The Flamethrowers doc é reader

Rachel Kushner ´ The Flamethrowers pdf

The Flamethrowers doc é reader  Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers just made it from the National Book Award longlist to the shortlist of five finalists Her first novel Telex from Cuba was also nominated for a National Book Award and reviewed on the cover of The New York Times Book Review The Flamethrowers even ambitious and brilliant is the rN tire and motorcycle empire When they visit Sandro’s family home in Italy Reno falls in with members of the radical movement that overtook Italy in the seventies Betrayal sends her reeling into a clandestine undertow The Flamethrowers is an intensely engaging exploration of the mystiue of the feminine the fake the terrorist At its center is Kushner’s brilliantly realized protagonist a young woman on the verge Thrilling and fearless this is a major American novel from a writer of spectacular talent and imaginatio Her Name is Reno and She Dances on the Hand Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar Sigmund FreudOur protagonist Reno hails from Reno Nevada She's in her early 20s loves motorcycles goes to NYC in 1975 with a nebulous plan to create art incorporating her need for speed not the drug She hangs out with a number of artsy narcisisstic tarts and farts each of whom loves to blow hot air After many vapid verbal volleys among these SoHo denizens our girl becomes involved and moves in with an Italian dude who is nearly 40 and heir to a tiremotorcycle empire in Italia They go to a nearly empty cinema where Tony Manera surreptitiously starts her dancing on his hand while they watch the film I tend to agree with an article I saw some time back lauding Ms Kushner for writing sex well Reading this scene is apt to make most readers hot and bothered They travel to Italy She briefly becomes entangled with a workers' rights radical group in Rome After arriving back in NYC she hears a tragic auto history of her first NYC flame The novel was most interesting for its illustration of the pretentiousness of the movers players and hangers among the world of art which also brings up the novel's drawback too much for me high brow talk talk with a fusion of the esoteric and erotic which both titillates and etiolates

doc Ö The Flamethrowers ´ Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers just made it from the National Book Award longlist to the shortlist of five finalists Her first novel Telex from Cuba was also nominated for a National Book Award and reviewed on the cover of The New York Times Book Review The Flamethrowers even ambitious and brilliant is the riveting story of a young artist and the worlds she encounters in New York and Rome in the mid 1970s by turns underground elite and dangerous The year is 1975 and Reno so called because of the place of her bi Much of this book just isn't very good indeed it's uite bad Much of this book is also great not in the sense of 'very good' but in the sense of Great American Novel A tech savvy reviewer could insert a Venn diagram here but I'm limited to words there's too much overlap between the 'great' bits and the 'not good' bits Really great Great Books manage to be both good ie competent and great ie fascinating at the same time viz Muriel Spark at her best Failed great books are often great ambitious intellectually stimulating timely but also timeless just when they're also bad viz early Dostoevsky Since FT is meant to be great I'm judging it next to later Dostoevsky which is ridiculous but also the only way to take the book as seriously as it wants to be taken So consider the atrocious banality that Kushner stoops to time after time perhaps to perform the banality of the philosophy of time embedded in the novel time had stretched like taffy the night a place we would tumble into and through together a kind of gymnasium a space of generous borders This was a different Italy from what I had experienced during my two semesters in Florence a phrase or one like it repeated ad nauseum lest we forget the oft stated fact that the narrator spent two semesters in Florence There is the woods his cashmere scarf wrapped around my neck for extra warmth I felt like everything was going to be okay just one of many passages that seem to have migrated from the 50 Shades of Grey side of the border I never would have guessed that nay of the bad news would have an impact on me migrated from undergraduate writing seminar; this kind of foreshadowing returns again and again as in Helen DeWitt's 'Lightning Rods' except in LR it's satirical unlike this rubbish I wouldn't have guessed that his silence would be so effective It grafted me in To a way of proceeding Of not knowing where we were going except someplace in Rome not knowing where I would stay or what I would doThat last sentence brings me to the lauded prose dazzling sexy glorious urgent etc etc It's just possible that I'm showing a real bias against American style prose which makes a mockery of my constant protestations that there's little difference between US lit and other forms of it But take the first paragraph of chapter four of whose ten sentences all but one start I verb and the one that doesn't is one of those fake 'look at how literary this book is following speech patterns and stuff' sentences a way to make an impression on him Then I'll call I knew no one else Now there's a point to all this I'ing; it shows the narrator's loneliness But much of the book is written in the same way only with a different pronoun at the start of the sentences or at best a concrete noun of some description As the novel develops the writing improves primarily because there's dialogue and so fewer of these awful sub Hemingway sentences as well as less reportage from the immensely boring and yet also implausible Reno Which leads me toVerisimilitude there is none unlike unnecessary inverted word order Reno just an aw shucks girl from Nevada does the following things in 2 years moves to New York sleeps with a famous artist despite not knowing his name; makes friends with a woman pretending to be a waitress who is really an artist living as a waitress for the sake of art Sartre alert; gets picked up by a different famous artist who is friends with the first one and ends up living with him; sets the land speed record for women; falls in with a group of Italian Autonomists; accidentally seduces their heroic leader; fails to help him escape across the border to France not her fault; has the stunning intellectual insight that she needs to find an open absence and move on to the

text The Flamethrowers

The FlamethrowersRth has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity in the art world artists have colonized a deserted and industrial SoHo are staging actions in the East Village and are blurring the line between life and art Reno meets a group of dreamers and raconteurs who submit her to a sentimental education of sorts Ardent vulnerable and bold she begins an affair with an artist named Sandro Valera the semi estranged scion of an Italia I remember when John Banville won the Booker Prize someone remarked that despite the enormous cultural changes in our world British writers were still writing about art historians The New York art scene seems to serve a similar function for American writers I’ll confess here that the New York art scene bores me And globally speaking probably lost any real influence with the demise of Andy Warhol New York’s cultural relevance after Warhol is its street life most notably rap and graffiti Kushner attempts to give her New York artists relevance by marrying them to the social unrest in Italy in the 1970s which never comes across as anything but a rather random parallel There’s a really good novel buried in these 400 pages The problem for me was that Kushner wasn’t interested in writing a good novel; she overreached herself and set herself the task of writing a work of artThe good novel is the story of Reno a young nameless girl referred to by the town of her birth who arrives in New York full of ambition She’s faced with a world of hideous men Narcissistic vain egotistical pumped up with their own self importance and sense of entitlement In 1970s New York pretty young girls it would appear were reuired to be little than groupies There are two brilliant pivotal moments in Reno’s uest for identity One when a simple odd jobs guy treats her with kindness pretty much the only act of kindness she receives from a male in the entire novel She’s not interested Can’t blame her for that She has her sights set higher The other is when an aristocratic Italian woman the best character in the novel treats her with utter disdain which is how you feel she deserves to be treated if she’s ever going to wake up The Italian section of the novel was easily my favourite even though it was also the most baffling because it’s called upon to make sense of the New York section which for me it didn’t How the New York art scene in the 1970s relates to Fascism and its backlash in Italy baffled me You sense the author wanted to write about two worlds she knew – New York and Italy – and her means of connecting them was arbitrary rather than inspired I love reading James Wood’s reviews but rarely agree with his final judgements He had nothing but praise for this and yet freuently finds fault with DeLillo Ironically this often came across to me as DeLillo fan fiction Unfortunately though she can write well Kushner never hits the heights of DeLillo