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Marshlands by Andre Gide
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Marshlands by Andre Gide
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Jan 05, 2021 | ISBN 9781681374727

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“I don’t understand a single thing in Marshlands. Did I write the book?” —André Gide

“. . . there’s something compelling in Gide’s perception that all of us are trapped, regardless of the pandemic, in some kind of lifelong lockdown, the days essentially featureless, relieved only by trivialities like our meaningless work, our predictable cultural products and our irrelevant public affairs.” —Ken Kalfus, The New York Times Review

“First published in 1895, Marshlands itself is ‘always so interesting,’ an antic anti-novella about writing, friendship, envy, and ambition that is as crisply funny as anything written since. According to Dubravka Ugrešić, Gide called it a sotie, ‘the old carnival genre, a street-fair farce, a Feast of Fools,’ distancing it from his weightier offerings; Damion Searls’s new translation makes you hunger for a feast of soties.” —Ed Park, “Best Books of the Year,” Bookforum

“The mistake would be to call André Gide the prophet of everything that followed him. . . He is at the same time hard to take seriously and hard to fathom, difficult to trust and impossible not to admire. He is astounding, confounding. . . . Gide himself defies categorization: too modernist for the belle époque scholars, too realist (or too postmodern?) for the modernist ones, too communist for his mid-career contemporaries, not communist enough for his late ones. To paraphrase Ugrešić, who has written the introduction to the new translation of Gide’s 1895 Marshlands, whatever Gide is, he is also more than that.” —Ben Libman, The Los Angeles Review of Books

Marshlands is one of the few books I would rewrite word for word as my own, if I could.” —Dubravka Ugresic

“Gide’s 1895 novel Marshlands . . . in the lightest, most Parisian way foreshadows the 20th-century preoccupation with intertextuality, books-within-books, perilously shifting levels of reality and the blurring between genres—between autobiography and fiction, for instance, or essay and récit.” —Edmund White, London Review of Books

Marshlands is an odd book, audaciously experimental for its time and uncommonly well suited to ours. . . . [Marshlands is] autofiction’s progenitor and irreverent masterwork. . . a sendup of writing itself, encompassing the futility, arrogance, and alienation that make up the strange impulse to see one’s thoughts in print.” —Nolan Kelly, Hyperallergic

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