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- Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 58 pages
- Dimensions: 134mm x 210mm x 8mm | 118g
- Publication date: 1 March 2007
- Publication City/Country: Manchester
- ISBN 10: 1857548507
- ISBN 13: 9781857548501
- Sales rank: 264,926
'Everything passes. The good and the bad. The joy and the sorrow. Everything passes. Or does it?' At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the painter Jan Gossaert paints Danae, upon whom Jupiter descends in a shower of gold, as a plump nubile maiden, her face haunted, one heavy breast exposed. In a nineteenth-century asylum in Zurich, a woman writes endlessly to her husband, covering the same page over and over again until nothing is legible. In January 1947, Arnold Schoenberg suffers a heart attack. Brought back to life by means of injections to his heart, he writes his astonishing string trio, "Opus 45", shortly afterwards. The French poet, Francis Ponge is photographed standing at a window, looking out through a broken pane. Behind him, there is an empty room, devoid of furniture. Out of fragments of cultural history from the past four hundred years, Gabriel Josipovici has created a compressed, poetic narrative of solitude, love, illness and the ambiguous comforts of art. As clear and elusive as the arts it explores, this is the most beautiful and mysterious of Josipovici's books to date.
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GABRIEL JOSIPOVICI was born in Nice in 1940 of Russo-Italian, Romano-Levantine parents. He lived in Egypt from 1945 to 1956, when he cam to the UK. He read English at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, graduating with a first in 1961. From 1963 to 1996 he taught the University of Sussex, where he is now Research Professor in the Graduate School of Humanities. He has published over a dozen novels, three volumes of short stories, and a number of critical books. His plays have been performed throughout Britain, France and Germany, and his work has been translated into the major European languages and into Arabic. In 2001 he published A Life, a memoir/biography of his mother, the translator and poet, Sacha Rabinovitch (London Magazine Editions), and his most recent novels are Goldberg: Variations (Carcanet, 2001) and Only Joking (Zweitausendeins, Germany, 2005).
'Josipovici is able to relate ordinary human concerns to some of the most important intellectual issues of the twentieth century. There are few writers in England of whom this could be said.' - Times Literary Supplement.