Manual Illusion and Desire: An Erotic Novel

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In The Times Literary Supplement, Robert Macfarlane lamented that "[t]he languorous ambience of [the narrator's] prose, indeed the entire structure of the novel, seems to exist only to permit Banville his exquisite scrimshaws of style" Macfarlane In her review in The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani called Banville "a highly cerebral author who emphasizes style over story, linguistic pyrotechnics over felt emotion".

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She defined The Sea as a "pompously written book" and disapproved of its narrator's "grandiose language"--the protagonist, she wrote, "talks like someone with a Thesaurus constantly implanted in his head" Katutani Albeit different in their judgements, these commentators equally refer to style exclusively as a manner of writing, or, as the OED has it, "those features of literary composition which belong to form and expression rather than to the substance of the thought or matter expressed".

But style is not solely a manner of writing in The Sea.

Blue Is the Warmest Color

To the reader of Banville's earlier work, the writing of the novel's narrator Max Morden will not only appear exceptionally elaborate but also sound uncannily familiar. The text presents a fugue of familiar narrative peculiarities in Banville's oeuvre the narrator's emphasis on the strange equivocations of language, for instance ; it bristles with idiosyncratic expressions "classless class", "strangury", "wind-worried day", to name just a few examples and recurrent motives the art historian, the homecoming journey, the obsession with the past, among others.

Like Banville's previous texts, The Sea is saturated with references to the works of other writers as well as the novelist's own previous books. We all like to think of our literary heroes as immortal — especially Professor Wole Soyinka. For so long, this […]. The […].

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Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Toggle navigation. Features October 29, He lives in Lagos, Nigeria. But the good thing is, there is always something called getting over it. It is a hard thing to do but until you experience it, you will die believing in the illusion of perfect love.

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Falling out of love makes you sober. Falling in love might make you insane, but the choice is yours. Sign up for the Thought Catalog Weekly and get the best stories from the week to your inbox every Friday. You may unsubscribe at any time. By subscribing, you agree to the terms of our Privacy Statement.


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Children are taught about love just the way you would explain how a pizza tastes to a person who has never seen one before. And you keep wondering what may have caused your last break-up? Oh, my friend, it is not your fault, the whole idea of love is just super-overrated.

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It is like asking the ears to see and the mouth to smell. Love is just what it is.


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