The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty

Overview

The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty is a sequence of dramatic, apocryphal monologues spoken by an American Irishman who had come to France in the Great War and stayed on, a flamboyantly homosexual abortionist and torrential reconteur with a sweeping knowledge of the seamier regions of history, psychology and culture. Holding court in a Parisian café from September 1939 through June 1940 and the fall of France, Mahoney captivates strangers and habitués alike.

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Overview

The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty is a sequence of dramatic, apocryphal monologues spoken by an American Irishman who had come to France in the Great War and stayed on, a flamboyantly homosexual abortionist and torrential reconteur with a sweeping knowledge of the seamier regions of history, psychology and culture. Holding court in a Parisian café from September 1939 through June 1940 and the fall of France, Mahoney captivates strangers and habitués alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Klappert has written a dirge for a dying era, and he has composed it in the language of that culture. Among other things, The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty is a consummate piece of ventriloquism. Only Thomas Pynchon in Gravity's Rainbow has reproduced with the same authenticity the European slang, politics, popular entertainment, brand names, hopes, and anxieties of this World War II epoch. That Klappert was only three years old when the war ended merely serves to heighten the miraculous nature of his recuperation of this vanished world. Not only has his ambition been vast but his achievement has also been distinguished. The Idiot Princess is a final and original expression of the very modernism the war brought to an end."—Edmund White, The New Republic

"An artistic triumph . . . Klappert's book offers a tribute to Paris and its people in the bright, feverish period just before World War II . . ."—David Kirby, Library Journal

"For all its strangeness—because of it!—The Idiot Princess succeeds. Klappert has taken on a most daring and difficult conceit in order to hurl new tonal possibilities our way. . . . If the poet's job is to invigorate the speech of the tribe, then here is a poet who is earning his keep."—Sven Birkerts, Electric Life

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Product Details

Meet the Author

PETER KLAPPERT was born in 1942 and grew up in Rowayton, Connecticut. He is the author of several collections of poems including Lugging Vegetables to Nantucket, which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty was first published in 1984 by Alfred A. Knopf. For many years Klappert has taught in the Graduate Writing Program at George Mason University. He lives in Apollo Beach, Florida, and in Washington D.C. with Anonymous Bosch.

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Table of Contents

A Note on Dan Mahoney
Acknowledgments
Mahoney the Bad Traveler

BUSINESS AS USUAL
Business as Usual: The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty

THE SUBJECTS OF DISCONTENT
Patati et Patata
The Subjects of Discontent (I)
The Flower Cart and the Butcher
The Subjects of Discontent (II)
Infectious Scotoma
The Mole's Eye
The Subjects of Discontent (III)
Laughter in the Peroration

DOC' MAHONEY AND THE LAUGHTER OF WAR
Doc' Mahoney and the Laughter of War

WRONG RABBIT, WRONG HAT
Wrong Rabbit, Wrong Hat

LA BELLE EPOQUE
La Belle Epoque
Internal Foreigners
"La Lepre Anarchique et Juive"
Les Places Numerotees
Does Daniel Believe in Order?
Kilometer Zero
Adolphe, or The Sad Young Man
A Sentimental Journey &c. &c.
The New U

ESTIENNE
Pontius Mahoney
Estienne
Disturbed
Annus Mirabilis
February 6, 1934
A Small Parenthesis
The Dangling Participant
A Considerable Silence
Plus Mauvais
1939
Or Not So Much Disturbed
Estienne Redivivus

ANOTHER MERRY WIDOW
Another Merry Widow

SERO MEDICINA
Sero Medicina (I)
An Oratorical Derailment
Sero Medicina (II)
Mea Culpa Mahoney
Grandfather Philip
That Must Have Been the Place
Le Bon Zique, Quand Meme
Hard Measures
Mahoney Non Cul., Prest
Does It Have a Plot?
J'Accuse
Minimal Mahoney, in His Cups
Sero Medicina (III)

SAINT DANIEL THE PARANOIAC
Medic
1919
"Thank God the Other Side Has Generals Too"
The Thinking Hand That Shapes the Human Form
Satan Who Is Most Noisy When He Whispers
Saint Daniel the Paranoiac
This
Evreux Burning, Louviers Burning, Rouen Burning
Daniel's Other Love Song

LOW SUNDAY
Low Sunday

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