A Bar in Brooklyn: Novellas & Stories 1970-1978

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9781574230970: A Bar in Brooklyn: Novellas & Stories 1970-1978
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Fiction. Since emigrating to the U.S. from his native Romania in 1966, Andrei Codrescu has blazed a rocket-bright trail across the cultural landscape of his adopted country, gaining a national audience as a public radio commentator, television personality, and editor of the radical literary journal EXQUISITE CORPSE. A BAR IN BROOKLYN collects his shorter fiction of the 1970s. "Older exiles who, as myself, had come here without speaking a word of English, guarded their simple secrets carefully because their vampiric ambitions depended on them... I had to go it alone, something I have a horror of." Andrei Codrescu is the author of BELLIGERENCE (Coffee House Press), available from SPD.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Once best known for activities outside the realm of fictionAas an NPR commentator and editor of the literary journal Exquisite CorpseACodrescu has also achieved moderate renown as a surrealist poet. The 1995 publication of Blood Countess brought him into the ranks of acclaimed novelists, which may explain why Black Sparrow has chosen to issue a collection of his apprentice fiction written more than 20 years ago. These experimental tales (four novellas and seven very short stories) explore in one way or another what it means to be an American. For Codrescu, a Romanian immigrant, this question is fraught with the weight and absurdity of popular culture, and the freewheeling associations of the '70s make their presence felt. The narrator of the hallucinatory "Perfume" watches children counting in a playground and imagines them counting all the way to infinity, "if the hamburgers they eat don't get there first." That toneAcheeky and challengingAsurfaces throughout and imbues the uneven collection with a flashy, playful wit. Along with his madcap sense of the absurd, Codrescu also demonstrates a firm grasp of French literature. The opening novella brings Paul Val?ry's Monsieur Teste to America, while another (Codrescu tells us in the introduction) is intended to echo Flaubert. But the strongest French influence here is that of the nouveau roman, which abandons structure in favor of abstract ideas and an intent to shock. That aestheticAthe belief that lack of control somehow makes art more legitimateAgives some of these stories the momentum and exhilaration of a runaway train. Other stories simply become mired in the frantic purgings of an unfiltered id.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Codrescu, Romanian-born poet, novelist, and National Public Radio commentator, here collects some of his earliest writings, not all of which have appeared previously in print. He confides in the preface that at the time he wrote a variety of fiction types while attending to his "real business" of writing poetry. He declares several pieces presented from a feminine point of view "experimental"; they were written at a time when he "didn't yet feel at home" in the female psyche. As in his later works, Codrescu flaunts a keen sense of humor in his sexually infused prose. His perspective as a foreigner adapting to the cultural and social upheaval in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s is unique. These early, surreal pieces make for challenging reading, but the hallucinogenic quality is in keeping with the culture of the time. For academic libraries.ADianna Moeller, OCLC/WLN Pacific Northwest Svc. Ctr., Lacey, WA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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