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Centuria: One Hundred Ouroboric Novels Hardcover – February 15, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: McPherson; 1ST edition (February 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929701720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929701721
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Centuria brings together harmony and intensity, wringing creation out of closure; it can make us believe anything's possible. -- John Domini, American Book Review, Nov.-Dec., 2005<br /><br />Centuria brings together harmony and intensity, wringing creation out of closure; it can make us believe anything's possible. --John Domini, American Book Review, Nov.-Dec., 2005<br /><br />Subtle wisdom permeates Centuria. Its 100 'novels' provoke one to laughter and exaltation, and also dismay, sadness, terror... -- Jascha Kessler, California Literary Review, 1/12/06<br /><br />Subtle wisdom permeates Centuria. Its 100 'novels' provoke one to laughter and exaltation, and also dismay, sadness, terror... --Jascha Kessler, California Literary Review, 1/12/06<br /><br />Taken together, the 100 'ourobouric novels' give the impression of a vast and elaborate textual maze... -- Times Literary Supplement, November 11, 2005<br /><br />Taken together, the 100 'ourobouric novels' give the impression of a vast and elaborate textual maze... --Times Literary Supplement, November 11, 2005

Taken together, the 100 'ourobouric novels' give the impression of a vast and elaborate textual maze... --Times Literary Supplement, November 11, 2005

Subtle wisdom permeates Centuria. Its 100 'novels' provoke one to laughter and exaltation, and also dismay, sadness, terror... --Jascha Kessler, California Literary Review, 1/12/06

About the Author

Giorgio Manganelli was born in Milan in 1922, but lived most of his adult life in Rome, where he died in 1990. In the early 1960s he was a member of the avant-garde group "Gruppo '63," which included Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Gianfranco Baruchello, Antonio Porta, and others. After the appearance of Hilarotragoedia in 1964, he went on to publish a remarkable series of books—novels, essays, commentaries, anatomies, travel books, and short stories—in addition to becoming known to the general public as a prolific reviewer and commentator for newspapers and magazines. Centuria appeared in 1979 and was awarded that year's Viareggio Prize, generally held to be Italy's most prestigious literary award. His works have appeared in French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Greek, Polish, Bohemian, Serbo-Croatian, and Hungarian. Centuria—after our publication in 1990 of All the Errors—is his second book to appear in English translation.

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Zach Powers on September 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was one of those little indie bookstore surprises, courtesy of Malaprop's in Asheville, where it was a staff recommendation. I'd never heard of Manganelli but, as is mentioned on the back cover, he was a contemporary of Calvino and Eco, which seemed to be a good indication that Centuria would contain the type of writing I enjoy. While Manganelli calls the 100 forty-line stories in this collection "novels," I think of them as thought experiments. They deal less with character and emotion (though frequently about emotion they seldom contain much emotional weight) and more with an exploration of concept. For example, the first sentence of #84 introduces us to the entry's topic: "He awakens in the middle of the night with the clear, sudden awareness of never having understood the Allegories of his own life." The rest of this entry expands on the meaning of that statement, elucidating (brilliantly) the concept of human life as allegory for itself, and while there is motion of the orobouric sort, it isn't really a story.

I greatly enjoyed Centuria, and if there is one criticism I'd make, it's really external to the book itself, which would probably make it internal to me. I think almost all of the entries succeed at what they set out to do. I just wish that they had a little touch of the human in them. Sometimes, to me, the ideas existed entirely in abstraction, and I wanted a knowable, physical grounding element. It's a small criticism of a brilliant work, but one I make to point out that in the end Centuria is more stimulating than entertaining, and I think it could have been both. Still, I recommend it, especially to those who, like me, love an excursion into the postmodern now and again.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By james stone on October 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
but it's not quite what I was expecting. I think that the book will probably grow on me as time goes on. It is very well written. The short works are well thought out and at time can keep the reader off balance. It is a work of a writer that is a master of his craft. I think, personal opinion, that the stories could have come together in a larger, shall we say, plot. It is a book worth reading.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Raquel Jonon on November 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm really enjoying this book. I'm into Italian, Spanish and French writers. Manganelli and Tabucchi are terrific Italian writers. The themes expressed in ultra-short format are still interesting and engrossing.
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