Moravagine ( New York Review Book Classics Series)

( 2 )

Overview

At once truly appalling and appallingly funny, Blaise Cendrars's Moravagine bears comparison with Naked Lunch—except that it's a lot more entertaining to read. Heir to an immense aristocratic fortune, mental and physical mutant Moravagine is a monster, a man in pursuit of a theorem that will justify his every desire. Released from a hospital for the criminally insane by his starstruck psychiatrist (the narrator of the book), who foresees a companionship in crime that will also be an unprecedented scientific ...

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Overview

At once truly appalling and appallingly funny, Blaise Cendrars's Moravagine bears comparison with Naked Lunch—except that it's a lot more entertaining to read. Heir to an immense aristocratic fortune, mental and physical mutant Moravagine is a monster, a man in pursuit of a theorem that will justify his every desire. Released from a hospital for the criminally insane by his starstruck psychiatrist (the narrator of the book), who foresees a companionship in crime that will also be an unprecedented scientific collaboration, Moravagine travels from Moscow to San Antonio to deepest Amazonia, engaged in schemes and scams as, among other things, terrorist, speculator, gold prospector, and pilot. He also enjoys a busy sideline in rape and murder. At last, the two friends return to Europe—just in time for World War I, when "the whole world was doing a Moravagine."

This new edition of Cendrars's underground classic is the first in English to include the author's afterword, "How I Wrote Moravagine."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rip-roaring fiction and imaginative adventuring on all planes of experience."
Times Literary Supplement

"Moravagine seeks damnation and extinction with a glee unequaled in literature. The only parallels that come to mind are Céline and Beckett."
— Sven Birkerts, New Boston Review

"An unbridled picaresque fantasy…full of tenderness, horror, and ink-black jokes of a visual intensity that recall Goya."
Financial Times

"Savage, funny, wildly inventive."
— John Lehmann, Sunday Telegraph

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590170632
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 5/10/2004
  • Series: New York Review Books Classics Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 395,393
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.97 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Blaise Cendrars (1887–1961) was the pseudonym of Frédéric Sauser, the Swiss son of a French Anabaptist father and a Scottish mother. As a young man he traveled widely, from St. Petersburg to New York and beyond, and these wanderings proved the inspiration of much of his later poetry and prose. Settled in Paris in 1912, Cendrars published two long poems, “Easter in New York” and “The Transsiberian,” which made him a major figure in the poetic avant-garde. At the outset of World War I, he enlisted in the French Foreign Legion, losing an arm in the battle of the Marnes. A prolific poet, Cendrars was also an exceptional novelist, the author of Moravagine, Gold, Rhum, and The Confessions of Dan Yack, among many other books.

Paul La Farge is the author of two novels: The Artist of the Missing, and Haussmann, or the Distinction, which was a New York Times Notable Book for 2001. His third book, The Facts of Winter, was in January 2005.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I The spirit of an age
1 Internship 15
2 An international sanitorium 20
3 Case histories and files 25
Pt. II Life of Moravagine, an idiot
4 His origins - his childhood 31
5 His escape 44
6 Our disguises 46
7 Arrival in Berlin 47
8 His education 49
9 Jack the Ripper 56
10 Arrival in Russia 59
11 Mascha 64
12 Crossing the Atlantic 123
13 Our rambles in America 127
14 The blue Indians 136
15 Back to Paris 171
16 Aviation 175
17 The war 183
18 Sainte Marguerite Island 185
19 Morphine 188
20 The planet Mars 192
21 The iron mask 193
Pt. III Moravagine's manuscripts
22 The year 2013 200
23 The end of the world 201
24 The only word in the Martian language 202
25 An unpublished page from Moravagine's MSS, his signature, his portrait 203
26 Epitaph 207
How I wrote Moravagine (found documents) 211
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2004

    forest gump with a sex complex

    I read it because Henry Miller practically worshipped Cendrars. The chapter entitled 'America' is all alone an astute and arrogant development of aesthetic industry from the days of potsherds up to Cendrar's beloved oceanliners.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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