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The Attraction of Things

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Description

Stunning fragments that offer an epiphany of grace and beauty 

The Attraction of Things concerns the entirety of beauty and the possibility of grace, relayed via obsessions with rare early gramophone records, the theater, translation, dying parents: all these elements are relayed in a dizzying strange traffic of cultural artifacts, friendships, losses, discoveries, and love. Roger Lewinter believes that in the realm of art, “the distinction between life and death loses its relevance, the one taking place in the other.”

Whereas Story of Love in Solitude is a group of small stories, The Attraction of Things is a continuous narrative (more or less) of a man seeking (or stumbling upon) enlightenment.

“The Attraction of Things,” states Lewinter, “is the story of a being who lets himself go toward what attracts him, toward what he attracts—beings, works, things—and who, through successive encounters, finds the way out of the labyrinth, to the heart, where the bolt of illumination strikes. This is the story of a letting go toward the illumination.” 

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 19, 2016 – Lewinter’s serpentine “fragments of an oblique life” nominally recount three years in a man’s life, but they more closely resemble a work that his narrator wants to translate: “a text that, improvised on each occasion in a state of concentration, was a simple verbal process” for its writer, but for the reader becomes a “labyrinth from which to find the way out.” The narrator is an accomplished translator and avid collector of antique records, Kashmir shawls, and other objets d’art, and is increasingly solitary. His elderly father, his only living parent, is growing fragile: “Making up for twenty years in three weeks he suddenly became an old man.” An ex-girlfriend whose new book is finally finished mentions that she’s “getting married in two hours.” The narrator’s relationships with men afford him the understanding that gender is ultimately unimportant, “since it is negated for the body that in its fulfillment is escaped,” but these relationships have also proven transitory. In this ephemeral world, the flea market offers consolations and coincidences within which the narrator locates a deeper meaning. Finding an intricately woven shawl, or the old sound recording of a dancer in which only the music and “a sharp tap of the castanets sufficed to evoke in its brilliance the entirety of beauty,” he moves closer and closer to revelation. Lewinter’s sentences can span several pages, moving backward and forward through narrative time; through their possible frustration, readers too may approach enlightenment.
The Attraction of Things
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Nov 01, 2016
  • Publisher: New Directions
  • Seller: W. W. Norton
  • Print Length: 128 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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