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Troubling Love Paperback – 15 March 2016
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About the Author
Elena Ferrante is the author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa, 2005), Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008) and the four volumes of the Neapolitan Quartet (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child), published by Europa Editions between 2012 and 2015. She is also the author of a children’s picture book illustrated by Mara Cerri, The Beach at Night, and a work of non-fiction, Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey.
Ann Goldstein is one of the most accomplished translators from the Italian working today. Best known for her translations of Elena Ferrante’s oeuvre, she has also brought to Anglo-Saxon readers novels by Primo Levi, Pierpaolo Pasolini, Alessandro Baricco and other classic and contemporary Italian writers.
- Publisher : Europa Editions (15 March 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 144 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1933372168
- ISBN-13 : 978-1933372167
- Item Weight : 176 g
- Dimensions : 13.72 x 1.14 x 20.96 cm
- Country of Origin : India
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from other countries
Apart from her unlikely career drawing comic strips, and the fact that, approaching forty, she seems to be unattached and childless, we learn little about Delia’s adult life, but she appears to be mentally unstable. Apparently traumatised by her upbringing, did some childish action on her part make matters worse and how reliable a witness is she now?
Part of the magnetic pull of the writing stems from the way in which the facts, which initially seem bizarre or dreamlike, are revealed or made clear, like the pieces of a jigsaw fitting into place. A strong sense of Naples is created: the heat, furious commotion, squalor, decay, and sea like a “violet paste”. The book has been made into a film, and I found it much easier to read once I grasped the cinematic quality of many of scenes, with their emphasis on visual detail through which deeper meaning may become apparent. For instance in a sustained incident in which various characters pursue each other through the streets of Naples and onto a funicular, there is a purely visual image of someone “as if… skating on the metallic grey of the pavement, a massive yet agile figure against the scaffold of yellow painted iron bars at the entrance to Piazza Vanvitelli”. Alighting at the “dimly lit concrete bunker” of Chiaia Station, Delia imagines or perhaps partly remembers how it was nearly forty years ago, with her mother waiting there, mesmerised by three figures advertising clothes, symbolising the freedom of another world, and wondering how she and her daughter could escape into it.
Particularly for a first novel, this is original and brilliant, but bleak. It also repelled me in its gratuitous focus on the sordid side of life: too much about the mess of menstruation, masturbation and sexual beatings. What lies behind the author’s dedication of this novel “for my mother”? Is it a mark of admiration or a reproach? A reviewer’s humorous comment, “My money is on Elena Ferrante being male, with slightly perverted sexual tastes” also strikes a chord. The brutal passion and frankness of the writing may illustrate the cultural difference between Italian and British literary fiction.
This compulsive read assaulted my senses, and left me feeling tainted.
Loved the writing but much more difficult to approach than ‘My Brilliant Friend’
This is not quite the equal of the Neapolitan novels but is a powerful work in its own right. In Frantumaglia, Ferrante describes how she likes to start with an educated and self-aware viewpoint on the world and then allows this outlook to be subverted by emotional pressures breaking through under the impact of events. This novel certainly fits that pattern.