- Gebundene Ausgabe: 224 Seiten
- Verlag: Scribner (15. November 2011)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1451655843
- ISBN-13: 978-1451655841
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 2,5 x 21,4 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 270.891 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 15. November 2011
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"I was dazzled...Reading this collection confirms DeLillo as one of our very best short story writers...The richness of his work, the pleasures on offer--intellectual, visceral, poetic, comic--are unrivalled."--Sam Lipsyte, author of "The Ask"
The stories here, collected from all five decades of DeLillo’s career, show an acknowledged master of the novel in complete command of the short form. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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These stories span almost over 30 years of time, and DeLillo's writing has under gone many evolutions since then. I've read every single one of his books and many of these stories fit well into the spaces between novels.
I prefer not to summarize plots in my reviews, simply because I go into book and stories completely blind and discover it. I would hate to rob anyone of anything. So, I will say that one of the things I've always loved about DeLillo is the way he takes everyday events and infuses them with a sense of dread. We all get flat tires, or miss flights, or call a wrong number - but in the DeLillo world these things are signs of something much larger at work, even if it's never revealed the fear is felt.
DeLillo recently wrote a short story that was published in the New Yorker called "Midnight In Dostoyevsky," in which two young men follow a man in a strange coat. The act itself is fairly innocent, but the way Delillo writes it makes you wonder if the two boys are going to rob or murder the man in the coat.
The sentences are astonishing, as well as the words he uses, which aren't necessarily big and unpronounceable, but uncannily perfect for whatever he is describing.
My only complaints are I wish this book would have collected more of his stories and "The Angel Esmerelda" will be recognized by those of you who have read "Underworld," although it is a bit different, it still felt familiar. This is excellent reading for anyone who appreciates intelligent fiction, but in the end it just makes me want to go back and read his novels.
There are numerous themes in these stories, but the one that grabbed me most was a recurring one-sided way in which characters in the stories bridge the gulf between their own inner lives and those of other people, where they have only the external marks as evidence -- the way they walk, the expressions on their faces, the clothes they wear.
Delillo's characters often encounter each other through this kind of opaque externality, never directly interacting in conversation but constructing whole narratives of familiarity from the barest hints and great leaps of surmise. Leo Zhelezniak in The Starveling, follows, even stalks, a woman who seems to share his own alienated lifestyle, spending their days going from theatre to theatre in New York, watching movies in sequences coordinated with travel times and subway routes. He comes to "know" so much about her without ever talking to her, that he can cross the gulf between them on this bridge he's built entirely on his own, as if the familiarity and shared experience of life he has constructed is really there.
It's something we all do, just not so starkly as Zhelezniak, or the characters in Midnight in Dostoevsky who construct the life of "the man in the hooded coat". We have our daily encounters with one another, and we build our understandings of each other on what, in the full scope of our lives, are really only glimpses. But it is how we understand each other.
It's all a fragility that miraculously holds together, like the highway traffic Jerold Bradway watches in Hammer and Sickle. "Why don't they crash all the time?" he asks, watching cars speeding by under the separate control of distracted drivers, with little actual communication or coordination between them. Like Zhelezniak and other characters in these stories, Bradway looks at the drivers, wondering who they are and where they are going. And at the same time he thinks at least some of them are looking at him, wondering the same things.
When I read White Noise a long time ago, I thought it was one of the best novels I'd ever read. Since then I've made a point of reading everything I could get my hands on by Don Delillo. This is very different, but one of his best, I think.
I enjoyed the writing in each one of these stories, and even the brain-hurting part of dissecting some of them, but sometimes I just wanted a plot! Some of them delved into character and prose at the expense of plot.
The stories are not at all connected, but do have some similarities: a few, including the title story, are set in New York, and as with any good story set in New York, the city becomes part of the story. "The Starveling" was one of my favorite stories, though it was light on plot, in which a man spends his day seeing movie after movie -- taking to the streets of New York and using the subway maps to navigate from one showtime to the next.
"Hammer and Sickle" and "Midnight in Dostoevsky" each deal with institutions of a sort -- prison and a college campus. They also both nod to Russia, and were also stories that I enjoyed, because the characters completely came to life. What's more "Midnight in Dostoevsky" was especially effective in the audio version that I listened to, because of the plotline involving peppy TV hosts that the narrator really brought to life.
AUDIOBOOK NOTES: The 9 stories have 5 narrators: some male, some feamale; some reading only one story, and others appearing a second time. Each story is read wonderfully, and I think that listening to them as opposed to reading them made it more enjoyable. Because they are short stories (though some are fairly long "short" stories), I was able to keep the discs in my car and listen to one over a period of time without having to invest hours and hours on one novel, if that makes sense.
o Part One: DeLillo examines odd couples in travel. In CREATION (1979), the couple is a predatory man with a feel for travel clichés and a woman that he befriends/exploits on an island in the Caribbean. There is sex but no intimacy as they helplessly await a connecting flight. In contrast, the couple in HUMAN MOMENTS IN WORLD WAR III (1983) is two astronauts in orbit around the earth, monitoring and enabling a three-week long war. Here, the young astronaut Vollman shows faint poetic inclinations but ordinary abilities and awareness. Meanwhile, the narrator is intensely and expressively original and seeks to suppress the nature of his job through mission discipline and jargon. The highlight of Part One: The spirited but methodical priming of a deadly laser.
o Part Two: In this unit, DeLillo examines three instances of hysteria. In THE RUNNER (1988), the hysteria arises from a bystander at a kidnapping, who imposes a false narrative on what she has witnessed. In THE IVORY ACROBAT (1988), hysteria haunts a woman who experiences two earthquakes. An ivory acrobat, referencing a time before the quakes, takes her outside her hysterical terror. Finally, THE ANGEL ESMERALDA (1994) shows the elderly Sister Edgar, a cold-war nun discombobulated by the ravages of drugs and poverty in the Bronx. Her hysteria takes the forms of germ phobia, obsessive and infinite regressive reasoning, and witness to a miracle of transcendence. The Highlights: Kyle experiences the terror of an earthquake; and Sister Gracie, chasing Esmeralda in an abandoned lot, is distracted by bats swirling from a crater filled with medical waste.
o Part Three: Here, DeLillo presents four stories about isolation. In BAADER-MEINHOFF (2002) he explores the creepy interaction between a live-alone woman who seems to seek helplessness and an aggressive man who is emotionally obtuse. In MIDNIGHT IN DOSTOYEVSKY (2009), a college student compulsively refines speculative narratives about strangers--"It would be my life's work. I would spend my life in a thought bubble, purifying the link."--while avoiding ordinary relationships. Meanwhile, HAMMER AND SICKLE (2010) examines a father in a minimum security prison who watches his daughters--ten and twelve years old--present the financial news in a parody TV program. Their content is an intense telegraphic concatenation of clichés, not information. Finally, THE STARVELING (2011) shows an isolated man trapped by routine and his obsession with movies. Highlights: EVERYTHING.
The final observation goes to the great Don, who is describing both the broadcast voice of Flory, a radio traffic reporter, and his own amazing and unmistakable literary style. "She spoke fantastically fast, words and key phrases expertly compressed into coded format..."