Zenosbooks

(03/15/2015) Why I Have Not Written Any Of My Books by Marcel Benabou. Lincoln. 1996. University Of Nebraska Press. Translated from the French by David Kornacker. 111 pages. hardcover. 0803212399

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

0803212399   Marcel Benabou is quick to acknowledge that his own difficulty in writing has had plenty of company. But the frustrations and pleasures can still be felt privately. Words stick and syntax is stubborn, meaning slips and synonyms cluster. A blank page taunts and a full one accuses. Benabou knows the heroic joy of depriving critics of victims, the kindness of sparing publishers decisions, and the public charity of leaving more room in bookstore displays. At once the budding of an author and the withering of the authoritative, Why I Have Not Written Any of My Books polishes the varnish of self-conscious writing until it peels away. It provides both a respectful litany of writers' fears and a dismissal of the alibis offered to excuse them.

 

 Marcel Bénabou is a scholar of Roman history, a novelist, and, since 1970, the Definitively Provisional Secretary of the Oulipo. His first and latest books are Résistance africaine à la romanisation (1976) and Ecrire sur Tamara (2002). Three of his novels have been published in English by the University of Nebraska Press: Why I Have Not Written Any of My Books (1996), Dump This Book While You Still Can! (2001), and, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, Jacob, Menahem, and Mimoun: A Family Epic (1998).

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 


Search

Zeno's Picks

Neglectedbooks.com

The Neglected Books Page

23 April 2019

www.NeglectedBooks.com: Where forgotten books are remembered
  • Opium Fogs, by Rosemary Tonks (1963)

    Though Rosemary Tonks’ Emir includes Opium Fogs in its “by the same author” list and not vice-versa, it’s a safe bet that Opium Fogs was written second. On all counts — particularly form, style, and characterization — it’s the more successful book. What’s more, throughout the book there are signs of material from Emir being... Read

    ...
  • Emir, by Rosemary Tonks (1963)

    Rosemary Tonks’ first two novels, Emir and Opium Fogs were published within weeks of each other and TLS and other papers reviewed them together, so it’s hard to be sure which one was written first. But my bet is on Emir. If Opium Fogs is never less than eccentric, it is at least a finished... Read more

    The post ...

  • Two Lost Novels

    I love to page through old issues of The Saturday Review, the TLS, and other book reviews of the past for the advertisements as much as for the reviews. Browsing through old copies of the TLS online recently, I noticed the following in the lower left corner of a full-page Hutchinson’s ad from 7 September... Read more

    The post Two

    ...
  • The Signpost, by E. Arnot Robertson (1943)

    Macmillan splashed this ad for E. Arnot Robertson’s novel, The Signpost across the top half of page 13 on the New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review, consuming paper that British publishers struggling with wartime shortages would have coveted. A Book of the Month Club selection, The Signpost was expected to have good sales based... Read more

    The post ...

  • Marriage, Widowhood and After: Three Poems by Dorothy Livesay

    Wedlock Flesh binds us, makes us one And yet in each alone I hear the battle of the bone: A thousand ancestors have won. And we, so joined in flesh Are prisoned yet As soul alone must thresh In body’s net; And our two souls so left Achieve no unity: We are each one bereft... Read more

    The post ...

  • No Goodness in the Worm, by Gay Taylor (1930)

    I’ve been interested in reading No Goodness in the Worm ever since I read A Prison, A Paradise, the memoir in which Gay Taylor, writing under the pseudonym of Loran Hurnscot (compiled from what she saw as her two worst sins, sloth and rancour), recalled her obsession and affair with A. E. Coppard and the... Read more

    The post ...

  • Letters Home, arranged and edited by Mina Curtiss (1944)

    I knew Mina Curtiss’s name as the collector and editor of the letters of Marcel Proust. Curtiss wrote of her experiences in tracking down Proust’s letters in her 1978 memoir, Other People’s Letters (which is, unfortunately, out of print again). But I was surprised to learn that during World War Two, she collected letters written... Read

    ...
  • As It Was in the Beginning, by G. E. Trevelyan (1934)

    The anonymous TLS reviewer described G. E. Trevelyan’s third novel, As It Was in the Beginning (1934) as “almost unreadable in its intensity.” Thumbing through the book after getting it in the mail last month, I could see that was an apt assessment, and somewhat dreaded the level of attention I would have to devote... Read more

    The post ...

  • Angry Man’s Tale, by Peter de Polnay (1939)

    At a time when many first-time novelists bemourn publishers’ reluctance to back their works with advertisement, Alfred A. Knopf’s half-page ad for Peter de Polnay’s Angry Man’s Tale (1939) stands as righteous refutation. Look at that headline (perhaps not the best choice of font, Mr. Knopf): “Not the book of the year. Not even the... Read

    ...
  • “On the Floor” and the Mystery of Joan Jukes

    “But when I open the door I find someone has moved my chair.” Some hold that a proper short story should start midstream. Joan Jukes’ 1935 story, “On the Floor,” takes this advice to the extreme. Where are we? What was happening before he/she opened the door? Who is this narrator? The reader can only... Read more

    The post ...

Copyright © 2019 Zenosbooks. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.