Posts Tagged: Neapolitan Novels
Whether you’re a writer or not, you can imagine looking at your life and thinking, “What have I done?” What she’s doing in these books is asking, “What does my life mean?” She’s using that concrete image of being a writer and having a friendship, but she’s investigating the meaning of life.
The addictive quality of the Neapolitan novels on which everyone agrees may finally derive from their unequaled sensitivity to what it feels like to be in and with history—sometimes in anticipation, often in contempt or fear, always with excitement and attention.
After reading the first two books in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series, Sara Goldsmith enlisted her mother to translate the third book from Italian so that she didn’t have to wait another year for the English release. Now, for Slate, Goldsmith shares how the experience generated a new respect for the scope and craft of Ferrante’s novels, as well as how the project influenced her relationship with her mother:
For my mom and me—who, like all mothers and daughters, sometimes have a difficult relationship—the novels have given us a way to stay in closer touch and a subject to return to and discuss.
In preparation for the release of the last book of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, Electric Literature’s Emma Adler offers a comprehensive “study guide” to the previous three books. While the article is “complete with hard-to-pronounce names, flashbacks and flash-forwards, and enough plot twists to fill a season’s worth of All My Children,” Adler is carful to warn prospective Ferrante readers not to rely on the guide in lieu of reading the novelist’s earlier works, as “faking having read a Ferrante novel is probably impossible.”...more