Lunar Follies

Lunar Follies

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by Gilbert Sorrentino
     
 

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“For decades, Gilbert Sorrentino has remained a unique figure in our literature. He reminds us that fiction lives because artists make it. . . . To the novel—everyone’s novel—Sorrentino brings honor, tradition and relentless passion.”—Don DeLillo

“Possessing both the grace of James Joyce and the snap and crackle of

Overview

“For decades, Gilbert Sorrentino has remained a unique figure in our literature. He reminds us that fiction lives because artists make it. . . . To the novel—everyone’s novel—Sorrentino brings honor, tradition and relentless passion.”—Don DeLillo

“Possessing both the grace of James Joyce and the snap and crackle of Tom Wolfe, [Sorrentino] is a must-read for those who fancy fiction served on wry.”—Booklist

“Far from being overly highbrow, Sorrentino manages to be thrillingly disorienting and, at the same time, quite accessible.”—BookSense.com

“Sorrentino has shown himself a perfect mimic of the information age, an era when all is revealed and no one can quite remember who appeared on the cover of last week’s People.”—The Washington Post

A boyhood friend of the late Hubert Selby, Jr., teacher of Jeffrey Eugenides and two-time PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, Gilbert Sorrentino is an elder statesman of American literature who continues to transgress artistic boundaries.

In Lunar Follies, a bitingly satiric, imaginative tour of gallery, museum and performance art exhibitions, Sorrentino skewers the pretensions of the contemporary art world and its flailing attempts at relevance in a society whose attentions have strayed to the immediacy of pop culture. With precise comedic timing and an eye toward lascivious detail, Sorrentino is the perfect guide through this deliciously absurd world.

Gilbert Sorrentino has published over 20 books of fiction and poetry, including the story collection, The Moon in Its Flight, and the recent novel, Little Casino, which was shortlisted for the 2003 PEN/Faulkner Award. After two decades on the faculty at Stanford University, he now lives in his native Brooklyn, New York.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Readers skeptical of (but intrigued by) conceptual and installation art will enjoy this clever parodic take on the contemporary art world. In fake reviews, lists of found objects, profiles, photo captions and catalogue copy-each named for moon landmarks ("Sea of Rains," "Straight Wall," "Lake of Dreams," etc.)-Sorrentino (Little Casino) satirizes the esoteric works found on the cultural cutting edge. He skewers highfalutin academic language ("These familiar geometrical shapes function as footnotes or marginalia, of course"), targets fashion magazines featuring models in $900 "food-encrusted" sweaters from stores with names like "Suck-Egg Mule" and pokes fun at galleries by listing works they've inexplicably rejected, then displayed, including "Myrna Felt Like Undressing for the Conductor" by Yolanda Philippo and "Bottle of Worcestershire Sauce" by Raoul. But like the neon sculptures he playfully derides, Sorrentino belongs to the avant-garde: there's no narrative here, nor are there central characters. Instead, there's a dead-on appropriation of the pretentious critic's voice, which analyzes "qualities that insist on the absence that is within the implied absence of the brick pile itself" and an exquisite attention to detail within the fakery. This proves an intimate knowledge of the subject being mocked; beneath his loving, blustery banter, Sorrentino clearly values the rights of artists to push the limits of audience expectation-and patience. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Sorrentino has long occupied a unique position between modernism and postmodernism, writing brilliant avant-garde poetry and prose while lampooning avant-garde cultural excesses. His latest novel (after Splendide Hatel) is a satirical pastiche of 53 "reviews" of the Manhattan art scene named after geographical features of the moon. The reviews range from faux exhibition catalog texts and press releases to litanies, prose poems, and flash fiction. In Sorrentino's own words, this work might be described as "a somewhat banjaxed and vafuncled series of halfhearted alarums the shifting, flexible, endlessly variegated piece." Some "characters" alluded to are real artists and writers, some are entirely fictitious, and others are thinly veiled parodies. Can a two-page list of paintings and artists rejected by a gallery, for instance, really be considered literary fiction? Yes, hilariously so. Some pieces, e.g., "Eastern Sea," "Sea of Clouds," and "Moscow Sea," look like multiple-page run-on sentences, but if you use the semicolons as line breaks and read them aloud they are lyrical found poems. Savor this book, which is highly recommended for medium to large academic and public libraries.-Jim Dwyer, California State Univ. Lib., Chico Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566892902
Publisher:
Coffee House Press
Publication date:
11/15/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
145
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

A luminary of American literature, Gilbert Sorrentino was a boyhood friend of Hubert Selby, Jr., a confidant of William Carlos Williams, a two-time PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, and the recipient of a Lannan Literary Lifetime Achievement Award. He taught at Stanford for many years before returning to his native Brooklyn and published over thirty books before his death in 2006.

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Lunar Follies 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lunarise's story.