Elena Ferrante - The Neapolitan Novels

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Halfway through volume two (of three, although wiki is saying a fourth volume will be available in Italian by next year!!) and they are great.

Really a lot of praise seems to have been heaped upon vol.1 (My Brilliant Friend), but have there been any articles talking about what an achievement this appears to be? Maybe everyone is so busy w/Knausgaard or something..

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 5 October 2014 20:45 (six years ago) link

I am curious but have never gotten around to read her. Still haven't gotten to Knausgaard either.

But am here to say: Good luck and Godspeed, you single author non-rolling thread!

You Better Go Ahn (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 October 2014 20:55 (six years ago) link

- ok so now I started with this, compared to Knausgaard and in terms of writing this is purely conventional. The first chapter gives 'the ending', so I expect when this does end at whatever volume it will have that circular structure.
- Similarly I've been spending time w/Doris Lessing so the various pains and resentments and costs that come w/women having children -- because of what it doesn't allow women to pursue if they want to explore whatever there is to life (and the cost of the flipside of that -- to choose not to have them -- seems to be talked about not only in this trilogy but also in her other, smaller, works, only one of which I've read, but its a clear preoccupation).
- Love that almost nothing is known about Ferrante (if -- a big IF -- she is a man as it has been claimed then forget Knausgaard or anybody in the history of literature because no man can surely write with this level of sensitivity about women; maybe they could, but I'll stop from speculating as to what the requirements for that might be) because you wonder how much she knows from experience of her circle or what. The stuff on the working class -- this whole series is about the lives of two girls who start of as best friends, one of whom seems to escape her fate by education, another who is smarter but cannot make it as she is in the process of being ground down -- the creative and destructive energies in Lila, the resentment provoked by education or lack of...I mean, a lot of that has been dramatized in yer kitchen sink dramas, but I can't remember the last time I've seen it so skillfully interwoven. I think its also too humble to be all epic like despite it having soap operatic elements.
- So an example of that skill for me -- and why I choose to get this into a thread -- is the level of quarreling in this family. Its a sheer hell, but very sober, its what they do and how they work through their day-to-day problems, but it doesn't allow Lila the time to think and escape, or explore her creative energies. At first I thought this is too much repetition, but actually on the bus on the way home just now I thought actually we need to feel some of that pain.
- but then escape to what? Elena (also the name of the narrator) seems to be working her way to becoming an academic, and I don't need to go on about what a fantastic thing that is...they are 17 or so at the moment so there is a while to go for that.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 5 October 2014 21:10 (six years ago) link

xp

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 5 October 2014 21:11 (six years ago) link

Bought a copy of Days of Abandonment when I thought I was going to read all the Europa Editions, but never got round. If you are going to the trouble to start a thread maybe I will download an esample of My Brilliant Friend, which ebook is actually pretty cheap since it is the first in the series.

You Better Go Ahn (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 October 2014 21:37 (six years ago) link

Ppl I know who are reading brill friend love it. My analysis of it thus far is that it's such a stupid title

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Sunday, 5 October 2014 21:50 (six years ago) link

Agreed. But maybe something got lost in the translation? *ducks*

You Better Go Ahn (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 October 2014 22:02 (six years ago) link

i read these recently but they didnt really leave me with much except a bad mood and feeling of not really measuring up

≖_≖ (Lamp), Sunday, 5 October 2014 22:16 (six years ago) link

i read them around the same time i read 'native son' and so theyre linked in my memory they share this claustrophobic dissatisfaction that seemed total - 'my brilliant friend' just chokes everything else slowly

≖_≖ (Lamp), Sunday, 5 October 2014 22:20 (six years ago) link

Really well put Lamp - just feel this is a *positive* in my book. Very hard to create that totality.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 6 October 2014 08:44 (six years ago) link

Not sure I'll read the third volume just yet. Might want to read this with the 4th volume.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 6 October 2014 08:48 (six years ago) link

three weeks pass...

(I have vol 3 on order from my library, can't wait)

re: that link. All I can say is: ILB ahead of the curve again.

So I liked this piece although I don't know about that Kafka comparison. Almost any novel with multiple four-dimensional expressions of self-disgust goes back to Kafka.

I wonder how it compares to those old De Beauvoir novels. I read a couple a long, long time ago and they didn't register with me. Probably because it wasn't the right age to be reading them, although my impression was that the voice was fairly pedestrian, but I'll need to read them.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 1 November 2014 11:00 (six years ago) link

Couple of other things: I love how certain figures in Italian cultural history make an appearance in this. I mean it could be some of the 'weaker' scenes the piece talks about, like the talk w/Pasolini Lila and Nino try to go to. Sorta roughly thrown in but its so amusing to see.

I think its perfectly reasonable to think that Lila could've been a pop star. She is v punkoid. She (as conceived by Elena) is a hurricane of creative energy. She disrupts, says no, rebels, never forgets, you can physically beat her (although if you aren't careful she could knife you) but she'll pick herself up and try again. I don't believe this trilogy is 'an evolution' in her work. I have read a few of Ferrante's other books and the voice and authority and themes were fully formed (I can believe she probably was in her late 30s early 40s or older when she started writing) from pretty much day one. But in this series she is finding another framework, and it really is in the creation of Lila that she is finding that something extra and why these novels may endure.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 1 November 2014 11:18 (six years ago) link

Guardian article was quite convincing.

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 November 2014 12:21 (six years ago) link

So far, I've liked all quotes from and descriptions of her novels. Where should we of slender means start, keeping in mind it might be just the one book for a while?

dow, Saturday, 1 November 2014 21:47 (six years ago) link

I just paid $2.99 for the ebook of the first one, My Brilliant Friend. Read about 1/6, so far so good. Reminding me, in its cool, hardheaded appraising intelligence of Enfance, by Nathalie Sarraute.

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 November 2014 21:49 (six years ago) link

Seem to also recall enjoying another one of those Europa Editions featuring the same translator, but can't remember exactly which.

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 November 2014 22:05 (six years ago) link

This one: http://www.europaeditions.com/book.php?Id=36

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 November 2014 22:07 (six years ago) link

Also, her page over there says:
http://www.europaeditions.com/author.php?Id=17

She received a PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award and was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome. She is currently editing the complete works of Primo Levi, for which she received a Guggenheim Translation fellowship.

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 November 2014 22:12 (six years ago) link

Reached Adolescence last night. Loved the part about studying for the Latin test,to pick only one thing.

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 2 November 2014 13:29 (six years ago) link

If I find paper copy of Days of Abandonment I can mail it to you, don.

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 2 November 2014 21:46 (six years ago) link

Thanks! But I think I should start w My Brilliant Friend, based on descriptions. 'Bout to order it

dow, Sunday, 2 November 2014 22:00 (six years ago) link

...thus continuing under the banner with a soup-stained device: "One book by everybody."

dow, Sunday, 2 November 2014 22:06 (six years ago) link

lol.

About 2/3 of the way through that one now.

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 2 November 2014 22:13 (six years ago) link

After I'm done with this, wondering if I should start on the second one or finally get around to Knausgård.

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 2 November 2014 23:05 (six years ago) link

Above placed here for future reference, skimmed the beginning very briefly.

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 3 November 2014 00:36 (six years ago) link

Wow. Didn't see it coming. On to the next one, I guess.

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 3 November 2014 03:00 (six years ago) link

99p on kindle at the moment.

woof, Monday, 3 November 2014 11:46 (six years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Friend of mine is on the third one. Says she wants to go to Naples to eat, same as Camilleri made her want to go to Sicily. Me, I still have to make some headway into the second one.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 17:19 (six years ago) link

NYRB also gets busy on it.

The fourth book in the Naples series has just appeared in Italian and is scheduled to be published in English in November 2015

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 2 December 2014 19:52 (six years ago) link

Wow, not going to read until I finish because spoilers.

Cutset Creator (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 2 December 2014 20:18 (six years ago) link

Finished the third book last night. Now to wait a year to read the last of these. Roll on Nov '15.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 15 December 2014 12:04 (five years ago) link

About 1/2 way through My Brilliant Friend, to where they (especially Lila) dance the new thing, the rock and roll, and there's a huge confrontation among the guys and all the girls defer bloody denouement by bursting into tears---even Lila does this, and even the narrator has ever seen her do this, so maybe even more huge. Love this:
I think its perfectly reasonable to think that Lila could've been a pop star. She is v punkoid. She (as conceived by Elena) is a hurricane of creative energy. She disrupts, says no, rebels, never forgets, you can physically beat her (although if you aren't careful she could knife you) but she'll pick herself up and try again. I don't believe this trilogy is 'an evolution' in her work. I have read a few of Ferrante's other books and the voice and authority and themes were fully formed (I can believe she probably was in her late 30s early 40s or older when she started writing) from pretty much day one. But in this series she is finding another framework, and it really is in the creation of Lila that she is finding that something extra and why these novels may endure.

― xyzzzz__, Saturday, November 1, 2014 6:18 AM (1 month ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
Also, re "something extra," note the tough probing realism also leads to Lila's mention of her panicky visions of people places things (esp. the first) losing their borders, and her impressions of the street while flying out of the window via her father, and the narrator's own description of the waves, when first seeing the sea (via her own father, the one day they ever spent together, and free of their neighborhood selves' emotional stew).

dow, Monday, 15 December 2014 17:13 (five years ago) link

"even the narrator has NEVER seen her do this," of course.

dow, Monday, 15 December 2014 17:14 (five years ago) link

and the narrator's own description of the waves, when first seeing the sea

Yes I loved that scene. The NYRB review mentions it too.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 16 December 2014 00:21 (five years ago) link

Making my way through Elsa Morante's Arturo's Island. Its a similarly brutal book. Can see what Ferrante took from her.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 28 December 2014 21:30 (five years ago) link

Mentions her in the Q&A - which is great.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7f1c9ed4-4269-11e4-9818-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3NEM0bdQA

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 28 December 2014 21:34 (five years ago) link

Struck by neither girl knowing about 30s-40s Italian history 'til Pasquale denounces Don Achille, and then is made to explain his terms---the girls are 12 then, I think, which would be 1956. Their official schooling includes Greek and Latin, and some ancient history, but nothing at all recent, it seems. (There are just a couple of hazy references in passing, to somebody older having been killed in an air raid, a kid who touched an unexploded bomb...) I was reminded of this when reading last weekend's WSJ book reviews, incl. quotes from The Third Tower, about visiting Fascist Italy, "an aesthete's paradise, " but also "The newspapers appear not to be written by journalists, but by celestial angels...a dying man's vision of heaven." This Never-Never Land leaves behind the shaky Now which the girls' older relatives and neighbors try to live in, as much as possible. A few people have tried to go forward, to expand their businesses, mainly, but mostly it hasn't worked out, so far. Even punky, too-smart-for-her-own-good Lila actually wants to stay in the neighborhood, to make it safer...but once she and the narrator learn to read and express themselves (to themselves, as well as others)in Italian, not just dialect, look out.

dow, Sunday, 28 December 2014 22:34 (five years ago) link

There is another passing mention, of a name learned in school, Comandante or Commandante Somebody, who seems to be or to have been in charge of Naples or Italy (not Mussolini, but still with a military title)--again, just kind of a vestige.

dow, Sunday, 28 December 2014 22:53 (five years ago) link

i read days of abandonment this spring and it was one of the best things i've ever read. this sounds dumb but it made me feel really strong emotions, just spending a week living every thought shudder and curse of a dejected wife and mother's lonely walks and paranoid screeds. the scene with the dog at the end is a masterpiece of building tension, almost unbearable at times, but i stayed up until like 4 am that night. i remember it as a sweaty, queasy, and unmistakably italian novel. bummed to hear that people aren't feeling this trilogy, but if it is anything like knausgaard then maybe it's nothing like abandonment because that book is the complete opposite of knaus

flopson, Monday, 5 January 2015 03:21 (five years ago) link

Think most everybody on this thread enjoys the trilogy, and I'm looking fwd to Days

dow, Monday, 5 January 2015 05:12 (five years ago) link

And everything else by her

dow, Monday, 5 January 2015 05:12 (five years ago) link

sick. you're gonna love days, dow

flopson, Monday, 5 January 2015 16:07 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

Even punky, too-smart-for-her-own good Lila actually wants to stay in the neighborhood, to make it safer...but once she and the narrator learn to read and express themselves (to themselves, as well as others) in Italian, not just dialect, look out Code-switch sparks already flying upward in first chapters of The Story of a New Name: even the title might be referring to this in one sense, switching from ref to fateful married-lady name. Lenu tries to say something conciliatory to her boyfriend, but it comes out in that there fancy-ass Italian, more salt in his wounds! While Lila spits the ghetto pepper at just the wrong moment, to just the wrong person----don't want to drop any spoilers--will note that her silence can be a problem too, and Lenu maybe for the first time specifically articulates something at least implied in the first volume: "The photographer had been fortunate. I felt that he had caught the force that Stefano had talked about; it was a force---I seemed to grasp---against which not even Lila could prevail."(Though obv. in some sense she does prevail. since the whole series begins, is provoked by, her 66-year-old punkoid acting out). Also, contemporary politics are just starting to get closer to young adults' POV, via possible or supposedly possible business deals.

dow, Friday, 6 February 2015 19:09 (five years ago) link

Also, the Truth, via dirty dialect, can be too much, too lucid and too lurid to let yourself believe. Ditto even just the plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face truth, in basic Italian or dialect: to the right person at the right moment, "You're just like your father"is an elephant tranquilizer.

dow, Tuesday, 10 February 2015 23:36 (five years ago) link

I really 'preciate the fact that the author isn't playing any coy shell games re an Unreliable Narrator: right from the beginning of the first book, we know that she is recalling events filtered through decades, generations really, gradually reeling in the years, avoiding tangles with all the mad skills and gifts that she and Lina were born with and to, inextricably---the webs are deep enough, without any tangles. She's also (in case Lila's really finally pushed luck and everything else too far this time) recreating life in words vs. death---incl. "reducing it to words," as she describes Lila's own writing at one point, recreating violent crimes from newspapers, as a way of setting her own, then-currently plausible fears and speculations down in manageable containers. And/or revving herself up for whatever might be required to get Lila out of a jam one more time, or at least wrap her brain around it (figure that's the subject of the final volume, the English title of which will be The Story of The Lost Child, I think).
Also, she drawing on long-ago memorized pages from Lila's own notebooks, plus conversations with their other friends from childhood, whose further entanglements with L. developed while the narrator wasn't present. The differences/attachements between Lila, as the rest of the neighborhood calls her, and Lila, the side of her named that by the narrator alone. get more and more dynamic (aside from the very brought married name). And of course the narrator (who forthrightly acknowledges that her own voice as a writer always has notes of Lila is )named Elena, same as the pen name of the author, who seems to be cultivating, harvesting her own Lila-ness, the truth-bringing outsider, probably far beyond the career of the in-book Elena/Lenu. but we'll see(maybe schoolteaching, b-plus writer Elena Greco gets a creative breakthrough/bust-out best seller from her memoirs and the real Lila shows up again, and the narrator diligently inspects her for "you owe me" vibes)

dow, Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:14 (five years ago) link

very *fraught* married name, that is.

dow, Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:16 (five years ago) link

Also, speaking of suitable containers, and challenges, can see how wrangling 60s computers, another bit mentioned at the beginning of the series, will prove worthy, at least for a while: looks like Lila's punk spirit will go proto-cyberpunk, even got the grunge city surroundings of 80s per-se cyberpunk (although I can't help remembering "We would say study even when reading a science fiction novel"---zing, ouch! Have mercy, ladies)

dow, Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:24 (five years ago) link

As much of a poet/critic/translator.

There has been a lot of interesting fiction - and translations of older fiction - published in the last few years the LRB have not bothered with. Instead they are happily indulging the likes of Amis and McEwan. Yes I know they are bad reviews (I've read the odd one), but why publish at all? That goes for Kundera's last book - its an entertaining review (Hoffmann again) but its such a slight nothing of a book to bother with in the first place. They have no economic considerations to consider so what is this all about?

The NYRB are giving much coverage to the election...given that there is an election on! But there have been one or two pieces discussing the relationship between Hilary and feminism, given the data showing younger women were seemingly casting their votes toward Sanders in the primary season. They constantly provide commentary on women's issues. Its no more or less than class or Wall Street, but the editorial team should be wholly aware of all those issues when that article by this tabloid reporter dropped in and they didn't bat an eyelid. They cover it!

There is a rhetorical aspect to the gender element at play, but given what's happened its fine.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 19 October 2016 18:20 (four years ago) link

"AT ALL" upthread was a bit overstated, yes -- but this^^^is my problem w/lanchester

― mark s, Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:20 (nine hours ago) Permalink

so your friend who is a banker confirms your suspicion that he is not good because he explains things you already know..? (lol). also, who is his father? someone important in finance? can't find anything googling

flopson, Wednesday, 19 October 2016 18:25 (four years ago) link

someone on the thread i linked to said they skimmed an interview with JL in which he said his dad was a banker -- that's all the lead i have, it may be nonsense, he may be self-taught

no my friend confirmed that he over-explains the easy stuff and skips past the tricky stuff

basically if someone is not bothering to explore or explain the bits i think need explaining then i stop reading them -- i agree this is not the same as "knowing nothing" but for my purposes it is the same as "not knowing enough", since the bits i need to learn about are the bits not yet being explained properly

i could go back and reread whoops! and report to you exactly what those are but it seems a bit pointless, as you're happy with what you're getting (and seem to be making heavy enough weather of my post)

mark s, Wednesday, 19 October 2016 18:36 (four years ago) link

All good, mate. just thought maybe there was some good dirt on Lanch i didn't know about, and was curious is all. ftr I like him because he is a good elucidator of the simple yet tricky to the uninitiated basics of finance (even though I studied this stuff & should be among the initiated)

flopson, Wednesday, 19 October 2016 19:03 (four years ago) link

All good, mate
Are we talking about Cortázar on this thread too?

Sketches by T-Boz (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 19 October 2016 23:16 (four years ago) link

re: Lanchester. I probably need Economics explained that way. The problem with the pieces is that it still feels abstract, the need for education in this stuff has never felt greater and Lanchester never feels like its bridging the gap.

I quite like to take economics classes. I know certain branches of Momentum were doing some. Delivery of an understanding of how this stuff works (or when it doesn't and why) sounds like a good battleground. Lanchester is just not in that conversation.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 21 October 2016 08:40 (four years ago) link

yeah sorry flopson, i was in a foul temper on wed eve and that was leaking out sideways a bit

mark s, Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00 (four years ago) link

FYI Ha-Joon Chang's 'Economics - A User's Guide' is a much better primer in that vein than anything by Lanchester.

no my friend confirmed that he over-explains the easy stuff and skips past the tricky stuff

This is OTM.

Matt DC, Friday, 21 October 2016 09:47 (four years ago) link

What would you consider some of the tricky stuff he evades? Most recent Lanch I read was the Bitcoin one and it was great

flopson, Friday, 21 October 2016 14:38 (four years ago) link

i have NO idea what you guys are talking about on here now. though you did inadvertently make me go listen to miami bass on youtube the other day:

"I started Whoops! but (again)*..."

scott seward, Friday, 21 October 2016 16:14 (four years ago) link

Finished. No more will I see the figures I have come to know walking along the stradone and think to myself: "what the hell is a stradone anyway?"

quis gropes ipsos gropiuses? (ledge), Wednesday, 2 November 2016 09:14 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

i too am finished and now i'm at a loss. anyone got any good articles about the novels to recommend?

I like Dayna Tortorici's overview of Ferrante's fiction; there's also Ferrante's Paris Review interview.

one way street, Friday, 16 December 2016 16:36 (three years ago) link

The second half of the final book feels as long as the rest of them put together. I'm still enjoying it, I've just slowed waaay down after flying through everything else.

sam jax sax jam (Jordan), Friday, 16 December 2016 18:01 (three years ago) link

How words build up in these incredible inedible edifices, then collapse, and some people start over, some just endure, maybe stash some of the pieces. Also the shuddering implosions and aftershocks of Mid-20th Century, and later, especially in Italy, if only because that's where the characters are born and bred, but also it makes a great example. The narrator Elena/Lenu is maybe afraid of falling into the void within her edifice, her facade, so she's always drawn to, and afraid of Lina/Lila, the magnetic control freak who sees the void in all things, sometimes cynically, sometimes freaking right the fuck out---so much uncertainty---though no doubt the narrator sets herself up for the punchline.

dow, Saturday, 17 December 2016 05:10 (three years ago) link

Not saying either of them is right or wrong to feel the way they do (although the narrator also invites our sympathy, and her great frenemy is a badass babe even as a crone). It makes sense, when you know where they're coming from.

dow, Saturday, 17 December 2016 05:14 (three years ago) link

Then again, for example, do we have to have an actual literal earthquake in there, even at that point? I mean of course it has consequences and shit, but oh well getting apoilery I guess but who among you are really surprised it's in there, even if you haven't gotten that far. I'll shut up now though.

dow, Saturday, 17 December 2016 05:20 (three years ago) link

But Lina/Lila really does try, in her way, to be free, and live life, and deals the only way she can see---kinda cracking my heart some more, thinking about it again without wanting to---damn, girl!

dow, Saturday, 17 December 2016 05:28 (three years ago) link

(On AMC by the end of the decade, I bet, and that may be the best way to experience it.)

dow, Saturday, 17 December 2016 05:29 (three years ago) link

three months pass...

btw just found a series of podcasts: Radio Ferrante

Might check one or two.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 10 April 2017 21:26 (three years ago) link

seven months pass...
one month passes...

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jan/18/elena-ferrante-to-become-guardian-weekends-new-columnist

Not sure this is a good idea - Ferrante is someone that (as she says) needs privacy and space ("remove oneself from all forms of social pressure or obligation"). Not sure how turning out pieces on deadline fits into that. Hope I'm wrong.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 20 January 2018 18:51 (two years ago) link

bought my mom Days of Abandonment for xmas and she loved it

flopson, Saturday, 20 January 2018 23:51 (two years ago) link

seven months pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntoN-sDFvZc

abcfsk, Friday, 31 August 2018 06:31 (two years ago) link

I've just started listening to MBF on Audible. Too early to really tell whether it's my thing or not.

Scritti Vanilli - The Word Girl You Know It's True (dog latin), Friday, 31 August 2018 09:51 (two years ago) link

I did smile at the scene with the dolls. Give it a go once its out on DVD

xyzzzz__, Friday, 31 August 2018 10:32 (two years ago) link

Weird! I just started the second book.

The Silky Veils of Alfred (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 31 August 2018 11:01 (two years ago) link

Every so often I half bake a theory about how Lena and Lenu are actually the same person, the narrator vocalising different halves of their personality, or Lena writing Lenu as the life she would like to have had, but I don't want to read the books again or go too far down that rabbit hole for fear of ruining these amazing characters for myself.

Matt DC, Friday, 31 August 2018 11:15 (two years ago) link

For real though the second half of the fourth book feels super rushed and would have worked better as a fifth novel in its entirety.

Matt DC, Friday, 31 August 2018 11:16 (two years ago) link

Wondering if the audiobook narrator puts on a comedy italian accent for every mention of the stradone.

Winner of the 2018 Great British Bae *cough* (ledge), Friday, 31 August 2018 11:45 (two years ago) link

why film this

||||||||, Saturday, 1 September 2018 07:19 (two years ago) link

They're popular books, that's why

I've gone back and forth on it, personally, but do I often get 'prestige TV' producers putting big money and talent behind a story about two poor smart girls in Naples growing up dealing with their intellects? No, so I'll take the change of pace even as it'll obviously not represent the book experience

abcfsk, Saturday, 1 September 2018 08:05 (two years ago) link

Why not film? Not only is it popular but you can film it. One of her earlier books has already been made into an Italian film.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 1 September 2018 12:16 (two years ago) link

finished vol 1, sure everyone's already gone over the various ways it's great but she really does such an incredible job of conveying the social logic that underpins the community

devvvine, Thursday, 6 September 2018 22:11 (two years ago) link

xp. def seems like something that could be a prestige cable show

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 6 September 2018 22:42 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Mildly annoying how the suthor seeks to 'connect' to Ferrante in the interview - that aside its pretty good.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/magazine/elena-ferrante-hbo-my-brilliant-friend.html

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 1 November 2018 17:02 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

Having not read the novels (yet): this series is, at times, absolutely mesmerizing en wholly captivating. The four actresses playing both the kids Lena/Lila and teenagers Lena/Lila are so natural and display just the right amount of mystery/ambiguity. They're directed masterfully. Been quite a while since I saw such an engrossing show. Can't wait to dig in the novels.

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:04 (one year ago) link

six months pass...

Her Guardian columns, now being collected in book form, are surprisingly feeble.

one month passes...

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god - new Ferrante novel will be published in Italian on 7 November. I am going to faint. https://t.co/TZvMLiI6Qi

— Barbara H. (@behalla63) September 9, 2019

xyzzzz__, Monday, 9 September 2019 11:49 (one year ago) link

Publisher tweeted the beginning:

It begins like this. #ElenaFerrante #NewNovel Translated by Ann Goldstein. pic.twitter.com/wHoNW5yBB2

— Europa Editions (@EuropaEditions) September 9, 2019

dow, Tuesday, 10 September 2019 00:23 (one year ago) link

Europa Editions
@EuropaEditions
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6h
We don't yet have a title or English publication date.

dow, Tuesday, 10 September 2019 00:28 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

We now have all of that and more (news):
https://www.elle.com/culture/books/a29609124/elena-ferrante-the-lying-life-of-adults-announcement/

dow, Thursday, 31 October 2019 17:29 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/01/03/elena-ferrantes-form-and-unform/

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 14:15 (ten months ago) link

right on: It’s an intriguing thought experiment to consider the difference between this long work, L’amica geniale, and the short novel that Lenù produces at the end of volume 4, simply titled Un’amicizia (“A Friendship”). That book, whose publication revives Lenù’s literary celebrity, proves the end of Lila and Lenù’s relationship. Lenù speculates about what makes Lila turn away from her when it comes out, but none of her guesses seem to strike at the implicit truth, visible to Ferrante’s readers if not her narrator. It is perhaps the novella’s static precision and taut shapeliness, so unlike L’amica geniale’s long, ungainly battle between form and unform—between, in Lila’s paraphrased words, “telling things just as they happened, in teeming chaos” and “work[ing] from imagination, inventing a thread”—that makes it such a dishonest and inauthentic betrayal of the truth of their lives, both together and apart.

Then again, we can only guess, as Lenu does, because Ferrante doesn't include the text of the short novel, just a few of the narrator's brief summaries, flashlight passes. But yes, this is the great tension to be sought, as precision, however (necessarily?) static to some degree, and omg taut shapeliness gimme more, 'til time for more unform.

dow, Thursday, 9 January 2020 05:06 (ten months ago) link

“work[ing] from imagination, inventing a thread” which of course is part of what Ferrante does, ditto both friends, in their own ways.

dow, Thursday, 9 January 2020 05:08 (ten months ago) link

three months pass...

Finished Troubling Love (1995) (her first book) and happy to report that the style, themes, rhythms were all there from the beginning.

I do think Ferrante's pre-quartet novels are a species of writing in itself that that deserve a mapping out. Short, intense, sharply unreliable ways to talk about trauma and abuse in families that take it away from the documentary. Thinking of Marie Darrieussecq's My Phatom Husband (1998) and The Helios Disaster (2015) by Linda Knausgard. Previous generations were perhaps using half-blank historical events to bake these themes in: Cassandra by Christa Wolf (1983) and Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian (1951). Maybeee...if anyone knows more like it then please recommend.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 15 April 2020 21:09 (seven months ago) link

one month passes...

This June 9, Ferrante’s international publishers will gather to discuss the art of translation, Ferrante’s work, the worldwide success of her Neapolitan quartet, and the author’s new novel, The Lying Life of Adults, coming September 1, 2020. The conversation will include a multilingual, transnational reading from the new book, and a panel conversation with celebrity Ferrante fans. It will conclude with an audience Q&A.

Elena Ferrante’s “star translator” Ann Goldstein will be joined by novelist, biographer, and short-story writer Roxana Robinson (Sparta, Cost), author and academic Merve Emre (The Ferrante Letters), comparative literature professor and Ferrante scholar Tiziana de Rogatis (Elena Ferrante’s Key Words), author and Guardian columnist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett (The Tyranny of Lost Things), and others.

Preorder The Lying Life of Adults at Bookshop.org.

You are invited to join thousands of fellow readers from around the world at this unique celebration. It is happening online, on a laptop computer or smart phone near you, in our virtual #PiazzaFerrante.
Register above.

If you enjoyed Europa’s #OurBrilliantFriends After Dinner Book Club and Watch Party series, you will love this international celebration of translation and reading.

Registration for this event is free, but please consider making a minimum donation of $5 when you register.

All proceeds will benefit the PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund, a long-standing and recently expanded fund intended to assist fiction and non-fiction authors, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, translators, and journalists who are unable to meet an acute financial need—especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
More info:
https://us3.campaign-archive.com/?u=24b74ea1f8a82219b78215f23&id=a11255d396&e=14ba70a7b5

dow, Sunday, 31 May 2020 18:44 (six months ago) link

Update today:


Dear Friends,

A private funeral service for George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25th, has been scheduled for June 9th in Houston.

Given the circumstances of Floyd’s death and the subsequent widespread reactions, June 9th will undoubtedly be a day more suited to reflection than to celebration.

For these reasons, we have made the decision to reschedule the #OurBrilliantFriends event. The event will now be held on Tuesday, June 23rd, at the same time.

You will not need to register again. You will receive a reminder email about this event closer to June 23rd, and an email with details on how to join shortly before the event starts.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your support.

Best wishes,
Europa Editions

dow, Thursday, 4 June 2020 20:54 (six months ago) link

two weeks pass...
one month passes...

New novel is nearly here:

"Ferrante’s fiction reminds us that sometimes you need someone else to help gather the scattered fragments of your existence. A writer is a friend who can [give] you the beginning and end you need—if not in life, then in fiction." @TheAtlantichttps://t.co/xOFaDts1kL

— Europa Editions (@EuropaEditions) August 10, 2020

xyzzzz__, Monday, 10 August 2020 22:24 (three months ago) link


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