The Journalist, The
Dalkey Archive ed
By (author) Harry Mathews
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Journalist, The by Harry Mathews
Book DescriptionAs an aid to recovering from a nervous breakdown, the narrator of The Journalist begins to keep daily records of almost everything that goes on in his life, from how much he has spent on books and movies to what he eats. As the diary progresses, the narrator's entries become more and more detailed and increasingly bizarre, especially as he begins to devise elaborate classification systems for his unwieldy materials. Since these entries require more and more of his time, he begins to withdraw from family and friends, entering a world perfectly ordered, organized, and utterly weird.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781564781659
(216mm x 140mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Dalkey Archive Press
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Publish Date: 1-Dec-1997
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Harry Mathews
Silences, or a Woman's Life, Paperback (January 2013)
When a woman falls into a coma, her daughter accompanies her through six weeks of agony, bearing witness to the prolonged death imposed upon her by the monstrous machine of modern medicine. During this final voyage through the fog, the narrator attempts to reconstruct the portrait of a woman who she deeply loved.
Laurels of Lake Constance, Paperback (August 2012)
Originally published in French as Les lauriers du Lac de Constance by editions du Seuil in 1974.
Blue of Noon, Paperback (June 2012)View all books by Harry Mathews
Set against the backdrop of Europe's slide into Fascism, this title provides an account of depravity and violence. Exploring the dark forces beneath the surface of civilization, it is torn between identifying with history's victims and being seduced by the monstrous glamour of its terrible victors.
US Kirkus Review » There are no safe places for the disintegrating self, not even the private journal; that is what the unnamed "journalist" discovers in this teasing, lightly involving novel from Mathews (Singular Pleasures, 1993, etc.). Middle-aged, middle-class, he lives in a college town in an unidentified country. He has an unglamorous office job, a loving wife (Daisy), an equally loving mistress (Colette), and a lovable if enigmatic son in high school (Gert). Daisy and his doctor, worried about his mental state, suggest he keep a journal, and he starts his new project with zest, seeing it as a "a hold on reality," a way of reconciling his two selves - the one that experiences life with the one that observes it. Soon enough, however, this journal, which he had envisioned as an instrument of control, turns into a tyrant that controls him. He becomes obsessed with the right way of classifying experience, and the margins sprout headings and subheadings like weeds. Meanwhile, his relationships are suffering. Daisy turns secretive, and his best friend, Paul, is avoiding him. Could they be having an affair? Why is Gert suddenly so friendly with Colette: More mischief? And why is there never enough time for his lonely task of keeping his journal and getting it right? He cuts back on sleep (his love life is already a thing of the past) and uses the office for his writing, until his boss forces him to take indefinite leave. "I've lost them," he acknowledges, referring to all the people in his life, just before his final dissolution and hospitalization, when a new narrative voice supplies rather too pat explanations for all the puzzles. Not as bleak as it sounds. Mathews chronicles his diarist's dilemma with humor and gentle irony; his slide into the abyss occasions more bemusement than terror. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Harry Mathews
Harry Mathews (born February 14, 1930) is an American author of various novels, volumes of poetry and short fiction, and essays. Harry Mathews was the first American chosen for membership in the French literary society known as the Oulipo, which is dedicated to exploring new possibilities in literature, in particular through the use of various constraints and algorithms. The late French writer Georges Perec, likewise a member, was a good friend, and the two translated some of each other's writings. Mathews considers many of his works to be Oulipian in nature, but even before he encountered the society he was working in a parallel direction. Mathews is currently married to the writer Marie Chaix and divides his time between Paris, Key West, and New York.
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