Bold Ventures: Thirteen Tales of Architectural Tragedy

Bold Ventures: Thirteen Tales of Architectural Tragedy

by Charlotte Van den Broeck, David McKay (Translator)


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on September 20, 2022


A prize-winning Belgian poet explores the nature of creative endeavor—the god-like ambition, the crushing defeat of failure—through the stories of thirteen tragic architects.

In thirteen fascinating chapters, Charlotte Van den Broeck goes in search of buildings that were fatal to their architects—architects who either killed themselves or are rumored to have done so. They range across time and space from a church with a twisted spire in seventeenth-century France to a theater that collapsed mid-performance in 1920s Washington, DC, and an eerily sinking swimming pool in the author’s hometown. Drawing on a vast range of material, from Hegel and Darwin to art history, stories from her own life, and popular culture, patterns gradually come into focus as Van den Broeck asks, What is that strange, life-or-death connection between a creation and its creator?

Threaded through each story, the author meditates on the question of suicide—what Albert Camus called the “one truly serious philosophical problem”—in relation to creativity and public disgrace. The result is a profoundly idiosyncratic book, breaking ground in literary nonfiction, as well as providing solace and consolation to anyone who has ever attempted a creative act.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635423174
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
Publication date: 09/20/2022
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Charlotte Van den Broeck has published two collections of poetry. Her debut collection, Chameleon, was awarded the Herman de Coninck debut prize for poetry. For her second collection, Nachtroer, she received the triannual Paul Snoek Prize for the best collection of poetry in Dutch. Her poetry has been translated into German, French, Spanish, Afrikaans, Serbian, and English. Bold Ventures was a Dutch bestseller and won the Confituur Boekhandels Prize, the Dr. Wijnaendts Franckenprijs Prize, and was short-listed for the Boekenbon Literature Prize and the Jan Hanlo Essay Prize.

David McKay’s translation work has been described as “dazzlingly lyrical” (Neel Mukherjee, The Guardian). He received the Vondel Prize for his translation of War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans, which was also nominated for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize and short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. His co-translation with Ina Rilke of the classic nineteenth-century novel Max Havelaar was short-listed for the 2020 Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize, and in 2021 he was the ALTA Dutch-English mentor.

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