Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Pigeon Post Paperback – December 1, 2008
From Publishers Weekly
A Romanian novelist writing in French (here newly translated into English) creates in this fragmentary, meandering work the charmingly sad tale of a solitary writer, Ed, as he attempts to make sense of his memories. From his Parisian apartment, Ed observes the comings and goings of pigeons and neighbors, such as the widow Maryse and her Pekinese, all the while relishing his solitude and sifting through the "raw material" of his sensations and memories. He resolves to write a novel by introducing anecdotes helter-skelter and enlisting the ideas of his three childhood friends named, suspiciously, Edmund, Edgar and Edward. From the responses and criticism of these trusty alter-egos, Ed constructs a kind of journal of spontaneous writing centered on his upbringing in Agen and a present flirtation with an older man who plays chess in a café for a living. Delighting in his gleeful prevarication, the narrator opens himself to witty self-scrutiny and invites the reader to participate in his inventive, surreal literary feast.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"[Vain Art of the Fugue] is a work of singular invention and joy, a successful experiment in every aspect of the novel, especially delight." --The Believer
"With his metaphors and traps, Dumitru Tsepeneag reminds me of a magician who pulls flowers, animals, and strange objects out of his hat. He lays comical stories over a poignant, and often grim, background." --Journal de Geneve
"[Tsepeneag] induces the sense that memory, time, and consciousness are both mutable and, ultimately, unknowable." --Elizabeth Hand, Village Voice
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Slowly, out of the tangle of seemingly unrelated fragments, several cohesive story lines emerge, but they are never fully explored. Nor does Pigeon Post offer much in the way of thematic development (in that same interview, Tsepeneag admits to no more than "the shadow of a theme"). Early in the novel, in a passage where Ed describes his writing project, Tsepeneag signals what kind of reader he's hoping to reach:
"When all's said and done, I'm piecing together a puzzle that doesn't exist. In the insane hope that when I'm through, I'll manage to put forward a more or less consistent story. I'm counting a little on the reader here, on the kind that's capable of hanging in there to the end, or remaining active and alert like a detective in a dentist's waiting room."
Pigeon Post is frustrating and unsatisfying on many levels, mostly those related to our desire to read a good tale in an accessible form. Viewed as an experiment in structure and identity, however, this novel is a deliciously complex subversion of our expectations, right up to the elegant twist at the very end.