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Love Today: Stories (Anglais) Broché – 9 juin 2009

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"The course of true love is bumpy indeed for the couples in Love Today (Simon & Schuster), Maxim Biller's first story collection to be translated into English. Set mainly in Germany and the Czech Republic, with side trips to Tel Aviv, France, and New York, these wry, elliptical narratives chart the passions and the discontents of men and women who vanish from each other's lives and reappear without notice, and whom Biller often catches at the moment of confronting the mystery of what keeps them together, or what has driven them apart. In "Seven Attempts at Loving," after a long separation childhood sweethearts meet by accident at a tram stop in Prague; in "Baghdad at Seven-Thirty," a man and his much younger girlfriend watch war news coverage in a bar, straining for a glimpse of the man's American soldier son, about to be deployed to Kuwait; and in "The Architect," an artist named Splash and his Lebanese lover distract themselves from their problems by spying on a neighbor. Deceptively transparent, Biller's brief, gossamer fictions may remind you of narrative poems in their ability to simultaneously elude and haunt you." -- Francine Prose, O Magazine

Présentation de l'éditeur

Now in paperback, the extraordinary English language debut from the critically acclaimed writer Maxim Biller, whose “gossamer fictions may remind you of narrative poems in their ability to simultaneously elude and haunt you” (Francine Prose, O, The Oprah Magazine).

• A writer on the verge of international acclaim: maxim Biller’s work received raves when it was published in The New Yorker in the summer of 2007, and he’s already been published in Dutch, Danish, French, Greek, and Czech. German cultural institutions based in the u.S., such as the Goethe House, are enthusiastically helping to promote Biller’s work in english. In addition, Love Today is translated by Anthea Bell, the award-winning German-language translator.

• Twenty-seven exquisite vignettes: Biller depicts the complexities of romantic relationships in the twenty-first century perfectly—the frustration, longing, and loneliness—in these skillfully crafted stories, designed to build upon each other. It’s as if the reader were standing in the courtyard of an apartment building, observing the lives of others, listening to their conversations, experiencing their intimacy.

• For fans of Miranda July, Nathan Englander, and Jonathan Safran Foer: Biller’s writing is sensitive, observant, and honest. The end result is both romantically voyeuristic and deeply moving—Biller is a writer poised for international stardom.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 224 pages
  • Editeur : Simon & Schuster; Édition : Rep Tra (9 juin 2009)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 141657266X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416572664
  • Dimensions du produit: 14 x 1,5 x 21,4 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 254.662 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Par Nadege27 le 7 mars 2014
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
le concept de la nouvelle est pratique à lire à l'extérieur (metro, etc). Quelques nouvelles sont facilement compréhensibles, on s'identifie rapidement aux personnages, d'autres sont plus loufoques, extraordinaires!
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Love sucks and yet they go on... 29 mai 2009
Par Joe Pierre - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I came upon this lean collection of short stories by Maxim Biller after reading Francesca Mari's review of the book in The New Republic in which she contrasted Biller with Raymond Carver. No doubt, Biller's style is spare -- with 27 stories spanning just over 200 pages, most of these little portraits would right qualify as "sudden" fiction. But it's not the brevity or simplicity that marks Biller's style, it's that for a collection of "love stories," his tales and characters are stripped of any apparent remnant of emotion or sentimentality that are more typical of the kind of characters that inhabit Carver's world (but I'll leave the Carver contrasts to Ms. Mari in TNR), or arguably the real world.

As the title suggests, most of these stories are portraits of love, or rather relationships. Invariably, the 20-to-40-something male and female protagonists seem to have some history of love (though we're never privy to that foundation) that has gone horribly awry, such that they're left trapped in some kind of distorted version of love. They can't seem to love without hurting, and often intentionally. And it's not that the lovers are saddled with hardship -- by all accounts they mostly seem to be yuppies living in urban Germany -- it's more that they're victims of themselves, having become empty, barren, and lost. They don't seem to be trying, or they're beyond trying. Yet they go on in their self-destruction, bouncing back and forth in love-hate ambivalence, without seeming too much to care. As a reader trying to make sense of it, there's a fair amount of time spent vacillating between, "Do these guys love each other ...or hate each other?" Almost all of Biller's characters seem sentenced to live in this grey zone.

"The Mahogany Elephant," which appeared in the New Yorker, and "Two Israelis in Prague" (as an aside, Biller is Jewish, was born in Prague, and writes from Berlin and often includes Jewish protagonists) are emblematic of this ambivalence. Things seem to take a more than usual turn for the worse in "Fearing for Ilana," where the protagonist is murdered by an ex-lover. And yet even then, Biller recalls for us that, in contrast to the man she leaves him for, the man who kills her was the one who was able to was able to make her come to orgasm immediately.

In other stories, Biller isn't afraid to reveal the bleakest inner thoughts of his characters. A father in "Aviva's Back," says, "I watched Aviva [his daughter] for a while - and felt nothing. You don't always have to feel something at the sight of your child, I told myself..." The man in "Yellow Sandals," says, "In the end I'm left lying on top of them, exhausted, I kiss them listlessly on the throat and hold them tight, although I'd rather not, and then I go to wash myself, but if they too want to wash I feel just a little insulted. After that we sleep side by side, we wake up, it's morning, I go into the bathroom again, and when I come back the smell of the bedroom tells me that I absolutely must spend the next night alone. It's always the same."

Indeed, it's mostly the same in these 27 modern tales of woe, with one dyad after another stuck in a painful rut of non-feeling. The New Yorker calls Biller "the sad optimist," but it's hard to detect much of a hopeful feeling in any of these stories... and this coming from a guy (me) that has lived on depressing short fiction. Really, there are only two stories that betray any semblance of sentimentality, or hope -- "Ziggy Stardust," in which two childhood friends come together and move apart over the course of their lives, and the final story, "Happy Ending With Sticky Tape" -- aptly titled, and a bit more experimental in content.

It's not that relationships don't go this way in real life -- they do -- and so I suspect these stories will indeed resonate with some. But I read this work at the same time as Richard Yates' "Revolutionary Road," and as a result, I'm now find myself almost eager to go out and catch a romantic comedy with my girlfriend. The thing about these stories is that rather than rooting for any of the characters in the collection, I found myself rooting instead for mankind... that Biller's portrayal of "Love Today" is wrong.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
modern love 2 juillet 2008
Par R Candlewood - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I first saw the story "The Mahogany Elephant" in The New Yorker and was amazed by Biller's insight and precise rendering of the tricks and currents of modern love. I flipped back to the start of it a few times just to burn his name into my head so I would remember to buy the book when it came out.

And the book is no disappointment. Biller is sharp, almost surgical in his spare portrayal of relationships. Any reader can recognize moments they've lived themselves -- except with a new understanding from getting the perspective of Biller's all-seeing eye. Not every story coheres; at times the emotional distance keeps you from connecting with the characters. But many of the stories will just blow you away, and collectively, they have real power. You realize you're in the hands of a master, that his apparently simple writing is anything but, and that Biller not only sees but understands.

A great debut. Can't wait for more!
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