Death in Spring [NOOK Book]

Overview

Considered by many to be the grand achievement of her later period, DEATH IN SPRING is one of Mercè Rodoreda's most complex and beautifully constructed works. The novel tells the story of the bizarre and destructive customs of a nameless town—burying the dead in trees after filling their mouths with cement to prevent their soul from escaping, or sending a man to swim in the river that courses underneath the town to discover if they will be washed away by a flood—through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old boy who ...
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Death in Spring

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Overview

Considered by many to be the grand achievement of her later period, DEATH IN SPRING is one of Mercè Rodoreda's most complex and beautifully constructed works. The novel tells the story of the bizarre and destructive customs of a nameless town—burying the dead in trees after filling their mouths with cement to prevent their soul from escaping, or sending a man to swim in the river that courses underneath the town to discover if they will be washed away by a flood—through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old boy who must come to terms with the rhyme and reason of this ritual violence, and with his wild, child-like, and teenaged stepmother, who becomes his playmate. It is through these rituals, and the developing relationships between the boy and the townspeople, that Rodoreda portrays a fully-articulated, though quite disturbing, society.

The horrific rituals, however, stand in stark contrast to the novel’s stunningly poetic language and lush descriptions. Written over a period of twenty years—after Rodoreda was forced into exile following the Spanish Civi War—Death in Spring is musical and rhythmic, and truly the work of a writer at the height of her powers.

A book for the ages, DEATH IN SPRING can be read as a metaphor for Franco's Spain (or any oppressed society), or as a mythological quest novel. Similar to Shirley Jackson’s work (especially The Lottery), and featuring the imaginative qualities of Raymond Roussel’s Impressions of Africa, Rodoreda’s last novel is a bold, ambitious statement, and a fitting capstone to her remarkable career.
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Editorial Reviews

BOMB magazine
Her last novel and posthumous masterpiece is painfully beautiful. . . . A deft political allegory bursting with paradox and intrigue.
Ryan Michael Williams
The bleakness of Rodoreda’s outlook stands in dramatic contrast to the gorgeous lyricism of her prose. In Martha Tennent’s translation, her sentences are richly luxuriant, embodying the fecund beauty of spring in bloom while also admitting the imminence of death and decay. . . . The novel’s rewards are substantial. Rodoreda’s accomplishment here amply demonstrates that her work deserves far greater attention in the U.S. than she has thus far received.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934824450
  • Publisher: Open Letter
  • Publication date: 12/3/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 182 KB

Meet the Author

Mercè Rodoreda (1908–1983) is widely regarded as the most important Catalan writer of the twentieth century. Exiled in France and Switzerland following the Spanish Civil War, Rodoreda began writing the novels and short stories—Twenty-two Short Stories, The Times of the Doves, Camellia Street, Garden by the Sea—that would eventually make her internationally famous, while at the same time earning a living as a seamstress. In the mid-1960s she returned to Catalonia, where she continued to write. THE SELECTED STORIES BY MERCE RODOREDA is also available from Open Letter.
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Customer Reviews

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