Double Negative Paperback – Nov 12 2013
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'Vladislavic's narrative intelligence [is] nowhere more visible than in his way with language itself. Each section is perfectly judged; we enter incidents in medias res - as though they were piano etudes - and exit them before we have overstayed our welcome.' Teju Cole ------- 'Vladislavic is sensitively attuned to the uncanny phenomena that explode from the social fault lines of his city.' Patrick Flanery, The Guardian ------- 'Well received in his homeland, this publication marks the long-overdue arrival of one of South Africa's most finely tuned observers.' Ted Hodgkinson, The Times Literary Supplement ------- 'This book coheres resplendently by its metaphorical underpinnings, by something rare in the world of contemporary fiction: meaning ... Double Negative listens carefully to the sound of the ebb and flow of history and transcribes it in lucid, rigorous prose; Vladislavic is no minor congener of Sebald.' Neel Mukherjee, The Independent ------- 'A tone of bemused artistic entrapment in random patterns permeates this wonderfully soft-spoken novel, which reminds me very much of the work of J. M. Coetzee, W. G. Sebald and P. Auster. Double Negative even feels slightly fresher than the recent publications from these three giants of quirky flat-voiced first-person narrative postmodernism. Ivan Vladislavic is not actually a new voice in fiction, it turns out - he's been publishing novels for decades - but he was new to me when I picked up Double Negative, and this accessible novel may help him reach a larger audience.' Levi Asher ------- 'One of the most imaginative minds at work in South African literature today.' Andre Brink ------- 'Double Negative was worth the wait.' The Quarterly Conversation ------- 'A rare, brilliant writer. Vladislavic's work eschews all cant. Its sheer verve distinguishes it.' Sunday Times (SA)------- 'Vladislavic seeks the poetry of the city he has known and loved for 30 years ... He finds the human behind Johannesburg's sorry reputation.' Ross Leckie, The Times (SA)------- 'Deft, effortless and funny ... Double Negative shows one of South Africa's foremost writers in full flow.' Craig MacKenzie, Mail & Guardian ------- Double Negative is about, among other things, how art relates to life and history, if you like - and its severe limits, which may also be its strengths - The book is ambitious but resolutely unassuming; it is a triumph, if anything so sceptical, so taking due care, can be called such.' Charles Boyle, The Warwick Review ------- 'Double Negative is exceptionally well written. It captures an everyday life against the backdrop of South Africa's incredible revolution in an engaging portrait of a city and its many diverse citizens.' Kryosmagica -------
About the Author
IVAN VLADISLAVIC is the author of the novels The Folly, The Restless Supermarket, The Exploded View and Double Negative. The last of these appeared initially in TJ/Double Negative, a joint project with the photographer David Goldblatt. Vladislavić has written extensively about Johannesburg, notably in Portrait with Keys (2006). He has edited volumes on architecture and art, and published a monograph on the conceptual artist Willem Boshoff. The compendium volume Flashback Hotel (2010) gathered together his early stories. Recent books are The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories, a reflection on writing and other things, and A Labour of Moles, a small comedy of meanings illustrated by Ornan Rotem. His work has won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, the Alan Paton Award and the University of Johannesburg Prize, while TJ/Double Negative received the 2011 Kraszna-Krausz Award for best photography book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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Do yourself the favor of saving the Introduction for last, as it is a love song to this book of metaphor...but gives us too many examples from the text: robbing us of the joy of meeting them in the narrative. Vladislavic's rememberings are swimming in metaphors, and he is superb in that simplified analogy.
Loved it, loved it!