Is Beauty Good Rosalind Belben

ISBN: 9781852421533

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Paperback


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Is Beauty Good  by  Rosalind Belben

Is Beauty Good by Rosalind Belben
| Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | | ISBN: 9781852421533 | 10.73 Mb

By not hurrying, by listening to each voice, almost speaking each word, a kind of world, absolutely solid yet always withheld from our gaze, makes itself felt. This book had an effect on me which was different from that of any other book I have everMoreBy not hurrying, by listening to each voice, almost speaking each word, a kind of world, absolutely solid yet always withheld from our gaze, makes itself felt.

This book had an effect on me which was different from that of any other book I have ever read. It is a rare achievement, one to be treasured.- Gabriel JosipoviciIt is a beautiful work...is says a great deal about the world we live in...more life-like and more alive than most fiction.- Michael Hamburger.RB: I remember that the writing of Is Beauty Good amused me. My pleasure in German literature was in full flood. I don’t know whether you noticed in the first chapter a small figure at the foot of the Berlin wall, like a small figure in a large painting?

That is my only cameo appearance in my own fiction. In Dreaming of Dead People I’d done what painters had long been free to do – a study of the human figure – but which, in 1979 (superseded by the new edition, Serpent’s Tail 1989), still roused some readers to degrees of shock, disgust, or lasciviousness. Is Beauty Good was inspired by landscape. I’d lost my heart to the mountains of Südtirol – the Italian Alto Adige. The first part was written over a few weeks in summer, during my next visit to the then West Berlin, when the Literararisches Colloquium was kind enough to let me stay in the house with its garden at the edge of the Wannsee – Kleist had killed himself just up the road.

The third part, in my subsidised flat in West Berlin in 1987: the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm gave me a grant for a year. What must be detectable in Is Beauty Good is the mesmerising influence of Thomas Bernhard … from which I only just escaped. I’d been reading Beethoven’s conversation books. I’d heard Gabriel’s lecture A Bird was in the Room (see Writing and the Body, Gabriel Josipovici, Harvester Press 1982) about the resonance of the words Kafka, dying, with TB of the larynx, jotted down to communicate with visitors.

In my childhood there had been an old lady for whom everything had to be scribbled out laboriously. So that third part takes the form of a deaf man’s ‘conversation book’, complete with abbreviations and ellipses. The concept has caused many readers to stumble. Yet I feel the book isn’t so very hermetic. What I regret is the use of the impersonal third person. I meant it to supply a distancing, detached feel to the narrative. As soon as I saw it in German translation I knew it had been a mistake, an affectation. In Choosing Spectacles it is reduced … perhaps not enough- RB



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