Augustino and the Choir of Destruction by Marie-claire BlaisAugustino and the Choir of Destruction by Marie-claire Blais

Augustino and the Choir of Destruction

byMarie-claire BlaisTranslated byNigel Spencer

Paperback | May 1, 2007

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In Augustino and the Choir of Destruction literary legend and three-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award Marie-Claire Blais delivers the third volume in the prize-winning series (These Festive Nights, Thunder and Light, Augustino and the Choir of Destruction, and Rebecca, Born in the Maelstrom) acclaimed as one of the greatest undertakings in modern Quebec fiction.

Augustino and the Choir of Destruction is set on an island in the Gulf of Mexico that is home to the full spectrum of humanity: the rich, the poor, the powerful, the humble, artists, criminals. With her unique, signature use of punctuation, Marie-Claire Blais manages to brilliantly show in one flashing stroke men and women; victims and tormentors; child kamikaze pilots and petty thieves from Bahama Street; Charles, a great poet cut down by AIDS; Cinderella, a transvestite prostituting himself to a customer at the Porte du Baiser saloon; Caroline, an artist and photographer who has seen all the hidden treasures of the world; and Augustino, a clairvoyant child-writer. These individual destinies combine in Blais' vision to form a single harmonic texture.

Marie-Claire Blais is the internationally revered author of more than twenty-five books, many of which have been published around the world. In addition to the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, which she has won four times, Blais has been awarded the Gilles-Corbeil Prize, the Médicis Prize, the Molson Prize, and Guggenheim...
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Title:Augustino and the Choir of DestructionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 8 × 5.38 × 0.63 inPublished:May 1, 2007Publisher:House Of Anansi Press IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0887847528

ISBN - 13:9780887847523

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from THIRD GG WINNER (one in the original, two consecutive translations)!, Aug 27 2007 Nigel Spencer conveys the compelling spirit of Marie-Claire Blais' dizzying prose in this fictional microcosm of our disjointed times. His translation carries the reader along through the claustrophobic whirl and conflicting relations of a phantasmagoric world. . . . Nigel Spencer has performed a tour de force in Augustino and the Choir of Destruction, his translation of the third volume in Marie-Claire Blais' quartet. The poignant and intricate stories of the novel's astonishing constellation of characters are sensitively conveyed through his moving and innovative use of language. Spencer has risen to the extraordinary challenge of rendering Blais' uninterrupted stream of hallucinatory prose into an accomplished and lyrical translation. --The GGLA Jury-- (Three consecutive Governor General's Literary Awards for original or translation of first three novels in this quartet.) ============================================================= The acceleration of our lives...deftly translated by Nigel Spencer. These people do exist. On the page, however, they take on surreal dimensions, the fragments of their lives woven together through Blais' dark, magical prose. --Pat Donnelly, The Montreal Gazette: 28/7/2007 ======================================================================== Blais' writing is...challenging but highly skilled stream of consciousness, the complexity of which only a seasoned writer could pull off... The stream of consciousness travels back and forth among a collection of characters, fictional and historical...it will circle back around to understanding. This repetition strengthens the stories. --Carla Lucchetta, The Globe and Mail: 28/7/2007 =================================================== ...Consolation comes and goes without lasting, but beauty lasts, and friendship, and love. Always in Marie-Claire Blais' work there comes the certainty that we are all connected, capable of everything, the deepest love, the worst crimes, the sublimest creations, great daring and self-sacrifice, simple joy. I know of no other novelist writing today who reflects so succinctly and with such real charity, what it's like to be human in this perturbed century. Nobody has orchestrated the passions and perplexities, the shared themes of life in quite such a way, one voice giving way to another, and another, the song continually passed on, taken up in another key. The writer herself is never glimpsed, but in her control and finesse she has all the skills of a great conductor. Readers who may be alarmed by being asked to read pages of prose with no pauses and little punctuation might be encouraged by reading it aloud, a process by which both the structure and the intense musicality of the writing may be fully enjoyed. This English translation from the original French, by Nigel Spencer, gracefully tracks the rhythms of Blais' language, no small feat given the very different structures of French and English and the swell of Blais' prose that comes and goes like the tides of the ocean itself. --Rosalind Brackenbury, Solares Hill (Key West, Fla.)
Date published: 2008-06-08

Editorial Reviews

"...an enriching and stimulating read, a tour de force that will fit in comfortably with the rest of Blais' finest." - Quill & Quire"Blais' writing is...challenging but highly skilled...the complexity of which only a seasoned writer could pull off..." - Globe and Mail"The acceleration of our lives...deftly translated by Nigel Spencer. These people do exist. On the page, however, they take on surreal dimensions, the fragments of their lives woven together through Blais' dark, magical prose." - Montreal Gazette"Nigel Spencer has performed a tour de force in Augustino and the Choir of Destruction...Spencer has risen to the extraordinary challenge of rendering Blais' uninterrupted stream of hallucinatory prose into an accomplished and lyrical translation." - Governor-General's Jury Citation"Spencer's translation is true to the original, with all the characters - all of humanity - as guests at the same party, united by thought, history, and art." - Montreal Review of Books