Read Pinocchio in Venice by Robert Coover Free Online
Book Title: Pinocchio in Venice|
The author of the book: Robert Coover
ISBN 13: 9780802134851
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 657 KB
Edition: Grove Press
Date of issue: January 10th 1997
Reader ratings: 7.9
Loaded: 480 times
Read full description of the books Pinocchio in Venice:
I cannot remember the last piece of fiction I’ve read that had required reading as a prerequisite. Yes, it is possible to read this work of Coover without first having read A Death in Venice and Collodi’s Pinocchio, but the reader would unfortunately miss out on entirely too many jokes and plot points divined from those works. The more recent the reading of those two, the better.
I just did a search on the bizarro genre of fiction and it looks like the form is credited to having begun in 1999. I think Wikipedia is missing a trick; if Pinocchio in Venice isn’t the progenitor of bizarro fiction then it is certainly its godfather. This work meets the basic criteria: it’s absurd, it is ribald, it is rife with satire. It has rollicking scenes heading pell-mell through a narrative that the reader can’t help but think the whole thing is going to screech off the page. Like the first time you listened to Total Eclipse of the Heart and you weren’t entirely sure whether Bonnie Tyler’s larynx would hold out through to the end of the song. Coover isn’t just undressing a classic novella and children’s story, he’s slathering it in mineral oil and making it wrestle naked with angry bobcats. His lurid images blaze in the mind like retinal echoes from staring at the sun.
In rating this book I’m stealing from Vonnegut grading of his own novels. My 3 stars are strictly within the Coover Galaxy, much as Vonnegut says he can give himself an A+ for Cat’s Cradle “while knowing that there was a writer named William Shakespeare”. This was my least favorite Coover but still one of the better books I’ve read this year.
Read information about the authorBorn Robert Lowell Coover in Charles City, Iowa, Coover moved with his family early in his life to Herrin, Illinois, where his father was the managing editor for the Herrin Daily Journal. Emulating his father, Coover edited and wrote for various school newspapers under the nom-de-plume “Scoop.” He was also his high-school class president, a school band member, and an enthusiastic supporter of the Cincinnati Reds. In 1949 Coover enrolled in Southern Illinois University, and, after transferring to Indiana University in 1951, earned his bachelor's degree in 1953 with a major in Slavonic languages. While in college, he continued editing student papers, as well as working part-time for his father's newspaper. The day he graduated, Coover received his draft notice and went on to serve in the U.S. Naval Reserve during the Korean War, attaining the rank of lieutenant. Upon his discharge in 1957, Coover devoted himself to fiction. During the summer of that year, he spent a month sequestered in a cabin near the Canadian border, where he studied the work of Samuel Beckett and committed himself to writing serious avant-garde fiction. In 1958, he travelled to Spain, where he reunited with Maria del Pilar Sans-Mallafré, whom he had earlier met while serving a military tour in Europe. The couple married in 1959 and spent the summer touring southern Europe by motorcycle, an experience he described in “One Summer in Spain: Five Poems,” his first published work. Between 1958 and 1961, Coover studied at the University of Chicago, eventually receiving his master's degree in 1965. The Coovers lived in Spain for most of the early 1960s, a time during which Coover began regularly publishing stories in literary magazines, including the Evergreen Review.
In 1966, after the couple returned to the United States, Coover took a teaching position at Bard College in New York. He also published his first novel, The Origin of the Brunists (1966), which won the William Faulkner Award for best first novel. In 1969, Coover won a Rockefeller Foundation grant and published Pricksongs and Descants, his first collection of short fiction. That year, he also wrote, produced, and directed a movie, On a Confrontation in Iowa City (1969). Coover has maintained an interest in film throughout his career. During the early 1970s, Coover published only short stories and drama, including A Theological Position (1972), a collection of one-act plays, all of which were eventually produced for the stage. He also won Guggenheim fellowships in 1971 and 1974, and served as fiction editor for the Iowa Review from 1974 to 1977. By the mid-1970s, Coover had finished his next novel, The Public Burning; it took him more than two years to find a publisher for the work, which was ultimately cited as a National Book Award nominee. Coover received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1985 and a Rea Award for A Night at the Movies (1987), a collection of short stories. While Coover concentrated primarily on short fiction—with the exception of Gerald's Party—during the 1980s, he produced a series of new novels during the 1990s.
Coover has taught at a number of universities, including the University of Iowa, Columbia University, Princeton University, and Brandeis University, throughout his career. Since 1981 he has been a writer-in-residence and faculty member of the creative writing program at Brown University.
Among the vanguard of American postmodern writers to come of age during the late 1960s, Coover is respected as a vital experimentalist whose challenging work continues to offer insight into the nature of literary creation, narrative forms, and cultural myths. Convinced early in his career that traditional fictional modes were exhausted, Coover has pioneered a variety of inventive narrative techniques, notably complex metafictional structures and ludic pastiches of various genres to satirize contemporary American society and the role of the author. In this wa
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