This book attempts to go beyond the tourist cliche of Prague as the 'golden city' to bring out all the mystery, ambiguity, gloom, lethargy and hidden fascination of the city on the Vltava. Ripellino slips into the style of melodrama and ghost stories as he writes of the time of Rudolf II, the alchemists, the Jewish Quarter, the Golem, the pubs, the funereal malevolence of its architecture, of Holan and Kafka, of Meyrink and the Czech Dadaists. With this dense cast of characters Ripellino brings out the sorcery of the Bohemian capital in a compelling mix of fact and fiction. This vast fresco of Prague life provides much more than a literary and cultural history of the city; it is both a celebration and a requiem. 'The city of the Vltava, capital of old Bohemia, is as much a state of mind as a physical location. It was the centre of magic in the Renaissance, the very alembic of Europe, and still retains its reputation for mystery and rank intrigue ...This is a haunting, clotted, mad masterpiece. It is not an easy read, but it is a rewarding one. As I close the book, the magic city sinks back into its ancient dreaming, and I recall a beautiful line from a poem by Jarolsav Seifert, quoted by Ripellino: "The shadow enters darkness and man enters earth." ' John Banville, Observer
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About the Author:
Michael Heim is the author of the award winning The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality and the ground breaking Electric Language.
Although Prague is renowned for its beauty and is conveniently located in the center of Europe, fascism and communism have kept it off most American tourist itineraries for more than half a century. Capitalism is quickly returning it to every tourist's list. Levine, an American who lived in Prague while writing this guidebook, includes detailed information on transportation, accommodations, eating, shopping, and entertainment, plus interesting (and sometimes useful) cultural anecdotes and historical facts. Although the focus is on Prague, 15 day trips outside the city are also described; the book could serve as a guide to the new Czech Republic as well as to its capital. Following the "Maverick Guide" philosophy, Levine's writing style is colloquial and more opinionated than that of some other travel series. Highly recommended. In contrast, Ripellino, formerly of the University of Rome, presents a blend of history, art, literary criticism, and fantasy designed to relate not just facts about the city on the Vltava but to explore its essence as well. Ripellino's writing is dense and discursive, which may initially confuse readers, especially those without much prior knowledge of Czech history and culture. The bewildering array of names and places begins on page 1. To complicate matters further, some of these people and places may not exist, since the book has a fictional element. Recommended for academic libraries with a particular interest in Central European history and Slavic studies.
- Mary C. Kalfatovic, Telesec Lib. Svcs., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Picador, 1995. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110330337793
Descripción Picador. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Brand New. In Stock. Nº de ref. de la librería zk0330337793
Descripción Picador, 1995. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0330337793
Descripción Picador, 1995. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0330337793