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Chasm Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 21, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dorothea Tanning was born in Galesburg, Illinois in 1910 and moved to New York in the 1940s where she met and married Max Ernst. There she became known for her very personal and powerful surrealist paintings. Her work is included in collections at the Tate Gallery, the Georges Pompiou Center, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Menil Collection, Houston. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover; 1345th edition (October 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585675849
  • ASIN: B000C4T1TA
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,409,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
One doesn't often have their first novel published at age 94. Dorothea Tanning has published as a poet & a memoir volume as well as being recognized as a painter & sculptor. As far as I know, this would be her first novel. "Chasm: A Weekend" is a kind of modern gothic tale, mostly set in the desert of the Southwest United States.

Tanning's prose is as picturesque as we might imagine one known as a painter might write. Her words paint detailed specific images that for me tended to bog down the unfolding of the story. The history that began the tale showed a long line of females all named Destina, all with kind of supernatural earth mother senses, many of whom lived short or unhappy lives. Raoul Meridian has apparently inherited the estate of Windcote from one of said Destinas and built it into a spooky gothic mansion in the middle of nowhere. He is a bizarre figure, eccentric in dress and scientific interests, who enjoys hedonistic worldly pleasures at the expense of much actual human intimacy. Meridian enjoys inviting people to his estate for weekend parties where he prefers the attentions of his female guests. His former wife's orphaned granddaughter is another Destina who lives a bizarre existence in an upper floor of the mansion attended to by Nelly, a strange dimwitted refugee from some institutional care setting. Destina at age 7 enjoys a special relationship with a mountain lion who brings her trophies of various animal body parts that she keeps closely guarded. Albert & Nadine are two of the guests who swirl into the party. Albert Exodus befriends Destina while Nadine fascinates Meridian.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Improv bass 4 on April 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No doubt about it: this book is difficult to enjoy. However, if one is familiar with surrealist -oriented writing, it is a bit easier. this book, like other writings in its genre, works with moving the reader from the conscious to the subconscious and the unconscious…. and back again, multiple times in its brief 150+ pages. therefore, one must be willing to suspend the need for constantly-changing scenes, lots of dialogue and action, and the shifting of time. it is a "dreamy" type of read and so takes a great deal of time to work with it in the way that allows one to access the often quite profound things that it is saying about character, motives, appearance, identity, reality and of course, the sub- and unconscious aspects of a person's existence. when the reader "descends" into the world of the book and its odd characters, there are abundant profundities. and of course, Tanning's metaphors and descriptions are lyrical and unique. Having read some of her other work, i was glad to receive this small gem of a book for my birthday, and absolutely awed by its power. It is not for everyone, but if you want to go on a journey into the rarely traveled regions of the subconscious mind and how it influences a life and give yourself to that journey without expectations, this book is for you.
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