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In Search of Lost Books: The Forgotten Stories of Eight Mythical Volumes (2016)

av Giorgio Van Straten

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1104192,956 (3.6)11
The gripping and elegiac stories of eight lost books, and the mysterious circumstances behind their disappearances. They exist as a rumour or a fading memory. They vanished from history leaving scarcely a trace, lost to fire, censorship, theft, war or deliberate destruction, yet those who seek them are convinced they will find them. This is the story of one man's quest for eight mysterious lost books. Taking us from Florence to Regency London, the Russian Steppe to British Columbia, Giorgio van Straten unearths stories of infamy and tragedy, glimmers of hope and bitter twists of fate. There are, among others, the rediscovered masterpiece that he read but failed to save from destruction; the Hemingway novel that vanished in a suitcase at the Gare du Lyon; the memoirs of Lord Byron, burnt to avoid a scandal; the Magnum Opus of Bruno Schulz, disappeared along with its author in wartime Poland; the mythical Sylvia Plath novel that may one day become reality. As gripping as a detective novel, as moving as an elegy, this is the tale of a love affair with the impossible, of the things that slip away from us but which, sometimes, live again in the stories we tell.… (mer)
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Visar 4 av 4
A short, lyrical meditation on eight lost books. Some of these tales I had read about before, but others were new to me, and were most interesting, and the whole thing is quite nicely written. ( )
1 rösta JBD1 | Feb 23, 2020 |
‘’Could it be the void itself which fascinates us, since it’s possible to fill it with the notion that what is missing might be something crucial, perfect, incomparable?’’

One of the most fascinating - and sometimes disappointing - ‘’what if’’ in the reading community has to do with the books that were once written but never saw the ‘’light’’ of publication. Books that were destroyed, lost, forgotten. The great tragedians wrote hundreds of plays and what actually survives of their work is a tiny minuscule portion. Imagine the potential plays of Shakespeare that didn’t survive. How richer and, dare I say, more beautiful reading experiences would have been ours had those creations survived…

Now, in this extremely interesting and excellently written book, Giorgio Van Straten presents the adventure of 8 books by authors who have sealed the course of World Literature. Books that were written under special circumstances and were lost soon after. ‘’Lost’’ may not be the proper verb, though. Works by writers such as Gogol, Plath, Hemingway, Byron. A book is destroyed to protect a marriage, another is thrown away to salvage the reputation of an influential man. A lost suitcase containing the juvenalia of one of the greatest writers causes discord between a husband and a wife. A poet is a potential suspect for his wife’s lost unfinished manuscript, two books become one of the millions of victims of the Nazi nightmare. A Russian Divine Comedy never comes to fruition, a writer succumbs to alcohol and causes a devastating fire. Human feelings become the motive for destruction, unfortunate coincidences, secrets, fear of the past and of the future, the need for perfection, the uncertainty of success in a melancholic literary journey from Florence to London, from Paris to Russia and from beautiful British Columbia to Prague.

Van Straten writes in a very direct, elegantly conversational style and often refers to his personal sources and to the views of writers contemporary to each respective author. He comes across as an extremely professional researcher, dedicated and fully respectful of the work and the life of 8 writers who have given us masterpieces. How much more some of them had to offer but fell victims to life’s troubling whims….

Many thanks to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com ( )
2 rösta AmaliaGavea | Jul 15, 2018 |
Acht vrij korte essays over acht verloren of vernietigde boeken en/of manuscripten - interessant met enkele weetjes en inzichten waar Van Straten voor zichzelf de ruimte creëert om iets boeiend te gaan vertellen, maar blijft al bij al vrij oppervlakkig. De titel is enigszins misleidend: van een zoektocht is weinig of geen sprake, en enkele van deze verhalen zijn allesbehalve 'vergeten'. ( )
  razorsoccam | Feb 15, 2018 |
Un petit essai, intéressant mais sans plus. ( )
  Nikoz | Oct 5, 2017 |
Visar 4 av 4
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Giorgio Van Stratenprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Carnell, SimonÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Segre, EricaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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The gripping and elegiac stories of eight lost books, and the mysterious circumstances behind their disappearances. They exist as a rumour or a fading memory. They vanished from history leaving scarcely a trace, lost to fire, censorship, theft, war or deliberate destruction, yet those who seek them are convinced they will find them. This is the story of one man's quest for eight mysterious lost books. Taking us from Florence to Regency London, the Russian Steppe to British Columbia, Giorgio van Straten unearths stories of infamy and tragedy, glimmers of hope and bitter twists of fate. There are, among others, the rediscovered masterpiece that he read but failed to save from destruction; the Hemingway novel that vanished in a suitcase at the Gare du Lyon; the memoirs of Lord Byron, burnt to avoid a scandal; the Magnum Opus of Bruno Schulz, disappeared along with its author in wartime Poland; the mythical Sylvia Plath novel that may one day become reality. As gripping as a detective novel, as moving as an elegy, this is the tale of a love affair with the impossible, of the things that slip away from us but which, sometimes, live again in the stories we tell.

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