- By Fleur Jaeggy Minna Proctor

These Possible Lives: Essays

  • Title: These Possible Lives: Essays
  • Author: Fleur Jaeggy Minna Proctor
  • ISBN: 9780811226875
  • Page: 203
  • Format: Paperback
  • These Possible Lives Essays In these strange and mesmerizing essays about three writers Thomas De Quincey John Keats and Marcel Schwob Fleur Jaeggy a renowned stylist of hyperbrevity in fiction proves herself an even concise

    In these strange and mesmerizing essays about three writers Thomas De Quincey, John Keats, and Marcel Schwob Fleur Jaeggy, a renowned stylist of hyperbrevity in fiction, proves herself an even concise master of the essay form, albeit in a most peculiar and lapidary poetic vein Of De Quincey s early nineteenth century world we hear of the habits of writers Charles LaIn these strange and mesmerizing essays about three writers Thomas De Quincey, John Keats, and Marcel Schwob Fleur Jaeggy, a renowned stylist of hyperbrevity in fiction, proves herself an even concise master of the essay form, albeit in a most peculiar and lapidary poetic vein Of De Quincey s early nineteenth century world we hear of the habits of writers Charles Lamb spoke of Lilliputian rabbits when eating frog fricassee, Henry Fuseli ate a diet of raw meat in order to obtain splendid dreams, Hazlitt was perceptive about musculature and boxers, and Wordsworth used a buttery knife to cut the pages of a first edition Burke In a book of blue devils and night visions, the Keats essay opens In 1803, the guillotine was a common child s toy And poor Schwob s end comes as he feels like a dog cut open alive His face colored slightly, turning into a mask of gold His eyes stayed open imperiously No one could shut his eyelids The room smoked of grief Fleur Jaeggy s essays or are they prose poems smoke of necessity the pages are on fire.

    1 thought on “These Possible Lives: Essays

    1. This superbly concentrated book of creative nonfiction should not be knocked back like a shot, but rather sipped slowly like a good grappa. It consists of three hyper-brief biographies of writers: De Quincey, Keats, and Marcel Schwob. The lives herein are, as the original title has it, ‘congetturali’, and yet the moments of poetic speculation are few and serve only to highlight the accuracy of a certain mood and tone associated with each subject.It took Andrew Motion more than six hundred pa [...]

    2. These three mini-biographies of Thomas De Quincey, John Keats, and Marcel Schwob are really best thought of as prose-poems and demand slow, careful reading, preferably with a glass of white wine alongside. Each piece captures something essential about the personality it describes in the form of a series of images, each crafted like a pearl . . . and each, it seems to me, centering upon death.

    3. Nico circa 1970. 'Janitor of Lunacy' set to biographic prose-poems. Fleur's style of scholarship seems birthed from the "icy silence of the tomb", playground of erudite mystics and snatchers of primordial pulses, places where titans like Calasso and Kenner frolic. My head is still abuzz with her subtle insinuations, her textures; I've read countless Keats biographies, yet none compress his variegated esprit quite like this:If a face is nothing more than a Spiegelkammer of the spirit, then we sho [...]

    4. Review to come. A tiny book with sharp mini biographies of De Qunicey, Keats and Marcel Schwob. Remarkable. My review of this with I Am the Brother of XX is now live at Numéro Cinq: numerocinqmagazine/2017/07

    5. A tiny book in which every phrase demands to be lingered over — when one isn't grabbing the phone to Google a name or a face. Each of the three minuscule biographical sketches projects dimension as full as a longer, more formal work, and each is a model of fascinated authority, or authoritative fascination. It's also witty, as in this sharply drawn anecdote in the section devoted to Keats:One day in Haydon’s study, Keats recited “Hymn to Pan.” Wordsworth was there; he kept his left hand [...]

    6. i so enjoy little books like this one reminded me of Evan S. Connell's "Notes From a Bottle", just interesting and inconsequential facts and observations about historical figures of note, at least two of them anyway never read anything by Jaeggy before, but if this is any indication of her style, i will likely seek out further books each mini-bio has a ghostly feel, or maybe it's more shadowy, as in 'written by their shadow', since the passages are of things quite personal or so innocuously rand [...]

    7. Jaeggy applies her trademark direct yet elusive prose to very brief nonfictional biographies of three writers: Thomas De Quincey, John Keats, and Marcel Schwob.About De Quincey: "Thomas De Quincey became a visionary in 1791 when he was six years old. His older brother William was looking for a way to walk on the ceiling upside down like a fly. Richard, who they called Pink, signed on to a whaling ship and had been captured by pirates. The other siblings were depressives. Thomas leafed listlessly [...]

    8. Ante la prosa de Fleur Jaeggy, uno siempre tiene la obligación de continuar como lector el mismo proceso meticuloso de escritura que ha culminado en el texto; más, sobre todo, si se trata de una obra tan breve, tan concentrada y al mismo tiempo delicada, como Vidas conjeturales. Para entender el aliento evocador que Jaeggy insufla a sus relatos sobre Thomas De Quincey, John Keats y Marcel Schwob, no basta con atravesar sus apuntes biográficos. Hace falta vivirlos, sumergirnos en el estado emo [...]

    9. A strange, hypnotic book. I picked this up on a whim and found it impossible to put down. Three mini-biographies: De Quincey, Keats, Marcel Schwob (whom I had never heard of). Each essay proceeds according to its own strange emotional logic. It's a strange book but so confidently written that it draws you in completely.

    10. Restores the “oddness” to Romantic figures like Keats, and hence to Romanticism. Jaeggy’s prose style is rapid, disorienting, strange, and utterly compelling; these unconventional mini-biographies spend a lot of time on their subjects’ habits, physicality, and friends (who knew Keats played cricket, or that he had very broad shoulders?), and the effect is uncanny.

    11. Esta pequeño tríptico de semblanzas de escritores malditos (Quincey, Keats, Schwob) es una delicia. Con aires borgianos, Jaeggy lleva con su prodigioso estilo la vida de sus antecesores a una muerte prematura pero que en sus textos es arrebatadoramente Bella e incluso necesaria.

    12. Have this book for the short essay on Keats, which is extraordinary in its depth, considering its brevity. All these mini biographies are masterful and mysterious pieces which merit a close reading. Loved them and just wish there were more.

    13. I have this marked as read, though I don't remember finishing it. I thought I decided not to finish it?Wasn't that good. The writing style bothered me. I thought it had a lot of promise, too, before opening it.

    14. Según el diccionario de la RAE, una “conjetura” es un “juicio que se forma de las cosas o acaecimientos por indicios y observaciones“… Y no es algo casual que este microlibro (publicado dentro de la colección Alpha Mini de Alpha Decay) ostente el título de “Vidas Conjeturales“: en él se incluyen tres mini-biografías que abordan sendas vidas cuya intimidad, más allá de su legado puramente literario, sólo se puede abordar de forma puramente conjetural. Puede que lo haga espol [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *