Pricksongs & Descants (Penguin Modern Classics)

Institute of Modern Languages Research
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Robert Coover. And he reshapes his own: a man makes repeating, re-imagined journeys in an office elevator while his fellow riders taunt and tempt him , and in the seminal, fractal 'The Babysitter' every moment in a single night is played and replayed, every hope and threat of sex and violence done and undone. Coover's dark, wilfil, comic imagination revels brilliantly in contradictions, a master of chaos. A Prologue of Sorts. Morris in Chains. The Gingerbread House. Disclaimer:A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition.

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Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name. The spine remains undamaged. Dust jacket in good condition. Minor shelf and handling wear, overall a clean solid copy with minimal signs of use. Closed tear at lower center of front dust jacket, resulting in a slight crease. Previous owner's information on front page. Binding is sound. Pages are intact and free of marks. Dust jacket colors are crisp and bright. A collection of short stories written in Robert Coover's trademark twists on fairy tale-style writings, this book comes to you wrapped in a protective mylar jacket to ensure enjoyment for many years to come.

Secure packaging for safe delivery. Dust jacket quality is not guaranteed. London: Jonathan Cape, Trade Paperback Trade Paperback. Near Fine. A novel; a proof copy of the first British edition. Some wear to edges and corners, else a very good copy in wrappers paperback. Covers illustrated in publisher's logo pattern; paper label on cover reprints synopsis from jacket flap and other publication details.

In a dust jacket that is chipped at the spine head and creased at the edges, thus very good. Book has a trace of scuffing and a few tiny spots on upper edge of text, barely noticeable; a clean, tight, newish copy. Altogether a very handsome copy of the author's third book and first book of stories.

We assure the buyer that books listed by Brass Dolphin are so described, using the strict, traditional standards. A near fine copy in very good, price-clipped dust jacket; dust jacket has two small tears and light creases on tips of spine, else quite fresh and bright. Seller: Waiting for Godot Books Published: Condition: A near fine copy in very good, price-clipped dust jacket; dust jacket has two small tears and light creases on tips of spine, el Edition: First English edition.

First printing stated; first paperback. Extremely little faded wear to spine foot and head, barely rubbed and creased corners, very light soiling and few fade-marks to covers, very mild spotting to fore-edge, faint crease and sunning to spine, else Very good.. Yellow octavo, pages ; 22 cm. Out of print. Contents: The door; a prologue of sorts--The magic poker.

Victoria’s Book Review: Penguin Modern Series / Audre Lorde

Fiction, Literature. Sans DJ. Good condition. Dust Jacket is in a removable, clear plastic Brodart protector, shows minor wear and tear, tanning. Minor rubbing on the front endpaper. Pages are clean. Used - Good. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Your purchase also supports literacy charities. New York: New American Library, Paperback Octavo. Seller: Jay W. Jonathan Cape, Small chip at center of dust jacket spine.

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Light chipping along top of dust jacket on both sides. The first collection of short stories from Robert Coover, author of numerous award-winning novels, among them ""The Public Burning,"" this book comes to you wrapped in a protective mylar jacket to ensure enjoyment for many years to come. Dutton and Co. Brown and tan cloth, lettered in gold foil. Minor binding lean, text block edges a bit dulled by age, small stain mark on front cover along lower fore-edge.

More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Pricksongs and Descants , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Pricksongs and Descants. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. The softness of her blouse. He catches a glimpse of the gentle shadows amid her thighs, as she curls her legs up under her. Imagination is rich but it plays dirty He loves her. She loves him. And then the babies come. And dirty nappies and one goddamn meal after another.

And fat Who wants it? View 2 comments. Legendary Narratives This collection of early stories is not a lesser work in any way.

In it, Coover maps out the journey that his writing career would subsequently follow. It announces and displays his early ambition and skill.

Pricksongs & descants /Robert Coover ; with an introduction by Kate Atkinson. – National Library

It reflects a dual interest in the subject matter of fiction and its methodology. As Coover says of some of his stories, in retrospect: " Fairy tales, in particular, are often written with great economy, perhaps because they formed part of an oral tradition in which they were memorised and recounted from generation to generation for the benefit of the young. Their economy leaves Coover scope to interpolate modernity into the tradition of the fairy tale. Transposed to the contemporary, he fleshes his tales out with "pricks and cunts".

In doing so, he reminds us how much fairy tales have always been concerned with sexuality especially the fear of seduction, abduction, rape, murder and the premature loss of virginity , thus making explicit what was formerly and formally implicit. Some Titular Hypotheses This concern is signaled in the title of the collection, which adapts an expression used by "Granny" in the first story, a prologue of sorts: "I know who's got her giddy ear with his old death-cunt-and-prick-songs Perhaps, the male is the call and the female the response.

At first blush, it seems that much of the subject matter of these stories relates to the male libido. Like authors themselves, the male characters are "picaros [who] sally forth…to discover again and again, their manhood. She could even be offended. I'm guessing not though, given the sympathy that writers like Angela Carter had with Coover's subject matter and style. Plus at times e. It could equally be a male or a female.

To the extent that pornography is an attempt to satiate our fantasies, Coover mimics the methodology of porn, though usually tongue-in-cheek. In fact, he often seems to hint that he has been observing us, like Nabokov, as we've been watching and entertained by his characters. He opens doors and windows on other worlds that bit by bit become our worlds. He takes us: " Down forbidden alleys.

Into secret passageways. Unlocking the world's terrible secrets Look out! He has created them and he is in control. But he's not obsessive, he's not a control freak. The stories towards the end of this collection are alternating snippets of narrative and consciousness. Coover separates them with interstitial space that he invites us to fill with our own extrapolations. Crucially, he leaves enough time and space for our imaginations to work. The reader is part of the construction and the entertainment: "…at times I forget that this arrangement is my invention.

However, as the story progresses, we realise that the tangents have been directed or, at least, guided by Coover. Certainly, he has predicted what we would think, because later developments enact what we foreshadowed. Well, I must have, surely He says of his characters: " If they have names and griefs, I have provided them. In fact, without me, they'd have no cunts. This is not meant to alarm We might not be here for a long time, as long as we have a good time: "He collapses to his knees and scribbles in the snow with his finger…I DID THIS…but soon is laughing so violently that he spills headfirst down into the snow and rolls about in it.

Everything that exists might be ephemeral. Critics are forever predicting or lamenting the demise of the novel, the decline in literacy, the closing of the mind, the exhaustion of the imagination. For Coover, the novel is a revolutionary form, not just a bourgeois one.

Pricksongs and Descants

It is not enough that it remain, in Hegel's words, "the epic of the middle-class world". Coover believes that, for the novel to survive and thrive and be of value, it must forever be subverted. It must be continually radicalised, reinvented, re-created, reimagined, replenished to appropriate a word John Barth has used in this context. In an eerily perfect scene, Coover cautions us about just how much we would lose and how easily we might lose it , if an exclusive preoccupation with law and order and logic and tradition prevailed over creativity and invention and novelty and playfulness, and we could no longer indulge or harness our imaginations.

A policeman stands over a wayfarer who, like Camus' stranger, refuses to break his silence and therefore arouses suspicion and hatred: "And then he spoke. He spoke rapidly, desperately, with neither punctuation nor sentence structure. Just a ceaseless eruption of obtuse language. He spoke of constellations, bone structures, mythologies, and love. He spoke of belief and lymph nodes, of excavations, categories and prophecies. Faster and faster he spoke. His eyes gleamed. His voice rose to a shriek.

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During the early s, Coover published only short stories and drama, including A Theological Position , a collection of one-act plays, all of which were eventually produced for the stage. The odour of sizzling butter makes her reflect on motion picture theatres and popcorn. He hears sirens, humans at the porch. I have a controller that allows me to move around. If you read any of the commentaries on him, often that's the background of the people writing about him - they have an appetite for abstruse physics. View 2 comments.

Immateriality patricide ideations heat-stroke virtue predication - I grew annoyed and shot him in the head. At last, with this, he fell My job was done I felt calm and happy. A participant. I enjoy my work. Here, in this world of the mind, anything could happen. View all 12 comments.

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Metafantastical fables, reworkings of reworkings, forking paths and fucking piths, numerical mini-chapters, self-regarding scoundrels for narrators, black humour, mindless surrealism, incomprehensible but entertaining indulgences, sneaky s-o-c, shock fodder, minxish moralising. View all 7 comments. Apr 24, Brian rated it really liked it. Coover does more than deconstruct familiar myths and fairy tales - he was one of those first writers that wanted to do something more with the structure of fiction.

Some of these pieces might appear uneven and unstable, but it is pure jazz tip o' the hat to N. Dec 09, Paul Bryant rated it it was ok Shelves: short-stories. So farewell forever, then, to metafiction. This is the stuff where it says I wander the island, inventing it. I make a sun for it, and trees, and cause water to lap the pebbles of its abandoned shores. Metafiction - yeah, that's right - it's fiction about fiction , celebrating the lying truthfulness and the truthful lies we all need to keep our brains glued together. I mean, I don't really know, I just work here.

Now, you know those So farewell forever, then, to metafiction. Now, you know those trailers for movie comedies which are hugely amusing with a couple of great jokes and you sprint to the cinema when it comes out and you sit through the thing only to find that the two jokes you saw in the trailer were the only actual jokes in the whole movie and the rest of it was 87 minutes of rising aggravation and insulted intelligence mollified only by smuggled-in licorish allsorts I'm not paying your prices, you ripoff front of house manager!

I'd read the two good ones which are "A Pedestrian Accident" and "The Babysitter" and both are brilliant. But that's it.

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Paperback: pages; Publisher: Penguin Books (April 1, ); Language: English; ISBN X; ISBN ; Product Dimensions . Buy Pricksongs & Descants (Penguin Modern Classics) by Robert Coover, Kate Atkinson (ISBN: ) from Amazon's Book Store. Everyday low.

One of the major problems with metafiction - this goes for the immensely better Donald Barthelme too - is that the whole tone of it is smirky, like someone telling you a story they think is really really funny whilst keeping a straight face, but you can't see where the humour is. Also metawriters are in love with fairy tales and myths and are forever running uninteresting riffs on them like a jazz saxophonist taking some standard like My Favourite Things out for yet another ten minute noodle.

We can live long and happy lives without it. Back to reality! View all 37 comments. Oct 04, Jonfaith rated it really liked it. He pronounces it aloud, smiles faintly, sadly, somewhat wearily, then continues his tedious climb, pausing from time to time to stare back down the stairs behind him. When the time arrives for resolution, I will be there. One day soon the followers of Coover will engage those of Barth tooth and claw.

Robert Coover

There will be no quarter. The scene will remind us of Bangkok and we will wear the shirt of Coover proudly. Through the tear-gas and vitriol we will triumph. Our cause will prevail because of the bri He pronounces it aloud, smiles faintly, sadly, somewhat wearily, then continues his tedious climb, pausing from time to time to stare back down the stairs behind him.

These two exercises astonish in their smutty Impressionism. It will be admitted that I was sometimes too impatient or ill-equipped to truly delight in all of the pieces presented here. Where Barth paints with manic glee about Story, Coover recycles his own variations, distilling a Gestalt where the dross whispers of all outcomes and the reader's imagination trembles in capacity.

Hope remains --and victory will be ours. Coover Rules! View all 3 comments. Jun 25, Katie rated it it was amazing.

Robert Coover