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Book Title: The Flame Alphabet|
The author of the book: Ben Marcus
ISBN 13: 9780307957511
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 1149 times
Reader ratings: 6.1
The size of the: 6.24 MB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: January 17th 2012
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In The Flame Alphabet, the most maniacally gifted writer of our generation delivers a work of heartbreak and horror, a novel about how far we will go, and the sorrows we will endure, in order to protect our families.
A terrible epidemic has struck the country and the sound of children’s speech has become lethal. Radio transmissions from strange sources indicate that people are going into hiding. All Sam and Claire need to do is look around the neighborhood: In the park, parents wither beneath the powerful screams of their children. At night, suburban side streets become routes of shameful escape for fathers trying to get outside the radius of affliction.
With Claire nearing collapse, it seems their only means of survival is to flee from their daughter, Esther, who laughs at her parents’ sickness, unaware that in just a few years she, too, will be susceptible to the language toxicity. But Sam and Claire find it isn’t so easy to leave the daughter they still love, even as they waste away from her malevolent speech. On the eve of their departure, Claire mysteriously disappears, and Sam, determined to find a cure for this new toxic language, presses on alone into a world beyond recognition.
The Flame Alphabet invites the question: What is left of civilization when we lose the ability to communicate with those we love? Both morally engaged and wickedly entertaining, a gripping page-turner as strange as it is moving, this intellectual horror story ensures Ben Marcus’s position in the first rank of American novelists.
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Read information about the authorSeemingly the most conspicuous aspect of Ben Marcus' work, to date, is its expansion on one of the most primary concerns of the original Surrealist authors -- perhaps most typified by Benjamin Péret, husband of the acclaimed painter Remedios Varo -- this being a very deep interest in the psychological service and implication of symbols and the manners by which those symbols can be maneuvered and rejuxtaposed in order to provoke new ideas or new points of view -- in other words, the creation of, in a sense, conscious dreams.
While Marcus' writing plays similarly with the meanings of words by either stripping them of their intended meaning or juxtaposing them with other words in critical ways, it also abandons the 'experimental' nature of so much of the Surrealists' writing for stories that describe human psychology and the human condition through a means that has in later years become notably more subjective and sensory in nature than that used in the broad range of fiction, both 'conventional' and 'nonconventional'.
The surreal nature of Marcus' work derives in part from the fact that it comprises sentences that are exact in their structure and syntax, but whose words, though familiar, appear to have abandoned their ordinary meanings; they can be read as experiments in the ways in which language and syntax themselves work to create structures of meaning. Common themes that emerge are family, the Midwest, science, mathematics, and religion, although their treatment in Marcus's writing lends to new interpretations and conceptualizations of those concepts.
Marcus was born in Chicago. He attended New York University (NYU) and Brown University, and currently teaches writing at Columbia University where he was recently promoted to head of the writing MFA program. He is the son of Jane Marcus, a noted feminist critic and Virginia Woolf scholar. He is married to novelist Heidi Julavits.
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