Centuria: One Hundred Ouroboric Novels (paperback)
  • Author: Manganelli, Giorgio
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/2"
  • Pub. Year: 2007
  • ISBN: 978-0-929701-85-1
  • In Stock: Yes
Price: $15.00
FLASH: Jhumpa Lahiri in the New York Times Book Review on Sept. 8, 2013: "I recently discovered the work of Giorgio Manganelli, who wrote a collection called 'Centuria,' which contains 100 stories, each of them about a page long. They’re somewhat surreal and extremely dense, at once fierce and purifying, the equivalent of a shot of grappa. I find it helpful to read one before sitting down to write."

Winner of ForeWord Magazine's Book-of-the-Year 2005 Silver Medallion for Translation

Three stories appeared in the March 2005 issue of Harpers magazine, and twelve stories in the spring 2005 "Zukofsky" issue of Chicago Review.

Italo Calvino once remarked that in Giorgio Manganelli, "Italian literature has a writer who resembles no one else, unmistakable in each of his phrases, an inventor who is irresistible and inexhaustible in his games with language and ideas." Nowhere is this more true than in this Decameron of fictions, each composed on a single folio sheet of typing paper. Yet, what are they? Miniature psychodramas, prose poems, tall tales, sudden illuminations, malevolent sophistries, fabliaux, paranoiac excursions, existential oxymorons, or wondrous, baleful absurdities? Always provocative, insolent, sinister, and quite often funny, these 100 comic novels are populated by decidedly ordinary lovers, martyrs, killers, thieves, maniacs, emperors, bandits, sleepers, architects, hunters, prisoners, writers, hallucinations, ghosts, spheres, dragons, Doppelgängers, knights, fairies, angels, animal incarnations, and Dreamstuff. Each "novel" construes itself into a kind of Möbius strip, in which, as one critic has noted, "time turns in a circle and bites its tail" like the Ouroborous. In any event, Centuria provides 100 uncategorizable reasons to experience and celebrate an immeasurably wonderful writer. Brilliantly translated from the Italian by Henry Martin.

Read three sample "novels": Numbers 17, 18 and 19 (PDF)

"Those who live always in the night may experience a profound consolation, and there is also a consolation, albeit a lesser one, in living out the day. The truly arduous condition is to live, as Manganelli does, in both: to be entirely night, to be entirely day: to contemplate the night from the day's point of view, the day from the night's: to live doubly out of joint; to relinquish life by virtue of refusing to tamper with it."
-— Pietro Citati, Corriere della Sera

For more than twenty-five years, Giorgio Manganelli was a leader of the Italian literary avant garde, publishing twenty books of fiction and critical philosophy. He was awarded the coveted Viareggio Prize in 1979 for Centuria

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