Fiction. Robert Coover takes us through the looking-glass of Joseph Cornell's boxes into a world of "Grand Hotels" we never dreamed of. Rooms are accessed via ferris wheel. They open onto crystal cages, night voyages, sand fountains. They lead us back to childhood, to forgotten games, to sleeping princess who do not await a prince and, finally, home, poor heart. Funny and wistful by turns, these brilliant vignettes explore the nature of desire and the melancholy of fulfillment. As the author says, they are also an "architectural portrait of the artist," with biographical information "built into the construction of the text like girders, brickwork or decor." "A set of brochures to the marvelous. Coover, with magnificent simplicity, orchestrates countering strands of pathos and wonder, decadence and innocent glee, in these 10 short chapters that are sure to make anyone permanently dissatisfied with the run-down bed-and-breakfast we call planet Earth"—Publishers Weekly.
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"Although childhood is the source and model of all architecture, grand hotels included, the Grand Hotel Nymphlight is the only one known to be specifically devoted to 'the child within,' as the hotel brochure puts it." The grand hotels that Coover, best known as a trailblazing fiction writer and proselyte of hypertext, describes in this small book of prose poems belong to the "hotel" series by the American dioramist Joseph Cornell, making this book a set of brochures to the marvelous. The Grand Hotel Night Air Balloon ("originally designed as a colorful hot air balloon") boasts a lobby filled with caged tropical birds, a musical fountain and rooms without walls, all enveloped in a "blue haze" recalling helium. The Grand Hotel Nymphlight temporarily transforms its residents into innocent, joyful childhood versions of themselves, "while yet knowing what one knows as an adult," and The Grand Hotel Sand Fountain, a "hotel of brief encounters," provides the ultimate therapy for the alienated wallflower, never permitting anyone do anything alone opening a door, riding an elevator except leave. Coover, with magnificent simplicity, orchestrates countering strands of pathos and wonder, decadence and innocent glee, in these 10 short chapters that are sure to make anyone permanently dissatisfied with the run-down bed-and-breakfast we call planet Earth. (May) Forecast: Coover is classed with John Barth and Donald Barthelme as a fiction writer, and is particularly well read on campus. A creative display might feature this small press book, Utopia Parkway (a semi-recent biography of Cornell) and Grand Hotels, a smart and heavily illustrated architectural history by Elaine Denby covering the international luxe life of the 1830s-1930s (June).
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Burning Deck Books 2002-04-01, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. 1886224501 Former library copy. Hardcover book with very light overall wear to the dust jacket and the exterior. There are library markings through out the book. The binding is tight. The pages are clean with no markings. Fast shipping!. Bookseller Inventory # JF636175