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The Lord Chandos Letter: And Other Writings - Hugo von Hofmannsthal, John Banville
The Lord Chandos Letter: And Other Writings
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4.11 45
Hugo von Hoffmannsthal made his mark as a poet, as a playwright, and as the librettist for Richard Strauss’s greatest operas, but he was no less accomplished as a writer of short, strangely evocative prose works. The atmospheric stories and sketches collected here—fin-de-siècle fairy tales from... show more
Hugo von Hoffmannsthal made his mark as a poet, as a playwright, and as the librettist for Richard Strauss’s greatest operas, but he was no less accomplished as a writer of short, strangely evocative prose works. The atmospheric stories and sketches collected here—fin-de-siècle fairy tales from the Vienna of Klimt and Freud, a number of them never before translated into English—propel the reader into a shadowy world of uncanny fates and secret desires. An aristocrat from Paris in the plague years shares a single night of passion with an unknown woman; a cavalry sergeant meets his double on the battlefield; an orphaned man withdraws from the world with his four servants, each of whom has a mysterious power over his destiny.The most influential of all of Hofmannsthal's writings is the title story, a fictional letter to the English philosopher Francis Bacon in which Lord Chandos explains why he is no longer able to write. The "Letter" not only symbolized Hofmannsthal's own turn away from poetry, it captured the psychological crisis of faith and language which was to define the twentieth century.
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Format: paperback
ISBN: 9781590171202 (1590171209)
Publisher: NYRB Classics
Pages no: 128
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Randolph "Dilda" Carter
Randolph "Dilda" Carter rated it
3.5 Loss of Words
I can only rate three stars because other than Lord Chandos Letter itself, actually only 10% of the book, spoke to me. It is a letter to a friend explaining why words no longer can express anything he sees or feels, so he decides to abandon words altogether. There is a certain irony to the "story" i...
AC
AC rated it
Five stars because it is an important work. I only read the introduction and the "Letter".
MochaMike
MochaMike rated it
At a minimum, readers intending to read Enrique Vila-Matas’ Bartleby & Co. would be well-advised not only to read (or reread) Bartleby, the Scrivener, but also the last story in this collection. It mattersCavalry Soldier—A sergeant imagines his future as he advances with his squadron through skirmis...
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