The Resource Lunar follies, by Gilbert Sorrentino, (overdrive ebook)
Lunar follies
Lunar follies
Statement of responsibility
by Gilbert Sorrentino
Lunar follies
Writing style
  • For decades Sorrentino, prolific, irreverent, and imaginative, has been sequestered in the lamentable territory reserved for that endangered species, the “writer’s writer.” But recently he has aligned himself with the moon, and leapt the barrier with irresistibly smart and pithy comic works. First came the acclaimed The Moon in Its Flight [BKL Ap 1 04], a collection of wry salvos on all things literary. Now, in Lunar Follies, he aims his satirical wit, acrobatic linguistics, and critical acumen at the art world to hilarious effect. In each mock review of an installation piece or exhibit, all of which are named after features on the moon to indicate their inherent lunacy, Sorrentino manages to brilliantly satirize not only bad and pretentious art but also ludicrously pedantic and fawning art criticism--not to mention our fascination with celebrities, sex, and mobsters, and our high tolerance for excessive historical minutiae and sheer vapidness. Sorrentino’s riffs are beat poetry, his sly descent into absurdity deliciously funny, and his send-up of artistic pomposity at once affectionate and affirming. We knew the emperor had no clothes. -- Donna Seaman (BookList, 04-01-2005, p1345)
  • Readers skeptical of (but intrigued by) conceptual and installation art will enjoy this clever parodic take on the contemporary art world. In fake reviews, lists of found objects, profiles, photo captions and catalogue copy—each named for moon landmarks ("Sea of Rains," "Straight Wall," "Lake of Dreams," etc.)—Sorrentino (Little Casino ) satirizes the esoteric works found on the cultural cutting edge. He skewers highfalutin academic language ("These familiar geometrical shapes function as footnotes or marginalia, of course"), targets fashion magazines featuring models in $900 "food-encrusted" sweaters from stores with names like "Suck-Egg Mule" and pokes fun at galleries by listing works they've inexplicably rejected, then displayed, including "Myrna Felt Like Undressing for the Conductor" by Yolanda Philippo and "Bottle of Worcestershire Sauce" by Raoul. But like the neon sculptures he playfully derides, Sorrentino belongs to the avant-garde: there's no narrative here, nor are there central characters. Instead, there's a dead-on appropriation of the pretentious critic's voice, which analyzes "qualities that insist on the absence that is within the implied absence of the brick pile itself" and an exquisite attention to detail within the fakery. This proves an intimate knowledge of the subject being mocked; beneath his loving, blustery banter, Sorrentino clearly values the rights of artists to push the limits of audience expectation—and patience. (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed February 14, 2005) (Publishers Weekly, vol 252, issue 7, p50)
  • /* Starred Review */ Sorrentino has long occupied a unique position between modernism and postmodernism, writing brilliant avant-garde poetry and prose while lampooning avant-garde cultural excesses. His latest novel (after Splendide H ôtel ) is a satirical pastiche of 53 "reviews" of the Manhattan art scene named after geographical features of the moon. The reviews range from faux exhibition catalog texts and press releases to litanies, prose poems, and flash fiction. In Sorrentino's own words, this work might be described as "a somewhat banjaxed and vafuncled series of halfhearted alarums…the shifting, flexible, endlessly variegated piece." Some "characters" alluded to are real artists and writers, some are entirely fictitious, and others are thinly veiled parodies. Can a two-page list of paintings and artists rejected by a gallery, for instance, really be considered literary fiction? Yes, hilariously so. Some pieces, e.g., "Eastern Sea," "Sea of Clouds," and "Moscow Sea," look like multiple-page run-on sentences, but if you use the semicolons as line breaks and read them aloud they are lyrical found poems. Savor this book, which is highly recommended for medium to large academic and public libraries.—Jim Dwyer, California State Univ. Lib., Chico --Jim Dwyer (Reviewed May 1, 2005) (Library Journal, vol 130, issue 8, p77)
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no index present
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Gilbert Sorrentino
Lunar follies, by Gilbert Sorrentino, (overdrive ebook)
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1st ed.
1 online resource (143 p.)
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