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Download A Brief History of Portable Literature (New Directions by Enrique Vila-Matas, Anne McLean, Thomas Bunstead PDF

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By Enrique Vila-Matas, Anne McLean, Thomas Bunstead

A reader’s fictional journey of the artwork and lives of a few of the nice 20th-century Surrealists

An writer (a model of Vila-Matas himself) offers a brief “history” of a mystery society, the Shandies, who're keen about the idea that of “portable literature.” The society is totally imagined, yet during this rollicking, intellectually playful publication, its participants comprise writers and artists like Marcel Duchamp, Aleister Crowley, Witold Gombrowicz, Federico García Lorca, guy Ray, and Georgia O’Keefe. The Shandies meet secretly in flats, motels, and cafes in all places Europe to debate what nice literature relatively is: short, no longer too critical, penetrating the depths of the mysterious. We witness the Shandies having adventures in desk bound submarines, underground caverns, African backwaters, and the cultural capitals of Europe.

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Additional resources for A Brief History of Portable Literature (New Directions Paperbook)

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His best friend in the city, a concierge at the Ritz, hanged himself in the hotel lobby. Downcast and ashamed, Rigaut took his briefcase and hurried back to Paris, where he became hefty and his shadow (errant and voluminous) wandered the streets of Montmartre; he tried desperately to delay a suicide that seemed to him increasingly inevitable. He moved from one hotel to the next, accompanied by a beautiful black woman, Carla Orengo, and dragging a heavy trunk that was, actually, a writing bureau with two shelves for huge tomes, three drawers for documents, a compartment for the typewriter, and a folding table.

In spite of his extreme weakness, he’d dragged himself and his mattress to the door adjoining Carla Orengo’s room. This door had always been open, but was found locked with a key. ) Man Ray says that when the news arrived in Paris the Shandies thought that thereafter, in the bosom of the secret society, they ought to avoid other capricious suicides and disseminated an array of texts about the perfection of Rigaut’s suicide. They thought that if they said this one was impossible to improve upon, future portables would discard the idea of trying to better Rigaut.

I believe he even has a mania about keeping his ideas encased. . I attempted to seduce him and the best I could manage was to be allowed up to his apartment, but once inside he began to behave very oddly: he barely looked at me and only seemed interested in a number of folders that he transported convulsively from one place to another in his study. Some of these folders he moved around repeatedly, others he hid. I suppose they contained manuscripts of his novels. And I say suppose because all this time he insisted, over and over again, that he was not a novelist, and, horrified, I would say almost terrified, he denied ever having written anything about conspirators who swallow bombs and other such things.

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