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Vain Art of the Fugue Paperback – Apr 1 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; Tra edition (April 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564784215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564784216
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 0.1 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,435,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Noted Romanian writer Tsepeneag spins out a blizzard of variations on a simple anecdote, marvelously echoing the fugue's repeated statement of subtly differing themes. In Tsepeneag's simple tale, a man is sitting on a bus, flowers in hand, concerned that he will miss the train he is hoping to meet—or is he catching it? At the train station, he waits impatiently for Maria (or is it Magda?) while watching the strange parade of humanity: peasants cradling giant fish, train engineers telling long-winded anecdotes, an Italian tourist struggling to understand the conductor's rapid-fire Romanian. Sometimes the scene switches suddenly, and our protagonist is at the beach or in prison; other times, the action shifts from him to other, unnamed characters, who watch his furious and ultimately fruitless attempts to maintain order. A few of the 25 segments fall flat or fail to adequately distinguish themselves, and none resolves (in fact, most loop back). Yet there is a sublime lunacy to watching objects lose their meanings, people exchange roles and the protagonist suddenly surge ahead quixotically, as when he (repeatedly) runs alongside the bus wearing a T-shirt emblazoned, in gold letters, "LOVE." (May)
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"The reader discovers new satisfactions with such a book. Far from the insipid savors generated by a passive fascination, the text stirs up the joys of an endless activity."-- Le Monde

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is no Bach Feb. 11 2013
By chelsea girl - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Because the book is well written, the reader is initially engaged. However, after a while, when incidents keep repeating, replicating, with only the slightest of variations, it becomes tedious. It is impossible to relate to any characters or events. It's like a nightmare from which one cannot awake. It's not Kafka, it's not Pulp Fiction, it's not Bach. Guess I'm just not sophisticated enough for the book's Post-Modern nihilism.

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