La servante noire (ROMAN) (French Edition)
Writing is simultaneously his religion and the cross to which he's nailed. He walks a path through a labyrinth, searching for truth, and he does not fear the distant snorts and echoes of cloven hoofs that may signal the presence of a Minotaur in the maze.
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He seems to have sought for this core reality -- call it samadhi -- amid the four corners of the earth, and many of the stories do indeed seem much like reports from the bloody beachheads of existence, Russo as life's war correspondent pinned down by enemy fire making an effort to be heard above the din of mortars dropping closer and closer with each true line, each true sentence. In reading these stories you get the impression that all Russo's characters are playing "truth or dare" games with one another, facing off in mortal combats in which the losers can end up maimed for life; the special grace or holiness that invests them at first destroyed or severely damaged by contact with the unclean.
But that's one of the things Russo's telling us -- life, beneath the surface, is like this. We are as innocent and unknowing of the full implications of the transformations and metamorphoses we undergo as water changing to ice or the head of a match struck suddenly into flame. This collection is as much a manifesto as a retrospective, as much a biography as a work of fiction, as much an engrossing statement of fact as a diverting concoction of fable.
The stories, sometimes outwardly simple, are dense with meaning beneath the surface. Read once, most will haunt the mind till read at least twice. The first volume of the trilogy, Beyond the Great Water, is divided into two sections, part one being African Stories, part two being mainstream short fiction.
The theme of metamorphosis, of the transformational moment and revelational event, of existential sin and arcane punishment, seems to run through all three books. I am uncertain of whether Russo himself is aware of this or not, for his writings surely probe the depths of his own unconscious mind from which they dredge up archetypal images from a deep internal reservoir. The stories deal with the mutability of existence, and at their conclusions, something, usually the characters, sometimes society or even larger aspects of the physical universe, is changed forever; often, it must be added, for the worse.
Sex is a frequent catalyst for profound change. Many characters in the stories experience a kind of death and rebirth as a result of engagement in the sexual act. It is sometimes as if the participants themselves, rather than a third entity, are born of these carnal unions and the re-enactments of original sin they symbolize. In Magic Fingers, a Berber tribesman has an affair with a rich American tourist woman on vacation, and in the process he is enigmatically corrupted by the union, losing his identity in a transgression against himself.
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- Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Carcinogenesis in the Hamster;
- Sick Eats.
- Feeling the Distance;
Other awakenings in the book come about as a result of outside agencies, beyond the control of the main characters. In The Discovery, the protagonist realizes that his father's despised mistress, whom he plans to blackmail as an unfaithful libertine, has a daughter bearing a resemblance so close it becomes apparent that the young girl is his natural sister. In the title story, a native African returns to the Belgian Congo to visit his daughter after a prolonged sojourn in the U. The plane crashes, and a charred letter is all that is left -- in fulfillment of a native prophesy that the bearer will be consumed by fire.
In Part II of Beyond the Great Water the lead story, The Sephardic Sisters, deals with the slow but inexorable dispossession of two elderly sisters by the new wife of the brother with whom they have lived for years and to whom they have ministered as surrogate mothers. Death in Venice is a theme of Bridges of Sighs, one of several plays for voices that appear now and again throughout the trilogy. Here, once more, a love affair sex as original sin results in the demise of one of the participants, although unlike other more metaphysical acts of destruction in Russo's stories, this one is all to real -- a suicide in one of the minor canals of Venice.
Twenty-one Days chronicles a young man's rite of passage at a high-class rest spa in France. Here is the corruption of a credulous youth by older, already corrupted persons. As with other stories in the collection, here transitions in life are more like the progressive stages of a fatal and incurable disease, a dissipative process where individuals are not so much befriended as infected. Russo seems to be saying, at least on one level, that all too often the map is confused with the territory, the mask with the face behind it, and it is assumptions, often false, instead of realities, that guide our perceptions and passages through life, even those of profound importance to our development as fully functional human beings.
In Memory Gap, the collection's penultimate story, set immediately after the signing of the Carter-era Israel-Egypt peace treaty, a young man is beset by a species of melancholia religiosa akin to "Jerusalem Complex" while on a trip to Israel. In a narrative of spiritual death and rebirth, the protagonist is haunted by the memory of the bizarre killing of his friend at the hands of an Egyptian border guard who gunned him down after an accidental and innocent night-crossing of the border. Again, a meaningless line is crossed -- the transgressor has not strayed very far at all -- but the consequences are brutal, final and total.
Images of these transgressions pervade the story, such as those found in the following passage. But now a violent undercurrent reminded him that he was not a denizen of the sea, even if eons ago he might have been one. He felt like a usurper, and he would be treated as such. Scanning the surface around him, he encountered a slick, unfathomable giant in whose net he was trapped.
The more he thought of this, the more his lungs burnt, those lungs which in their evolution had foresaken their initial role by adapting to the atmosphere. He swam towards the jagged cliffs and, gripped by fear, hurled himself headlong to counter the tide.
In Unmasking Hearts, Volume II of the trilogy, Flavio's Dilemma narrates how a young man is seduced first by an older woman -- she is a portrait painter who begins by asking him to pose for her and proceeds to turn him into her lover -- and then by the woman's teenage son, the central character's peer. In The Break, a young man is caught up in the turmoil created by his parents' imminent divorce, and here again, outside forces place the protagonist in a position of helplessness from which he cannot hope to emerge unscathed.
When Samantha insisted, Flavio meekly accepted. Soon thereafter, he asked to be excused, for the wine had gone to his head. He came back from the bathroom, relieved, and seeing how livid he had become, Samantha suggested that he take a rest in her own bedroom. Before he could answer, he saw himself flung across the queen-sized bed of his host and being soon undressed. He half made a gesture of protestation but was devoid of any volition and minutes later he fell into a long slumber peopled with wild sensual images where succulent carnivorous flowers opened up to lure oversized red bananas then clutched them between their treacherous pincer-like hairs until, bit by bit, inexorably, their substance would be ingested.
The collected poems". To order this book: Website: www. You may also order the book through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Booksamillion, etc, but it will take longer than with Xlibris. He possesses that rare and enviable talent of being able to say what is important in a very few words. His contributions to the literary world are amazingly varied, reminding one of an intellectual butterfly - able to flit from one topic to another, but having first drained it of its essential qualities.
Russo writes at all levels - a compulsive creator who is always going to have something important, or different , or both, to say. His work reaches into the very soul of contemporary living. Here, one comes to grips with many contemporary problems, all beautifully crafted and possessing the Russo hallmark of subtle observation.
Each poem is a gem in its own right. To be a multilingual reader is bliss, we know. To be a multilingual writer must be a curse. Imagine receiving the inspiration for a poem, and then, instead of being able to plunge right in to create it, having to stop before setting down a single word in order to decide which of your languages to write it in. How can you tell, beforehand, which of them will do most justice to your idea?
Bible translations into French
Well, I should think you cannot. You can rely only on the same spark that gave you your initial impetus: try one and then see. So that poetry, already difficult enough to create in any language, becomes even more difficult, requiring not only the right-on choices of the components of an individual language, but also the fateful choice of which language risks being most propitious. Of course, risk is an operative word in any attempt at creativity, but doubling that risk is surely doubling the hazards of failure.
Albert Russo does not fail. In the twelve poems that follow, each in both an English and French version, I don't know and I don't want to know in which of the two languages Albert Russo wrote some or all of them first and then rewrote them all over again from scratch in the other language. But what I do know - what leaps from the page - is that he has tremendous courage. Courage to take risks, courage to trust his creative urgings, courage to rely on his multilingualism in these pages mostly reduced to bilingualism , and even more courage to present his resultant findings to the public.
There are fewer of us out here who can read equally well in French as in English than there used to be perhaps, but there are certainly fewer still who can write equally well in both languages, of which Albert Russo is eminently one of the best, and not only in poetry. And I must add that his publishers are courageous, too, for, after all, considerably less than half the book-buying public is bilingual. As to these bilingual works themselves, the interest in reading how the same original impetus worked itself out in each of the two different languages is self-evidently enormous, and revelatory of the separate qualities of the two.
For it has to be said that none of these poems is a translation and still less an adaptation from one tongue into the other. Whichever came first, the English or the French, the other is a refining of the original ore through a different method of smelting. Or, to put it differently, it is like two painters depicting the same rocks at Normandy's Etretat, with their different palettes. For I put it to you that there are two entirely different poets at work here, a French-language one and an English-language one, and they are both named Albert Russo.
It seems to me that Russo's Francophone poetry evokes a musical fragrance that Russo's Anglophone poetry does not. At the same time, however, as though by way of revenge, the latter has a flat no-nonsense directness that aims to say no more and no less than what it intends, and in a species of illuminated nakedness, which is not at all the aim of the former. And yet here is what is miraculous both versions pierce down into the foundations of the original vision's truth. Now this, I would submit, is quite an achievement, exemplifying a talent possessing resources way beyond mere bilingualism, especially since, throughout, we are offered the gift of an accurate reflection of the intrinsic genius of the French and English tongues themselves.
One example will suffice to highlight what I mean. In the poem that contains the word Pixel in both titles, here is the end of the fifth stanza in English:. I would call this pinpoint verbal accuracy, where the poetry arises not merely through careful choice of vocabulary but considerably more through the quality and accuracy of the images employed, and in any event not through any extracurricular emanation of what is customarily called music.
Here is the equivalent passage in French:. I would call this not only music, music that is beyond mere rational sense, but a musical crescendo, where the violins sweep us onwards and upwards until kettledrums pound out the last three words.www.cantinesanpancrazio.it/components/socehep/222-spiare-whatsapp.php
French Genealogical Word List
It would be futile as well as meaningless to argue which of these vastly different versions is "better". But it has to be said that, provided each version is read several times, alternatively, a certain authorial roundness is achieved through the reader's growing perception of the by-play of Franco-English counterpoint, because 1 each version in its own way says something at once different from and more than the other version says, 2 each version sheds light on what the other does say, and 3 a nuance held secret in the final line of each is fully disclosed in the final line of the other.
Most astonishing of all, these paired-off arias decidedly not duets! What's more, in each case that more or less hidden message would take pages and pages of much-less-effective prose to describe, many times the length of the poem. And yet each poem stands on its own as a solo performance, adamantine. Now all this, I submit, is dazzling. Reader, prepare to be dazzled. Jamais gratuite. At times Gianni and Jim will be one and the same At times they will oppose each other Sometimes they might act as total strangers And so it goes for both Dominics. Eric Tessier - La Nef des Fous.
Be warned, Zapinette's gems of insouciant wit tend to become infectious.
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This wise-child's deceptively worldly innocence takes the entire gamut of human endeavor in its compass. Hardly anyone or anything escapes unscathed. As the century of the double zeros dawns, we have seen the future and the future is sham. As a healthy dose of counter-sham, Zapinette Video should be on every brain-functional person's reading list. Albert Russo has managed to avoid the two pitfalls of the writer of sequels, duplication and inflation. She has gradually come to terms with her femininity and her desires, she no longer feels humiliated at being looked at in the streets, and, at the end of the novel, she is even able to fall in love.
What Zapinette, and indeed all children, cannot easily get reconciled with is that the adults who love them also tend to love other people or things, which she invariably calls boring or disgusting. And then, one day, she finds herself confronted to "her exact copy", in the shape of a boy from Staten Island, with whom she is going to discover the narcissistic pleasure of falling in love, which she called "narcisserie" a word that surely rhymes with "charcuterie".
She then forgets about her worried mother in Paris and even gives up being her uncle's chaperone in the Big Apple, and indulges in the pleasure of loving and being loved, not only a boy but a whole family and a whole culture. The Benevolent American in the Heart of Darkness. Mixed Blood or Your son Leopold is a non-stop, gripping read! One scene shows him metaphorically crucified at the hands of his never satisfied lover, who is also, by the way, everyone else's, Damiana Antoniades, the Great Whore of Bujumbura.
Albert Russo raises then the ultimate question of the effect of colonialism, a political system in which humaneness love, tolerance and delight in natural beauty is eventually dissolved into the disheartening racial equality of greed, contempt and murder. He is a handsome young man of extensive means, the only heir of a garment industry fortune, who has sailed smoothly through an easy life in an exclusive area of Paris, and, besides, can boast of two unmistakable assets on the threshold of adult life in bourgeois Paris: a lovely girl-friend and a degree in computer science.
But one day, Frank finds some letters of his father's, written to a male lover, and an old photograph of his father and the man. Then, Frank's steady comfortable life topples down. The discovery takes place on page 1; Albert Russo then offers us a few lines of doubt and half-hearted hesitation, and straight after, launches into a cat and mouse game with his readers, often bordering on farce or caricature, but always subtly beside or beyond them. Trying to summarize the rest of the plot would be too long and no doubt pointless; two examples of unexpected and incongruous situations will suffice.
He follows him into a Paris department store, where the two indulge in a mutual game of seduction, in which Eric, the older man, acts the sales clerk, piles trendy clothes onto Frank and leaves him with his business card and the bill to pay! Much later in the novel Frank's mother poisons her husband in a scene fraught with sensuousness and malaise around a feast of Mr Russo loves unsettling us, verging on the caricature or the burlesque, but never quite giving way to them.
In the homorous affair which develops, Albert Russo manages to show us Frank's predicament. The young man is neither gay nor straight but simply looking for someone other than the man or woman he holds in his arms, the father he could not love because of his mother's overbearingness or the mother he could not love either because loving her meant giving himself up. Your novel carried me along by the strength of its plot and characters.
Incidents were resolved by the sense of inevitability that you managed to convey. I wondered about the close of the novel, where the characters and outcome are dismissed in two brief sentences. And yet even that works. In short, the novel creates its own terms and then lives up to them".
Albert Russo. Freed but broken. His is but an appearance of freedom, for the society he now faces is fraught with malice and prejudice. Can a homosexual ever redeem himself?
In spite of the new laws, recognizing the basic rights of gays and lesbians in France, the age-old debate between the implicit legitimacy of heterosexuality and the socially fuzzy status of the homosexual, goes on. The reactions may be subtler in certain quarters, yet brutality is never far away and gay bashers are on the prowl, and not only in the provinces. Then too, there are some disturbing statistics: four times as many gay adolescents attempt suicide as young heterosexuals.
There will always be, it seems, a certain malaise, if not outright intolerance, within the family, in schools, as well as at the workplace, towards homosexuals, especially if they have had the courage of coming out. One cannot cancel two thousand years of religious taboo in one or even two generations. This change of setting is like a survival kit. In his new surroundings, he will breathe a different air, make new discoveries, face new people, learn to speak another language.
All this will help put some balm over his wounds, if not regenerate him. This is not to say that his pain has been erased, its memory will always linger in the back of his mind, but his new Roman preoccupations will act as a sort of catharsis. He is thrust upon the proscenium of Italian life, when not upon the stage itself, with the feeling that he can be part of that long and uninterrupted history which stretches from Petronius to Fellini and now to Roberto Begnini.
The erotic romps which Albert Russo describes with a rare verve and indeed voltairian buoyancy, using a language at once raw and sensual, never vulgar, inflame the senses of his protagonists, reigniting dormant passions while at the same time, turning around the tables and casting new roles. The magic of love has played once again havoc with the fate of these men, breaking the harmony of their much admired and sometimes envied setup.
Then the question arises as to the durability of happiness. Is passion thus necessarily distructive and to what degree does this poison act as a snuffer? Simply because it belongs to life and to its pleasures. And why indeed, may I ask, would they have to exclude each other?
I think not! After a scrumptious dinner, washed down by generous servings of Lambrusco wine and digestive liqueurs, Sven invites our hero to join him in their private sauna cabin and a befuddled Eric is drawn into a the heights of sensuality; befuddled is the word, for our hero who considers the three musketeers as his saviors, never contemplated having sex with any of the men, still haunted as he is by his recent tragedy.
French literature | Revolvy
Here a parallel can be drawn between the delights of the table and those of flesh. This is both the fate of many actors, overshadowed by stars, and the result of prejudice. Benglia owed his career to the colour of his skin, and his roles were always very traditional. Colonial cinema, both as propaganda or exotic entertainment, made proficient use of this actor. Originally a conveyor of stereotypes, this genre gradually evolved toward more truth and realism, but never gave Benglia the opportunity to rise to stardom.
On tente de grandes choses. Il y a des entreprises colossales. Il est en construction. Nous arrivons. Ces noirs vivent dans leurs paillotes comme ils devaient vivre il y a deux mille ans. Le sorcier incarne les forces surnaturelles et la tradition africaine, mais aussi, pour le spectateur blanc occidental, le Mal, le pouvoir obscur et malfaisant. Les commentaires sont assez brefs et peu explicites. Comment comprendra-t-on ce langage? Le tam-tam, qui donne son titre au film, constitue un leitmotiv. A rlaux, R. A ubriant , M. B erland, J.