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Boredom [Paperback]

By Alberto Moravia, William Weaver (Introduction by) & Angus Davidson (Translator)
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Item Number 426346  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.07" Width: 5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 31, 2004
Publisher   NYRB Classics
ISBN  1590171217  
EAN  9781590171219  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The novels that the great Italian writer Alberto Moravia wrote in the years following the World War II represent an extraordinary survey of the range of human behavior in a fragmented modern society. Boredom, the story of a failed artist and pampered son of a rich family who becomes dangerously attached to a young model, examines the complex relations between money, sex, and imperiled masculinity. This powerful and disturbing study in the pathology of modern life is one of the masterworks of a writer whom as Anthony Burgess once remarked, was "always trying to get to the bottom of the human imbroglio."
“In its moral and artistic economy, [Boredom] is perhaps the most successful of all Moravia’s work. . . .No one has depicted a series of carnal acts, frenzied yet cold in their automatism--nudity, desire and its outlet--with such complete lack of complacence, such impassive truthfulness.” --Nicola Chiaromonte, Partisan Review

“Precise, calculating, decadent and quite brilliant.” --Kirkus Reviews

“Boredom is Moravia’s most succinct exploration of the quiet desperation at the heart of the automated of Moravia’s funniest explorations on the origins of middle-class funk.” --Bill Marx, Boston Review
Alberto Moravia (1907-1990), the child of a wealthy family, was raised at home because of illness. He published his first novel,The Time of Indifference, at the age of twenty-three. Banned from publishing under Mussolini, he emerged after World War II as one of the most admired and influential twentieth-century Italian writers.

William Weaver is celebrated for his numerous translations from the Italian, including Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose and novels and stories by Italo Calvino.

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More About Alberto Moravia, William Weaver & Angus Davidson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Alberto Moravia (1907-1990), the child of a wealthy family, was raised at home because of illness. He published his first novel, The Time of Indifference, at the age of twenty-three. Banned from publishing under Mussolini, he emerged after World War II as one of the most admired and influential twentieth-century Italian writers. Among his best-known books to have appeared in English are Boredom, The Woman of Rome, The Conformist (the basis for Bernardo Bertolucci's film), Roman Tales, Contempt (the basis for Jean-Luc Godard's film), and Two Women.

William Weaver is celebrated for his numerous translations from the Italian, including Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose and novels and stories by Italo Calvino.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Preoccupied With Boredom  Apr 14, 2005
It's hard to live the bohemain life of the starving artist when you're mother is loaded with money and even if you're able to break away, you're still completely talentless.

This is the story of Dino, a man emotionally and physically detatched from all life has to offer. Pretending, even trying to fool himself, that he doesn't need his mother to live, he tries to live as an artist and with no inspiration or drive he stares into a blank canvas, perhaps a metaphor for his life.

You would think that he is just waiting for the lifestyle he craves to be handed to him as everything else is handed to him, that his obsession with boredom is simply just an excuse, until Cecilia enters the story.

Completely on the opposite end of the spectrum, Cecilia lives in poverty with an ill father, Cecilia cannot be conquered by Dino by way of boredom. He wants to be the user, to use her body and her emotions and detatch himself from her, but is curious to find she is also as equally detatched from the world, which leads Dino into a dangerous spiral to make her feel at least something for him. Not entirely out of love as much as a game to make the other feel something first, a game that he seems to be playing all by himself.

This misses one star because I'm not entirely sure if I even liked the story, but the writing was good and kept drawing me back to the book. This is a book worth checking out, perhaps at your local library.
Uniquely humorous  Sep 25, 2004
This novel was the greatest birthday gift given to me by my sister. Moravia is the European Bellow. This is a hypnotic novel. It is funny, sometimes despite being tragic, and sometimes because it is tragic. The dialogue especially about furniture is hilarious. After this, read Contempt.

Strange.......disturbing......different  Jun 8, 2004
"Boredom" was my first encounter with Italian neorealism...the theory that holds "consciousness does not constitute reality". In other words, reality is extramental, the way we perceive objects and people, and the relationship we develop with them, does not change the reality of these objects or people. As one website explained, "a man remains the same man, even though he becomes an uncle (exteriority of relationship). Knowledge is nothing other than an external relationship; its nature consists in making an object present to a subject. But in this relationship both object and subject remain what they were." So, basically, a cup is just a cup regardless of the purpose for which I use it. It stands in and of its own. Everything stands in and of its own. But our relationship to things is just our perception, our consciousness, it is not reality itself. We are outside of reality.

We see the crucial significance of this philosophy in Moravia's "Boredom." The novel is rather an unusual is a disturbing psychological study. It traces the inner thoughts and emotions of Dino, the painter who suffers "artistic sterility from boredom." Here, it is important to realise what boredom means for Dino. Boredom is more than just "ennui" is his inability to develop a relationship to the world around him. He feels a complete emptiness, apathy, disconnection with the world at large. He suffers from what we would term in this modern day and age a kind of depression, the kind that is so acute that it does not manifest itself in sadness, but rather in a complete indifference to life. The novel barely has a plot. In fact, there are only a handful of interacting characters in the book. Most of the novel takes place in the protagonist's head, as we witness his growing obsession with a bizarely amoral and impassive young model.

Everything in "Boredom" is described in such a cold, detached, neorealist manner. Sex, which is a core concern in the book, is acted out with the same cold automatism as with picking up a glass of water or blinking your eyes. This is one thing which makes the novel quite fascinating. It would seem to a regular person, for example, that there could not possibly exist a human being as elusive and as devoid of emotions as Cecilia, the sexual machine, and yet Dino goes to such lengths to describe her, and describe his dead-pan conversations with her, that we come to believe she is real. And indeed we come to feel his suffering as he struggles to possess her, but fails over and over again. It is a disturbing novel, and one can not help but feel pity for Dino's plummet into desperation. There will be many moments of recognition in the book as we recall the times we ourselves have fallen victim to weakness, to temptation, and perhaps even to quasi-obsession.

I definitely think this novel is worth picking up, if only for its eccentricity. It is is so cold, so realist, so bland, that it is fascinating. And it will touch you more than you think. It will stay with you, and it will leave you touched. N.B: This novel is sometimes published under another name..."The Empty Canvas."

STRANDED  Oct 4, 2003
a young man muse destroys him A very strange girl enters the consciousness of the protagonist a self professed failed painter, i cant recall his name,nor the girls, cause the book is buried somewhere anywhere lost like OUR main characature; with too much time on his hand, this semmingly most inteligent of narators PONDERS HIS PREDICAMENT. he seems to be stranded, an outsider looking in so self absorbed in inteligent reflection,, very much like an author thinker he observes he comments on cynically critically, yet caring deeply about he world about him. mostly he obsesses about his powerlessness, his failure his hoplessness and its consequence BOREDOM, so he surmises, hes much too confused by the ordinary of the real,ALSO.hE LETS THE EVERYDAY IN,and it distracts him GREATLY. AT FIRST ITS HIS CONSTANT NEED FOR MORE MONEY, AND THEN ITS HIS MOTHER WHO PROVIDES IT. he hates the relationship between his needs which are selfish and produce guilt and his GREAT love for his mother WHICH IS its a descenging rubic cube like set of possibilities presented INTERNALY, BUT outward, out the window he seeDOES HE WISH TO DISTURB? HES ALREADY GOING KNOWHERE FAST, why not choose to pursue LUST, NOT just AS A VOYEOUR.
Moravia's musings.  Aug 17, 2003
It's difficult to say much about this novel, because its premise is age-old and predictable; so I'll simply tell you why you should read it: Moravia's genius comes by way of depicting intangibles such as love and fear with the same type of detail and insight that he would utilize if he were merely describing the apple on your kitchen counter.

Individual thoughts might reel on for pages, but you'll follow with ease as the narrator muses in the same way that you might as you walk to the park and daydream about grocery lists or failed loves or the full moon you mean to reference in your last letter to your grandmother.

The prose is simple. The characters are painful to know, difficult to like, and incredibly crafted mirrors of the person who turns the pages.


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