Read House of Fear by Leonora Carrington Free Online
Book Title: House of Fear|
The author of the book: Leonora Carrington
Edition: E.P. Dutton1988
Date of issue: March 1st 1988
Loaded: 1237 times
Reader ratings: 5.1
ISBN 13: 9780525485407
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.75 MB
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books:
A couple months ago, I was captivated by surrealist Leonora Carrington's bizarre geriatric adventure novel The Hearing Trumpet. Following up with the help of the Brooklyn Library's mysterious Central Storage, I tracked down this excellent volume, collecting a number of works from much earlier in Carrington's career -- from when she was just twenty years old, having run off to France with Max Ernst in the shadow of WWII.
Surrealist writing can be, even to the sympathetic, a little hit or miss. There's really only so much automatic poetry anyone can consume, I would suspect. De Chirico is a fantastic painter, but his novel Hebdomeros is a somewhat interminably meandering philosophic mess (or else I need to re-read). Listening to other peoples' dreams can be mind-numbing. However, as with The Hearing Trumpet, Carrington's fiction here is neither random nor meandering nor boring, but direct, engaging, and concise. Her tales possess the full uncanny unexpectedness of dreams, but maintains also their portentousness and peculiar sense (at the time at least) of internal logic. Her words, whether written in English or translated from French, are erudite and unornamented. Which is to say that wild and strange as these may be, they avoid some familiar pitfalls of surrealist writing.
I'll summarize the contents, since I had no idea what exactly would be in here before I got my hands on it:
Introduction by Marina Warner, who also translated the formerly French bits. I learned that part of Carrington's expulsion from convent school was due to her demonic ambidextrousness and tendency to amuse herself by writing backwards with her left hand. I have no problem believing that she was also a typical rebellious teen, but it's amazing to think that such nonsense was a part of the case against her. Also some handy analysis of the texts in light of her autobiographical details.
"The House of Fear". 1937-38. A brief, strange account of a mysterious summons, perhaps that of Carrington to join the surrealists. Originally a pamphlet, in French, with an introduction and accompanying collages (all preserved here) by Max Ernst, to whom she was "the Bride of the Wind".
The oval lady and other stories. 1937-38. Along with "House of Fear", these seem to define Carrington's oeuvre at age 20, beautiful nonsense with a surprising amount of discernible sense behind it. Mingled on each page, the mundane and fanciful, brutal and absurd. Delivered with a remarkable, casual matter-of-fact voice, that oddly invites belief. As with its predecessor, Ernst matches these quite effectively with collages.
Little Francis. Novella, 1937-38. A very strange re-casting of a real episode: Carrington's sense of abandonment when Ernst left her in Provence to return to his wife in Paris. Strangely, she removes sex from the equation by replacing herself with a young boy who is taken on vacation by an uncle, instead of the uncle's own daughter. Much vivid rendering of the French countryside and its people, ruins and local mythology, leading into a frenzy of bizarrity rivaling the later parts of The Hearing Trumpet.
Down Below. 1943. A very lucid account of the process of going insane and subsequent recovery. Carrington recounts her experiences with a precision entirely at odds with the hallucinatory and theologically-grandiose place she imagined for herself in the universe. The tone and voice are entirely different from the fictionalized, pre-breakdown stories, chillingly exacting.
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Read information about the authorLeonora Carrington was an English-born Mexican artist, surrealist painter, and novelist. She lived most of her adult life in Mexico City, and was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement of the 1930s. Carrington was also a founding member of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Mexico during the 1970s.
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