Great to have you join us, Grant! Thanks for your recent retweet of the group read announcement as well. Cheers!

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  12. Late to the show, but if you think that cover is bad, check out mine.

    Also, I can't believe no one has mentioned the classic Godard movie made from the book!

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    1. Steve, I much prefer that cheesy cover of yours--even with the unfortunate alternate title!--to the dull NYRB one. Care to trade? Frances mentioned the Godard film in the announcement of the group read over at her blog, and I think a few of us will be watching that and maybe other Moravia adaptations during the course of the month (I like Godard for the most part, but this movie will be new to me). Cheers!

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  13. I am tempted by the write up but having two unread Moravia's on my shelf, coupled with a total inability to read and/or write with any kind of fluency at the moment, I'll give it a miss.
    However, one of the books that I do have is The Conformist, and, you having mentioned my review of the movie, I thought I might join in that reading... but not in Italian, if that's ok. Otherwise you'll have to wait for me to learn Italian, and we are all mortal. Now I'm off to check up what I said about the movie. I might also try the Godard movie, but don't hold your breath unless you're happy with long term oxygen deprivation.

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    1. Séamus, glad to have you join me/us for The Conformist and rest assured that I may resort to the English translation if I keep putting off the Italian version in favor of nights at the local pub (hard to read in any language after that kind of night!). I, too, am suffering from a shortage of attention for reading and writing endeavors these days, so I appreciate your Moravia company for the unofficial double bill part of the group read. Cheers!

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  14. Here's a post I did on the movie back in 2003, in case it might whet anyone's appetite, and here's a nice feminist appreciation of the film and Bardot (who rarely gets enough credit). And my god, it's worth seeing just for the house!

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    1. The house is magnificent. Another great view of it can be had in Liliana Cavani's fantastic screen adaptation of La Pelle (The Skin) by the home's builder, novelist/journalist Curzio Malaparte.

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    2. Steve, thanks so much for those links--will be by to take a look at them before too long. You and Scott have certainly whet my appetite re: the house!

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    3. I'd forgotten that you'd mentioned the house elsewhere, Scott, so now I'm doubly curious. Also think it's going to be hard postponing Malaparte for too much longer since you and Miguel and a couple of others have been so enthusiastic in your appreciations of the guy!

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