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WAKEFIELD PRESS

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Imaginary Lives eBook

By Marcel Schwob. Introduction and translation by Chris Clarke.

“The art of the biographer consists specifically in choice. He is not meant to worry about speaking truth; he must create human characteristics amidst the chaos.”—Marcel Schwob

Imaginary Lives remains, over 120 years since its original publication in French, one of the secret keys to modern literature: under-recognized, yet a decisive influence on such writers as Apollinaire, Borges, Jarry and Artaud, and more contemporary authors such as Roberto Bolaño and Jean Echenoz. Drawing from historical influences such as Plutarch and Diogenes Laërtius, and authors more contemporary to him such as Thomas De Quincey and Walter Pater, Schwob established the genre of fictional biography with this collection: a form of narrative that championed the specificity of the individual over the generality of history, and the memorable detail of a vice over the forgettable banality of a virtue.

These 22 portraits present figures drawn from the margins of history, from Empedocles the “Supposed God” and Clodia the “Licentious Matron” to the pirate Captain Kidd and the Scottish murderers Messrs. Burke and Hare. In his quest for unique lives, Schwob also formulated an early conception of the anti-hero, and discarded historical figures in favor of their shadows. These “imaginary lives” thus acquaint us with the “Hateful Poet” Cecco Angiolieri instead of his lifelong rival, Dante Alighieri; the would-be romantic pirate Major Stede Bonnet instead of the infamous Blackbeard who would lead him to the gallows; the false confessor Nicolas Loyseleur rather than Joan of Arc whom he cruelly deceived; or the actor Gabriel Spenser in place of the better-remembered Ben Jonson who ran a sword through his lung.

Marcel Schwob (1867–1905) was a scholar of startling breadth and an incomparable storyteller. The secret influence on generations of writers, Schwob was as versed in the street slang of medieval thieves as he was in the poetry of Walt Whitman (whom he translated into French).

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Imaginary Lives

IMAGINARY LIVES
By Marcel Schwob. Introduction and translation by Chris Clarke.
WAKEFIELD PRESS
ISBN: 9781939663344 | US $14.95
Pub Date: 3/27/2018
Active | In stock

NOVELS AND SHORT STORIES BY AUTHOR

My Vibe
Bruges-la-Morte
Vercoquin and the Plankton
Everything Good Dies Here
An Evocation of Matthias Stimmberg
The Mill
The Illuminated; or The Precursors of Socialism
The Impersonal Adventure
The Man of Jasmine & Other Texts
Potsdamer Platz, or, The Nights of the New Messiah
Malpertuis
Sens-Plastique
The Die Is Cast
A Nine-Year-Old Aviator
I Guess All We Have Is Freedom
Brief Lives of Idiots
Antilogy
Word Book
Rogomelec
The Great Nocturnal
Waystations of the Deep Night
The Emperor of China’s Ice
Intimate Negrociations
Orhan Pamuk: Balkon
The Cathedral of Mist
Bit Rot
Heart of Darkness
Sweating Blood
A Terrace in Rome
Rolling the R's
The Pig
Claudia Rankine
Gold
The Book Of Disappearances & The Book Of Tractations
The Historians: The Rise and Fall of Gestures Drama, Book 39
The Adventures of Percival
The Man Who Refused to Die
The Heresiarch & Co
Bayamus & Cardinal Pölätüo: Two Novels
Blue Octavo Notebooks
Dark Spring
Everybody's Autobiography
Hebdomeros & Other Writings
Maiden Voyage
Paris Peasant
The Adventures of Telemachus
The Education of the Stoic
The Hearing Trumpet
The Supermale
In Youth Is Pleasure
Last Nights of Paris
The Book of Disquiet
Johanna Drucker: Night Crawlers On The Web
Sibylle Berg: By The Way, Did I Ever Tell You...
Shanghai Dancing
This Is a Bust
Lament in the Night
Water Chasing Water
They Who Do Not Grieve
Waylaid
East Goes West
Oriental Girls Desire Romance
Rolling The R's
Roughhouse
Where We Once Belonged
Rolling The R's
City Terrace Field Manual
Unbearable Heart - Hb
East Goes West
The Story Of My Typewriter
This Is Not It
Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor
Dracula
Narcisa
Feathers Like Leather
An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris
A Voice through a Cloud
Another Ventriloquist
Cockfighter
Oriental Girls Desire Romance
Vanity Fair
The High Life
Autumn in Peking
Evguenie Sokolov
Foam of the Daze
The Dead All Have The Same Skin
To Hell with the Ugly
I Spit On Your Graves
The Hanging on Union Square
The Book of Monelle
Lesabéndio
The Moiré Effect
Red Grass
The Tutu
Georges Perec and the Oulipo: Winter Journeys
The Prisoner Of Zenda
Madame Bovary
A Handbook for the Perfect Adventurer
The Conductor and Other Tales
American Canyon
Flametti, or The Dandyism of the Poor
Fox Drum Bebop
Aurora and Cardinal Point
The Garden Book
The Creator
Semmelweis
My Own Death
The Trumpets of Jericho
Disagreeable Tales
A Dilemma
Sam Dunn is Dead
And China Has Hands
The Overcoat
The Nose
Life in the Folds
Rakkóx the Billionaire & The Great Race
Exemplary Departures
Murder Most Serene
Theory of MultiDreams
City of the Future
District
Hashish
Mademoiselle Bambu
Odd Jobs
Wishes
The Children's Crusade
Imaginary Lives
The Ambivalents
Archive of the Average Swede
Psychology of the Rich Aunt
Treatise on Modern Stimulants
Whiskey Tales
Little Women
Enrique Vila-Matas: Cabinet d'amateur, an oblique novel
Maria Fusco: Nine Qwerty Bells
Head-to-Toe Portrait of Suzanne
The Sundays of Jean Dézert
Samalio Pardulus
Curl
The Black Flame of Paradise (A Novel)
Room 225-6: A Novel
Lydia Cabrera: Between the Sum and the Parts
Mount Analogue
Last of Her Name
David Tung Can't Have a Girlfriend Until He Gets Into an Ivy League College
To Those Gods Beyond
A Death
At the Blue Monkey
Braids
Tom McCarthy: Empty House of the Stare
Cruise of Shadows
Moby-Dick
The Mayor of Leipzig
Tuesday or September or The End
Pisti, 80 rue de Belleville
Confidences / Majority
Blue in Green
Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars
The House of the Seven Gables
The Girl Before Her
Requiem for a Manual Typewriter
Spicilege
Tractatus Logico-Suicidalis
Jonathan Lyndon Chase: wild wild Wild West / Haunting of the Seahorse
El último combate (The Last Combat, Spanish Edition)
Noticias sobre Juan Rulfo (News on Juan Rulfo, Spanish Edition)
Juan Rulfo y su obra (Juan Rulfo and his oeuvre, Spanish Edition)
Empresas y Tribulaciones de Maqroll El Gaviero (Enterprises and Tribulations of Maqroll El Gaviero, Spanish Edition)
Los geniecillos dominicales (The Sunday Genie, Spanish Edition)
La escritura obsesiva (Obsessive Writing, Spanish Edition)
Edición Conmemorativa del centenario de Juan Rulfo (Conmemorative Edition for 100 Years of Juan Rulfo, Spanish Edition)
Corrección de pruebas en Alta Provenza (Proofreading of Haute Provence, Spanish Edition)
El gallo de oro y otros relatos (The Golden Cockerel and Other Writings, Spanish Edition)
Obra (Oeuvre, Spanish Edition)
Juan Rulfo en el cine (Juan Rulfo in film, Spanish Edition)
La mansión de Araucaíma y cuadernos del palacio (Araucaíma's Mansion and Black Palace's Notebooks, Spanish Edition)
Último Round (Last Round, Spanish Edition)
Pedro Páramo (Pedro Páramo, Spanish Edition)
El llano en llamas (The Burning Plain, Spanish Edition)
La vuelta al día en 80 mundos (Around the Day in Eighty Worlds, Spanish Edition)
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