« puzzling narrative »

http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/subject

Ice by Anna Kavan

blogPost, 09/11/2011

Ice by Anna Kavan was 70% off, I do not know the writer, but after reading Doris Lessing’s comment, I carted it off with the rest of the titles for purchase. The eerie and strangeness of the story seems an exciting read. I am intrigued how a heroine addict writes one of slipstream’s most significant novel.

Neige

blogPost, 31/10/2013

J’ai choisi ce roman à cause de son titre, de sa couverture et de sa quatrième de couverture, et afin de découvrir une publication "adulte" de cette maison d'édition dont je ne connaissais que la section jeunesse. Il y avait quelque chose de très recherché dans la verticalité du titre (comme dans le logo de la maison d'éditions) qui m’a interpellé, avec le nom de l'auteure qui forment une croix.

Reality had always been something of an unknown quantity to me

blogPost, 06/08/2007

Anna Kavan was the pen-name of Helen Woods (1901-68), a British writer and artist (her self-portrait can be seen here). By all accounts she was a deeply damaged individual: prone to mental illness and a lifelong heroin addict, she attempted suicide several times in the course of her life.

Portrait of the Artist as the Books He’s Loved

blogPost, 11/10/2011

My first encounter with Anna Kavan came via an image found trawling through a friend’s flicker page. There is a lovely group of really wonderful women I have met online via my obsession with the 60s & 70s films of the fantastique, and “Oola” is one acquaintance I was particularly bewitched by. She seemed to have impeccable taste and a wonderfully exciting life (from what I could see of it online), so the combination of my experience with the owner of the book and the cover of the book itself, I immediately requested the book from inter-library-loan (at the time, Kavan’s Julia and the Bazooka was out of print).

Mercury by Anna Kavan

blogPost, 06/07/2012

I thought from what was said about Anna Kavan's Mercury that it would be litfic uncomfortably fitted into the fantasy genre. This was largely confirmed when I saw that Doris Lessing had written the foreword, and what she had said about the book. Litfic and I seem to have an uneasy relationship. I generally don't like it, I'm getting the feeling I must be some sort of literary philistine.

Anna Kavan : brilliant like ice

blogPost, 29/09/2011

Her descriptions burned so brightly when I first began reading the work of Anna Kavan that I felt a kinship with her almost at once. I have sometimes wandered past her last home in Peel Street, London, in pilgrimage. The novels and memoirs stand on my shelves: I came across Ice first, then Asylum Piece and My Madness, then Let me Alone, Julia and the Bazooka with its 1960s hip bohemianism, and Sleep Has His House.

Ice and Guilty by Anna Kavan

webpage, 24/09/2007

About a year ago, I attended the guest of honor talk at ICon, the Israeli science fiction and fantasy convention. The speaker was Neil Gaiman, and his topic was dreams. With typical low-key irreverence, Mr. Gaiman sidestepped his assigned subject. Nothing, he claimed, is quite so boring as actual dreams, in which the mind's processing centers, cut off from the senses and from higher reasoning, continue to churn and light up, producing certainties and causal leaps ("and suddenly it wasn't my high school gym teacher; it was my mother" is my best recollection of Mr. Gaiman's way of describing this effect) that have no relation to logic, narrative, or even metaphor and symbolism. Anna Kavan's Ice unfolds with a similar dream-like logic.

Neige, Anna Kavan

blogPost, 15/11/2013

Nous sommes tellement habitués à lire des histoires à la narration linéaire et logique que notre première réaction face à quelqu'un qui ne respecte pas ce genre de conventions peut être l'indignation, la frustration, voire le rejet. C'est peut-être pour cela que Neige d'Anna Kavan, ayant pourtant déjà été édité en français avant que Cambourakis ne décide de le publier, n'est pas resté dans nos mémoires (francophones). Et c'est bien dommage…

Neige, de Anna Kavan

blogPost, 11/10/2013

Bon, donc, séance de rattrapage, sur qui sur quoi ? Là, en commençant mon article, je ne savais même pas, et puis finalement j’ai décidé de parler de Neige, de Anna Kavan, paru aux éditions Cambourakis il y a peu.

Urban Gothic of the Second World War : Dark London

book, 01/04/2010

This book examines 'home front' literature of the Second World War, arguing that Gothic tropes and forms mark moments of fracture in the national mythologies of wartime home, city and fellowship. These works in the Gothic mode subvert mythologies of nation that are still influential today. Anna Kavan, Mervyn Peake, Elizabeth Bowen, Roy Fuller, Henry Green and others present counter-stories to the dominant national mythology of British survival and emotional resilience. In the texts of this monograph, the city grows strange, time distorts, and hallucinatory narrative voices depict a nightmare realm.

Winter Is Coming: Ice by Anna Kavan

blogPost, 20/03/2012

From the outset it is obvious that Ice is a novel about obsession but it rapidly becomes clear that it is overwhelmingly about illness.

Winter reads: Ice by Anna Kavan

newspaperArticle, 21/12/2011

A frozen post-nuclear dystopia is the setting for this raw, brutal tale. It may not cheer you up, but it will compel your attention

Anna Kavan, 'Julia and the Bazooka': a critique

blogPost, 15/12/2013

Writers such as Brian Aldiss and J.G. Ballard have praised the writings of Anna Kavan, but I find her work uneven – I couldn’t get beyond the first few pages of self-indulgent, rambling dream visions in Sleep Has His House, first published in 1948. Julia and the Bazooka is also uneven, but serves as a good introduction to the qualities (and weaknesses) of Kavan’s fiction.

Anna Kavan, Julia and the Bazooka

blogPost, 4/10/2010

The thing about trying to record quotes from Anna Kavan is that everything she writes reads this way — splendid, icy, nightmarish — and so that these are merely a random selection from a vast pool.

Asylum Piece - Anna Kavan

blogPost, 18/04/2011

Anna Kavan – a character’s name from one of her earlier works, adopted by the author who went on to produce some astonishing work that is all too sadly neglected these days, despite the unflagging championship by her publisher. This was the first of her ‘new’ work, a series of interlinked vignettes that explore her recent experiences of breakdown and confinement in an asylum.

The case of Anna Kavan: a biography

book, 1992

None

A stranger on Earth: the life and work of Anna Kavan

book, 2006

None

Books read in August

blogPost, 02/09/2012

Sleep Has His House – Anna Kavan Unique. In my experience. I can think of no other novel that I have read that comes anywhere near this. Based in part on her own life and withdrawal from the world, it is a truly surreal journey from day into night, from reality into dreams, from normality into a world of symbolism that is cut off from the mainstream. Yet it manages at the same to imply that, in fact, the night and the dreams and the symbols are a much more fundamental reality underlying the chaotic world in which we are expected to live.

The hallucination of one moment did not fit the reality of the next

blogPost, 06/03/2012

I’ve written before of how sometimes work, life generally, can wreck my reading of a book. A busy period, a week passes without a page turned, and suddenly a great book has become a chore. I don’t remember what’s going on or who the characters are or why the plot involves a chihuaha*. The book becomes staccato and dissolves into incoherence.

Review: Ice, Anna Kavan

blogPost, 28/06/2011

When I picked up this book, all I knew about it was that it was apocalyptic. I certainly didn’t realise that the apocalyptic scenario in fact plays out a sinister psychological dreamscape, where the boundaries between interior and exterior, real and imagined, hallucination and daydream, sadistic wish-fulfillment and physical injury, are utterly erased. That was a shock. But whilst Kavan’s Ice turned out to be far more disconcerting than I’d anticipated, it certainly wasn’t disappointing.

Anna Kavan: The Best Kept Secret Of English Modernism

blogPost, 01/02/2014

We have dedicated this section of the website to the passing on of the good word of short story collections that we feel have been either been missed or forgotten about, for one reason or another, but that deserve and need to be read. The first one I’ve selected is Julia and the Bazooka by Anna Kavan. Anna who? Exactly.

A 20th century author I had never read before…

blogPost, 17/06/2008

This brings me to a writer of the World War II and mid twentieth century periods, Anna Kavan. There is also a web-site about her work. Guilty (2007) was in fact written much earlier.

Introducing Anna Kavan

magazineArticle, 24/02/2011

There’s an indispensable book called About Writing by Samuel R. Delany. In the first essay he cobbles together an eclectic list of authors that, ideally, the aspiring writer should read. Because Delany has read everything, you can bet his tastes are wide and varied. And it’s thanks to that book that I discovered Anna Kavan.

Anna Kavan

journalArticle, None

It has been said that Anna Kavan wrote in a mirror. The body of work left by the now obscure British modernist represented a constant inquiry into her own identity, and the invention of a personal mythology—or demonology, as it would become later in her career.

Neige - Anna KAVAN

book, 16/3/2009

Un personnage dont on ne sait pas le nom cherche, dans un, puis un autre pays, jamais précisés, une fille qui le hante et dont une seule particularité est mise en relief : Sa chevelure (...), d'un blanc argenté, celle d'un albinos, étincelante comme le clair de lune... Parfois un troisième personnage se dresse entre le quêteur et l'objet de la quête ; on n'en connaît que la fonction : Gouverneur.

Anna Kavan, la ciencia ficcion extrana y alucinada : Hielo

blogPost, 28/10/2008

Conocí Hielo, de Anna Kavan, porque soy aficionada a la ciencia ficción y estaba preparando una Bibliografía de escritoras del género. Alguien me recomendó la novela, como uno de esos ejemplos en que una autora no especializada en CF hace una incursión en esa literatura que -tanto respecto a los autores como al público aficionado- tiene mucho de ghetto.

Anna Kavan’s Nocturnal Language

blogPost, 19/10/08

work & life

2666 and what I learned from Anna Kavan

blogPost, 28/05/2009

Right now I’m reading Ice by Anna Kavan. Scant 150 pages of flat characterization and a fantastic, visceral, amorphous ice world that includes a dragon.

What's the Story: Reading Anna Kavan's Ice

journalArticle, None

Anna Kavan's Ice is a novel of relentless, evanescent beauty that depicts a world in which two explicitly linked forms of violence dominate and inexorably and insanely destroy it. First published in 1967, on the eve of the second wave of feminism, Ice has never been regarded as a significant work of proto-feminist literature, although scholars occasionally include it on lists of sf by women written before the major works of feminist sf burst onto the scene in the 1970s.

The Strange Case of AK

blogPost, 03/07/2007

The first blog entry I ever wrote had something to do with Anna Kavan; I think I was reading her book "Let Me Alone" at the time. I've just finished George Saunder's "In Persuasion Nation" -- funny, cynical, nasty, and ultimately touching -- and tonight, waiting anxiously for a thunderstorm that is taking its own sweet time arriving, I'm following it up with Kavan's "Mercury."

On Anna Kavan

blogPost, 09/12/2011

Anna Kavan, born Helen Ferguson in 1901 was a very English - and at the same time utterly alien - novelist whose own life took on the quality of an existential mystery. Praised by JG Ballard and Doris Lessing, drawing on Kafka and anticipating slipstream long before it became a genre in British writing, her novels described eerie states of dislocation; a lifelong heroin user, her prose has a needle-sharp precision but her subject matter was never drugs.

Anna Kavan : Ice

blogPost, 31/03/2011

Anna Kavan is one of those writers I’ve been meaning to read for years, assured that hers was exactly the sort of low-tog-rating fiction I claim to seek. At the same time her most famous novel, Ice, seemed like the sort of book which didn’t need to be read at all: one of those where the blurb and chat around it seemed to say all that needed to be said. It’s easy to summarise but hard to write about: at least that’s my excuse.

The Parson - Anna Kavan

blogPost, 05/11/2007

I picked up another of Anna Kavan's remarkable novels, The Parson, one of the last of her books to be published and this one post humously after the discovery of the manuscript in amongst Anna Kavan's papers at the McFarlin Library at the University of Tulsa.

Neige, d’Anna Kavan

blogPost, 20/11/2013

La britannique Anna Kavan fait partie des écrivains qui se sont forgé un personnage, un masque, une façade qui est devenue partie intégrante de leur œuvre – ce n’est pas pour rien si en 1939 elle fait rayer de l’État civil son nom de baptême pour adopter l’identité de l’un de ses personnages.

AK (bis) / Obsessionnel.

blogPost, 04/07/2012

Les six pages signées Anna Kavan sortent de nulle part. Aucune trace dans les recueils traduits ou les rares articles consacrés à l'écrivaine anglaise, à peine connue de quelques lecteurs français, les moindres n'étant pas Viviane Forrester, Claire Malroux ou Christine Jordis, talentueuses passeuses.