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Dhalgren (S.F. Masterworks) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 22. Juli 2010

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Amazon.de

What is Dhalgren? Dhalgren is one of the greatest novels of 20th-century American literature. Dhalgren is one of the all-time bestselling science fiction novels. Dhalgren may be read with equal validity as SF, magic realism, or metafiction. Dhalgren is controversial, challenging, and scandalous. Dhalgren is a brilliant novel about sex, gender, race, class, art, and identity.

A mysterious disaster has stricken the midwestern American city of Bellona, and its aftereffects are disturbing: a city block burns down and is intact a week later; clouds cover the sky for weeks, then part to reveal two moons; a week passes for one person when only a day passes for another. The catastrophe is confined to Bellona, and most of the inhabitants have fled. But others are drawn to the devastated city, among them the Kid, a white/American Indian man who can't remember his own name. The Kid is emblematic of those who live in the new Bellona, who are the young, the poor, the mad, the violent, the outcast--the marginalized.

Dhalgren is many things, but instantly accessible isn't one of them. While most of this big, ambitious, deeply detailed novel is beautifully pellucid, the opening pages will be difficult for some: the novel starts with the second half of an incomplete sentence, in the viewpoint of a man who doesn't know who he is. If you find the early pages rough going, push on; the story soon becomes clear and fascinating. But--fair warning--the central nature of the disaster, of its strange devastations and disruptions, remains a puzzle for many readers, sometimes after several readings.

Spoiler warning: If you want to figure out the secret of the novel as you read Dhalgren, then stop reading this review right now! If you want to know the secret before you start, this is what the novel is about: the experience of existence inside a novel. Time passes differently for different characters. A river changes location. Stairs change their number. The Kid looks in a mirror and sees not himself, but someone who looks an awful lot like Samuel R. Delany. Central images include mirrors, lenses, and prisms, devices that focus, reflect--and distort. The Kid fills a notebook with a journal that may be Dhalgren, and is uncertain if he has written much, or any, of it. The characters don't know they're in a novel, but they know something is wrong. Dhalgren explores the relationship between characters and author (or, perhaps, characters, "author," and author).

The final chapter can be even tougher going than the opening pages, with its viewpoint change and its stretches of braided narrative--and the novel ends with the beginning of an unfinished sentence. But the last chapter becomes clear as you persevere; and when you get to that unfinished closing line, turn to the first line of the novel to finish the sentence and close the narrative circle. --Cynthia Ward -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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"A Joycean tour de force of a novel, Dhalgren…stake[s] a better claim than anything published in the country in the last quarter-century (excepting only Gass’s Omensetter’s Luck and Nabokov’s Pale Fire) to a permanent place as one of the enduring monuments of our national literature."–The Libertarian Review -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Format: Taschenbuch
Capsulizing my reaction to this book is difficult, as I find compelling reasons both to love it and to hate it. Delany certainly has a better technique than any other author of science fiction. He can write with precision to evoke a mood or a sensory impression, and with imprecision to provoke thought. For example, the initial description of a character or place often omits a detail, allowing the reader to fill in the blank. Delany then clarifies the description later, forcing the reader to question why he or she chose to envision a particular race, gender, color, or other attribute for that character or place. There are many interesting scenes in the first 650 pages. I can also offer unreserved praise for the final chapter, which brilliantly mixes incomplete notebook pages with text and later commentary.
But, but, but -- much of the text is pointless. For example, a multi-page description of a recording session reads more like a creative writing class exercise than actual literature, and certainly proves Elvis Costello's observation that writing about music is like dancing about architecture -- uninformative and pretentious. Descriptions of the decaying city are initially interesting but they become dull with repetition. The characters' endless philosophizing is obscure, and often trite. This and other verbiage makes much of the book tough going, and buries key elements of the story line.
Finally, Dhalgren should not be seen as science fiction. The only new technologies are peripheral to the plot, and there are no societal developments to differentiate Dhalgren from the world of the late 1960s. Rather, the book is more a ham-handed magical realism, with the city of Bellona a bloated, pornographic Macondo.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I bought this book riding on a high of Delaney talent. I had just read Babel 17, and thought it was one of the finest, most unique pieces of Science Fiction I'd ever read. I loved the dysfunctional language, the Eyes, Ears and Nose (ghosts as the engineering crew of a starship - superb!). In fact there wasn't a thing about that novel that I disliked, then I bought Dharlgren.... What happened? Did Delaney's talent mysteriously disappear? A more self-obsessed, mindless waste of paper I don't think I've ever come across. I thought Stephen Donaldson had a tendency to verbose ramblings, but this book could be used to give a masterclass on page-wasting drivel. Maybe there are those out there who will love this, but I prefer to remember the vibrant Delaney of Babel 17.
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Von Ein Kunde am 10. April 1997
Format: Taschenbuch
I found this book so boring and un-realistic that I could notfinish it. SF is supposed to have some foothold in reality, and thenextrapolate on the possibilities -- ideally not breaking the laws of physics in the process. This book just rambles on for hundreds of pages about nothing. Maybe I am just to un-enlightened to "get it", afterall, I do not like Piscaso either.
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Format: Taschenbuch
It's hard to write a review for this book. The first time I read was like ten years ago. I was around 15 or 16. It looks intimidating. Thick, and as hard to get into as a bar on Sunset on Friday night.
I was an English major in college and I have never read anything like it. I've read it two or three times since then and I still don't get it all. Am I supposed to? I would love to meet Delany and ask him what it all means, but I'm sure he would say that would ruin the whole point.
One of the things that stands out most is the dialogue. It's amazingly written. Pick out any piece of dialogue (without the speaker's name) and anyone familiar with the text would know exactly who was speaking. That's very difficult to accomplish. His characters are so real, so convincing, it's seem like they are alive somethere, still living.
I think the loop of the beginning and end, "... to wound..." is one of the strengths of the novel. It's better to not know the answers. If everything was spelled out, what fun would that be? The ambiguity gives it depth and intrigue.
I think about aspects of this story with frightening regularity. Everytime I go under a street light, I think of Dhalgren. I swear one pulses and dies just because I am looking. Everytime I look at the moon, I think of George.
An interesting part sticks with me. I'll paraphrase: in a week, I can't remember five days. In a year, how many days will YOU never think of again. How true is that? Wow. What were you doing on Sep. 9th, 1994? If it's your B-day, anniversary, or whatever think of another date. How insignificant mundane, day-to-day things are in the grand sceme of time. Nothing matters, only hugely significant things are remembered or important.
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Von Ein Kunde am 10. Mai 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
Dhalgren marks the transition of Delany from a writer of great stories to an "important" writer, worthy of academic study. It was one of the revolutionary and groundbreaking novels of its day, part of the movement captured by Harlan Ellison's "Dangerous Visions" anthologies, escaping from the rigid rules of style, plot, and subject that are still found in the "hard SF" branch of the genre even today. Yet from a distance of 25 years, what is most striking is how dated it is. What then seemed like fresh news from the counterculture now is full of jokey characters - "spades" with "basketball-sized natural" haircuts, women calling men "male chauvinist pigs", and hippie biker communal pansexual lifestyles.
The first-person narrator's amnesic madness means that nothing really has to make sense. One should be impressed by the sustained lack of focus, since Delany's earlier books such as Nova and Babel-17 are crystalline in their plotting. But in such a long, long book, Tolstoian scale is replaced by episode after interchangable episode that is finally even admitted within the text 3/4ths of the way through. Of course, in modern literature, all contracts with the reader have been abrogated, and such dazed and confused loss of control over events is an authorial state to be celebrated.
But the kid's status as a serious, effective poet provides opportunity for the development of some remarkable images and set pieces.
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