The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington ePUB æ The

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The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington I remember reading the Mary Ann Caws anthology Surrealist Painters and Poets and loving the selection of Leonora Carrington’s stories than anything else in that treasure house of a book The I reread Carrington’s stories the ferocious they appeared They seemed to be written as if the fast forward button had been pushed at least 3 times as if Kafka had teamed up with Jane Bowles in a manic drunken hilarious rageAs best I could I hunted Carrington stories I read them standing up in libraries The volumes that contained them were out of print and costly The Dorothy Project has already published a remarkable series of books but this book is their most gorgeous contribution yet These stories are indelible unforgettable They’re nasty in the very best wayAs an aspirant in the field of stories I wanted to imitate these stories as soon as I read them but I also felt discouraged because Leonora Carrington is one of those people like Jane Bowles like Clarice Lispector who started right off as a genius There is a unity between the stories written in the Thirties and those written in the Seventies Although I love the latter ones it seems the ones from the Thirties and Forties are the bestThe later stories seem composed; you can pick out themes and metaphors The early stories have a supranormal authority bloody and beyond the human like scriptureMy favorite story “The Seventh Horse” might also serve as commentary on Carrington’s career 2 truly dreadful society ladies discover in the garden “a strange looking creature was hopping about in the midst of a bramble bush She was caught by her long hair which was so closely entwined in the brambles that she could move neither backwards nor forwards She was cursing and hopping till the blood flowed down her body” One rich lady says “I do not like the look of it”; the other says “I strongly object to trespassers” To which the enraged and entangled creature shrieks “I’ve been here for years But you are too stupid to have seen me” Despite having previously read all but the last three of these stories reviewed in depth here and here I still enjoyed them just as much during this second read And because they are so brilliantly original and off the wall absurd I had forgotten many of them so it sometimes felt like I was reading them for the first time What sets these stories apart from other surrealistabsurdist tales for me is the strength of Carrington's first person narrators who navigate through sometimes frightening and often hallucinatory landscapes with offhanded aplomb Conseuently I find her third person POV stories to be slightly less endearing though still reflective of a singular imagination of epic proportions If you have never dipped into Carrington's short fiction there is no longer any excuse for newly published collections have recently appeared in US and UK editions Prepare yourself for a panoply of talking animals walking trees violent vegetables impossible to predict plot twists and generous amounts of twisted humor Surrealist writer and painter Leonora Carrington 1917 2011 was a master of the macabre of gorgeous tableaux biting satire roguish comedy and brilliant effortless flights of the imagination Nowhere are these ualities ingeniously brought together than in the works of short fiction she wrote throughout her lifePublished to coincide with the centennial of her birth The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington collects for the first time all of her stories including several never before seen in print With a startling range of styles subjects and even languages several of the stories are translated from French or Spanish The Complete Stories captures the genius and irrepressible spirit of an amazing artist’s life Friend Jonathan brought this Forthcoming to my attention Forthcoming April '17 from Dorothy A Publishing Project“This definitive collection of Carrington’s short fiction is a treasure and a gift to the world A stunning achievement” Jeff VandermeerAs always in cases like these do not miss Nate D's reviews of Carrington This book was my first encounter with the literature of surrealism and overall it was a pleasant experience Carrington clearly possessed a very special mind and an extraordinary imagination; her ability to create the most uncanny bizarre worlds and exist at the intersection of fantasy and reality is mirrored both in her prose and her own life The short stories in this book are eually whimsical and deeply unsettling supplying the reader with constant doses of horror and confusion While reading I instantly felt caught up in a hazy dream like state of mind where weird and inexplicable things happen but are somehow considered normal where terrifying and unpredictable plot makes me both paralyzed and curious to see what happens next When I lifted my eyes from the book I suddenly saw my own reality through Carrington's surreal lens and rejoiced in the almost addictive feeling that nothing makes sense That being said in my opinion Leonora Carrington was a better painter than she was a writer I kept getting distracted by her simplistic literary style which underpinned the plot in some passages but jeopardized the artistic effect in others Also I was initially enchanted with her choice of descriptive vocabulary and ability to create very vivid juicy images but her motives soon got compulsively repetitive most of the stories featured similar patterns of horses anthropomorphic animals and human animal hybrid creatures preoccupation with one's own beauty perverse portrayals of decadent food combinations and dining rituals or gothic horror houses This made me think that rather than some genius creativity it may have been Carrington's own obsessions and insanity that motivated her art I therefore suggest that the best way to read this book is to resist one's insatiable hunger for bewilderment and proceed in small portions one short story at a time so that the magic does not get lost in a surge of unvarying impressions Leonora Carrington was an English Mexican surrealist painter and a mighty talented one if you ask me During her life she wrote a novel a short memoir and many stories in English French and Spanish all collected in a single book for the first time everShe writes as a painter; sentences are short and simple but the choice of words is haunting as are the storiesimages for her stories seem like sketches for surrealist paintings filled with emotions mythology fantasy carefully constructed with many symbols and original idiosyncratic thoughts How can anybody be a person of uality if they wash away their ghosts with common sense?Reading is an unnatural act Unlike the appreciation of aural and visual arts reading reuires conscious effort even before deep interpretations are sought Children see smell touch hear and learn to speak before they master the written word It’s the hardest form of basic communication Harder still if it courts the edge of the expected by riding upside down on the underbelly of unnatural beings while holding onto its senses by the seams of its straightjacket Hardest of all possibly if it’s surrealismDali flashes before the mind But that’s not what I mean the visual mind sees then interprets or doesn’t Reading surrealist literature however is an act of spike studded iron will and no little amount of curiosity for the uaint that you hope no one else ever finds out aboutForget drinking from a firehose—firehoses gush at you and it’s just water Think instead a fountain spouting body parts balloons beetles bronze tables and acid blue jackets floating between the blessings and the bronchitis and you roll up your trousers step over the rim into this bizarre potpourri get dragged down by something slithering in the water but continue sitting in there with water up to your chin collecting random floating objects and putting them together like legos—creating your very own Frankenstein Occasionally you pluck up a memory or a scar Occasionally you cut yourselfWho said that exploring the unexplored within the safety of a book was good practice?I’m not trying to be off puttingActually I am if you’re not the kind to throw yourself into the aforementioned fountain out of curiosity or spite or kink or whichever particular personal uirk I would recommend fishing out only choice morsels and grappling with them on dry landYou might discover you’re developing some odd tastesThis is the first part of a longer post on Carrington's book that you may find on my blog here Dark savage and impenitent prose Yet penetrable as dreams because they are and dreams welcome us Very peculiar tales A lot of mad imagination sometimes funny but often very usettling Some tales did something to me that did frighten me They feel full of subtle horror It was like they were fairytales but a bit gruesome Very surreal also I am not sure what to think of them This morning I pulled up my normal news feed and to my great pleasure there was a link to an article at Literary Hub entitled Your Surrealist Literature Starter Kit where your eye first lands on Leonora Carrington's Self Portrait As it happens that particular painting serves as cover art for this book which collects all of Carrington's short stories In that post Emily Temple says the followingThese stories are weird and jagged and enchanting fragmented and strikingly visual barely stories at all sometimes but oddly compulsive How else to describe a collection that includes a woman winning the corpse of Joseph Stalin in the lottery and using it to cure whooping cough and syphillis? The bit about Joseph Stalin's corpse being used to treat diseases sounds off the wall and cryptic but once you read the story How to Start a Pharmaceuticals Business it turns out to make a lot of sense And this is just one part of the multi faceted genius of Leonora Carrington's short stories they are put together with a logic that works in the worlds she creates so much so that when a hostess of a party in The House of Fear wears a dress made of live bats sewn together by their wings and there is a group of horses playing a game where theysimultaneously beat time to the tune of the 'Volga Boatmen' with your left foreleg 'The Marseillaise' with your right foreleg and 'Where have You Gone My Last Rose of Summer' with your two back legsit doesn't seem weird at all These stories are than fable than just weird tales and as Kathryn Davis says about them Nothing is what it seems to be The collection is beyond outstanding; I will say that I spent a lot of time reading about Carrington's life before reading her fiction and it definitely provided some measure of insight into her work Her work is not only genius it's gorgeous