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Outline: A Novel av Rachel Cusk
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Outline: A Novel (urspr publ 2014; utgåvan 2015)

av Rachel Cusk (Författare)

Serier: Outline Trilogy (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,1737812,274 (3.63)146
Hyllad och älskad både av kritiker och läsare. Nu kommer Rachel Cusks trilogi, som inleddes med Konturer och följdes av Transit och Kudos, i en samlingsvolym. Den hör till vår tids stora litterära bedrifter.
Medlem:drbrand
Titel:Outline: A Novel
Författare:Rachel Cusk (Författare)
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2015), 256 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:literature

Verkdetaljer

Outline av Rachel Cusk (2014)

Senast inlagd avcrimson-tide, privat bibliotek, LizARees, giovannaz63, KathrynEastman, MRMP, Library37

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» Se även 146 omnämnanden

engelska (71)  spanska (3)  italienska (1)  nederländska (1)  finska (1)  Alla språk (77)
Visa 1-5 av 77 (nästa | visa alla)
Not really a collection of short stories, but hardly a traditional novel, either. One character goes to Athens for a week to teach a writing course. On the plane ride she meets a man who tells her of his life, and then we hear the stories of many other people she meets. It's sort of writing by telling, not showing, because the stories are told by the people who lived them, so they include their own perspective or commentary into the stories. It makes for a very detached reading experience, everyone stays at arm's length from the reader. It feels a bit boring, and yet the tales have a lot of interesting perspective on life and how we deal with the people in our lives, how we perceive them and then reflect back, and how we choose to interpret and present these interactions. So in some ways the writing is rather deep, but you have to choose to go there, not just sit back and wait to be entertained. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Nov 22, 2020 |
At first I had trouble understand the point of this book, but once I got the format down there were some stories/characters I liked abs some I didn’t. ( )
  newnaturalmama | Nov 15, 2020 |
1st in a trilogy about an author named Faye who takes on various literary duties in addition to her writing - in this book it is a guest teaching fellowship in Athens. Kind of like Seinfeld, the book is about nothing, but at the same time, many many topics get touched upon, reflected on, discussed and dissected, which is really something. It takes place in a series of 10 conversations, which are really more like monologues, for Faye doesn't say much and seems to be an extraordinary listener. But that is part of her craft - as she queries, what did you notice? It is about paying attention - to everything. "The unexpected sometimes looks like a prompting of fate." (6) The first chapter is an airplane conversation - her seat-mate regales her with explanation and analysis of two of his three failed marriages. Athens is home, where there is a family estate, an island, a boat and a mentally ill son. He surfaces again under the designation of "my neighbor" referring to his seat proximity and takes her out on the boat a couple times. He is the most cogent thread in the book. The others are random: another guest author, a handful of old friends, and we get to sit in on her writing class and meet the students a couple times. But the writing is extraordinary and Cusk's observations of social constructs, how we interact with others, what art and literature are, and choices we make about how we live are really the meat of this book. It's a unique plot (or lack-of) device and gives the reader both an inside track and an outer distance.
Faye is working through something in her own life and the various conversations give us little glimpses of it, but we don't have the whole picture yet. Here's a sample of Cusk's brilliance: "Sometimes it has seemed to me that life is a series of punishments for such moments of unawareness, that one forges one's own destiny by what one doesn't notice or feel compassion for' that what you don't know and don't make the effort to understand will become the very thing you are forced into knowledge of." (94) ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
My wife used to read the TLS 'books of the year' edition and use it to choose books she wanted to get. Then, one fateful year, everyone recommended a certain book; she purchased it in expensive hardcover, read it in a day, and was completely flummoxed. The book was garbage. What to make of this?

She decided that the U.K. publishing scene is so small and (her word) incestuous that they just read the same five books and then talked about them for a week before moving on. She no longer looks to the TLS end of the year special for any tips.*

And Rachel Cusk's abysmal 'Outline' seems to be another case of British froth that has now migrated across the pond for no obvious reason. You might really like to read 'Outline' if, for instance, you really want to read a version of Jacob's Room without all that excessively beautiful prose, and you just can't get enough of the post-Sebaldian "I did this, then I did that, I thought about a kiss, then I sat on a cat" contemporary novel. Yes, this is a book in which a woman goes to Greece and talks about stuff with people. You may be shocked to learn that

a) people get divorced

and

b) people tell stories about themselves.

But I suggest you should be more shocked that a book set in contemporary Greece, of all places, is so hermetically sealed in the world of upper-middle class creative/business types. You should be shocked that the dreary prose of Literary Fiction can receive such rapturous reviews. You should be shocked that deep wisdom about being "caught in a net of words" and "trying to find a different way of living in the world" and the odd spot of anti-literary meta-narrative ("a story might merely be a series of events we believe ourselves to be involved in, but on which we have absolutely no influence at all"; "the story of improvement... has even infected the novel, though perhaps now the novel is infecting us back again, so that we expect of our lives what we've come to expect of our books") can be thrown between two covers and sold to the general public.

And if you're not shocked by that, at least be shocked by the fact that FSG saw fit to publish this in a sans-serif font, as if adverting to the fact that everyone can talk about it, but nobody will read it.


* To be fair, I learned about the project to translate Karl Krauss's 'Last Days of Mankind' from it last year, so it's not all bad. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
I could see this is a worthwhile read and I would have thought, right up my alley! but I didn't get into it. Listened for about 2 hours and needed more of a pull. ( )
  Okies | Oct 4, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 77 (nästa | visa alla)
Cusk uses unostentatious but immaculately chosen language to convey graspable ideas about marriage, divorce and personal identity that have no less an impact for being so.

The novel is structured around a series of encounters between a rotating cast of characters.. The dust jacket calls Outline “a novel in ten conversations,” but that feels slightly inaccurate given that Kaye often acts more like a confessor than a participant. In fact, despite narrating in the first person, she reveals virtually nothing about herself. (Cusk has been more voluble about her own life: her eleven books include three memoirs, one of which created a kerfuffle overseas for its unromantic views about motherhood.)..Cusk is Canadian by birth but grew up in the UK, where she still lives (she has the accent to prove it). That’s a technicality, however, that shouldn’t stop us from trying to lay claim to some part of this beautiful, desolate novel.
 
Rachel Cusk is better known in England than in America; her sharply satirical books about the tolls of family life play better across the Atlantic than here in our often puritanical culture, with its bias towards domesticity..Whereas Cusk's earlier books examined self-definition in the context of marriage and family, her latest ventures outside the home, intriguingly exploring the way people measure themselves in relation to other people's stories. Outline marks an impressive deepening of Cusk's work, and a bold step toward integrating her fiction and nonfiction. There's nothing empty or sketchy about it.
tillagd av vancouverdeb | ändraNPR
 
In this respect, Outline belongs to a strain of literature that runs from the Romantics, through Virginia Woolf, to the memoiristic novels of contemporaries such as Sheila Heti and Karl Ove Knausgaard. It's the hardest kind of fiction to bring off, always running the risk of narcissism and banality, but when it works, it feels paradoxically more miraculous than its artifice-dependent cousins. To my mind Outline succeeds powerfully. Among other things, it gets a great variety of human beings down on to the page with both immediacy and depth; an elemental pleasure that makes the book as gripping to read as a thriller..... I can't say that bothered me, but no doubt it will keep some readers from responding to the book as enthusiastically as I did. It didn't make the Man Booker longlist, for instance. But on the other hand it was serialised in its entirety by the Paris Review, a rare distinction, and a richly deserved tribute to what strikes me as a stellar accomplishment.
 

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among other things a marriage is a system of belief, a story, and though it manifests itself in things that are real enough, the impulse that drives it is ultimately mysterious
your failures keep returning to you, while your successes are something you always have to convince yourself of
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Hyllad och älskad både av kritiker och läsare. Nu kommer Rachel Cusks trilogi, som inleddes med Konturer och följdes av Transit och Kudos, i en samlingsvolym. Den hör till vår tids stora litterära bedrifter.

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