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- Lunar Follies by Gilbert Sorrentino
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Return to Book Page. Preview — Lunar Follies by Gilbert Sorrentino. Lunar Follies by Gilbert Sorrentino. He reminds us that fiction lives because artists make it. In Lunar Follies , a bitingly satiric, imaginative tour of gallery, museum and performance art exhibitions, Sorrentino skewers the pretensions of the contemporary art world and its flailing attempts at relevance in a society whose attentions have strayed to the immediacy of pop culture.
With precise comedic timing and an eye toward lascivious detail, Sorrentino is the perfect guide through this deliciously absurd world. After two decades on the faculty at Stanford University, he now lives in his native Brooklyn, New York.
Lunar Follies by Gilbert Sorrentino
Paperback , pages. Published April 1st by Coffee House Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Lunar Follies , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Aug 29, MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it Shelves: At times outrageous, at times inscrutable, at times wielding the obscure reference like a violent weapon, this novel is perhaps the strangest in the Gilbert oeuvre, with a splendid selection of lists, most snark-ridden and crank-cranked, and parodies of an art world that at times borders on the entirely imaginary.
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A pleasure to read late-period Sorro cutting loose and flexing his formidable humour muscle amid the more melancholic tone of his other novels of the period. Enriched appreciation on a second read. Jun 18, Jeff Bursey rated it it was amazing. For a full review, go here: Mar 16, Doug rated it liked it. One of the interesting things about Gilbert Sorrentino's Lunar Follies is how little I can say about it, despite its formal structure, without departing for the subjective. It consists of 53 brief pieces, few more than a handful of pages long, named after features of the moon, ordered alphabetically.
In fact, its formalism and almost total abandonment of conventional narrative seem as much like experimental film - early Greenaway, say - as anything I've read. It's fiction mostly by virtue of not One of the interesting things about Gilbert Sorrentino's Lunar Follies is how little I can say about it, despite its formal structure, without departing for the subjective.
It's fiction mostly by virtue of not being nonfiction or poetry or drama.
Broadly, the pieces concern art. Some mimic text from an exhibition catalogue, some adopt marketing rhetoric, some are framed as pseudo-academic criticism.
Some of the art described could well exist, and some of it is fanciful unless the description of it is understood to be metaphorical, e. One piece unambiguously parodies Jenny Holzer's work, which gave me license to wonder whether Sorrentino intended to specifically evoke Sarah Sze's intricate assemblages, or whether that was something I brought to the table. Much of the art is kinda dirty, in a male-centric way, which for me raises questions about the difficulty of commenting on objectification of women without perpetuating it.
One or two of the pieces might be read as essays placing the artist's work in a particular context; then again they could almost be read as something like short stories. But mostly these prompted the realization that if you follow conceptual art to its logical extreme or reduce ad absurdum, as you like virtually any narrative could be construed as a description of a conceptual installation.
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Some of the language in the vignettes is beautiful Sorrentino also writes poetry, and presumably applies a poet's care to his prose. Several of the pieces are quite funny one including a list of imaginary football positions in particular made me snort. Some of the language is perhaps intended to be shocking or transgressive, but I just found it crass both of the "c" words make several appearances.
Impossibility is rarely so freeing, so productive: Structured Nebula , , for instance, dreams of colorful and glittering nebulae corralled into a perfect floating donut ring many parsecs across. His proposals sneakily appeal to our disturbing fascination with fabulous disasters and titillating catastrophes; their imagined beauty swelling with the imagined enormity of their imagined wreckage. See if you have enough points for this item.
And just who the hell are these pseudo-cool people who think they know what you should like better than you? In this bitingly satiric, imaginative tour of gallery, museum and performance art exhibitions, Gilbert Sorrentino brilliantly and mercilessly skewers the precious pretensions of the contemporary art world and its flailing attempts at maintaining relevance in a society whose attentions have strayed to the immediacy of pop culture.
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