Mara, Marietta | Modigliani, Reclining Nude, 1917 (detail)
WHY READ ‘MARA, MARIETTA’?
6. Memory is the past tense of desire: Mara, Marietta’s multiplicity of narrative modes is driven by the dynamics of this principle, making for a long novel free of longueurs.
7. In its intercutting of narrative lines and voices, its use of flashbacks and flash-forwards and its cubist depiction of character, Mara, Marietta creates a richly textured tapestry in which, for example, physical and metaphysical, earthly and spiritual, shift one into the other as they might in a shamanic trance, making for an exciting state of narrative flux.
8. Mara, Marietta aspires to the Shakespearean ideal of appealing to both aristocrats and groundlings, aiming to be at once challenging and entertaining.
9. It is a novel that, by forging into uncharted territory, breaks new ground artistically. It resolutely refuses stale conventions, eschewing, for example, the simile in favour of a more exciting use of metaphor.
10. If, in its interweaving of memory and desire, perception and recollection, Mara, Marietta may take its place in a prestigious literary lineage, it is nonetheless an utterly original work. Its architecture is frozen music that requires only a good reader to make it sing. A good reader? ‘One who has imagination, memory, a dictionary, and some artistic sense’ (Vladimir Nabokov).
Mara, Marietta | Oronce Fine, Mappemonde en forme de coeur, 1534-36
Modigliani, Reclining Nude, 1917
Oronce Fine, Mappemonde en forme de coeur, 1534-36 (BnF, Paris)
MARA, MARIETTA: A LOVE STORY IN 77 BEDROOMS by RICHARD JONATHAN
Available – see links at bottom of page – in paperback from Amazon; in ebook from Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Nook and Kobo.
By Richard Jonathan | © Mara Marietta Culture Blog, 2019 | All rights reserved