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The Independent Reviews Blinding and Names My Struggle & Blinding Books of the Year 2013


Boyd Tonkin reviewed Mircea Cărtărescu‘s Blinding, translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter, for The Independent:

Stitched into the multi-stranded fabric of Blinding is a tender, mesmerically precise account of a humble Bucharest upbringing and its formative effects: “The me of today englobes the me of yesterday.” Prolonged illness and its solitude led little Mircea to dive within his broiling imagination for sustenance. Blinding captures these hospital episodes with devastating force. Meanwhile, the careers of relatives expose the morbid paranoia of the regime.

Above all, Blinding insists that memory can make a world. “The past is everything, the future nothing.” From that past – which stretches back to encompass all of human history – Cărtărescu has fashioned a novel of visionary intensity. Bring on the next instalment – soon.

Read the whole article here.


Boyd Tonkin of The Independent included two Archipelago titles on his list of Books of the Year 2013: Fiction in translation:

  • How should authors transform autobiography into self-standing fiction? For Karl Ove Knausgaard, with A Man in Love (translated by Don Bartlett; Vintage, £8.99), this second volume in the Norwegian writer’s acclaimed My Struggle series mines the everyday material of young fatherhood. Yet he converts it into a stunningly eloquent set of reflections on masculinity, domesticity and the artist’s itch to escape.

  • Mircea Cartarescu from Romania has been pursuing his own extraordinary suite of “auto-fictions.” Blinding, the first to appear in English (trans. Sean Cotter; Archipelago, £15.99), asks much from readers as it shifts between tender family history, Ceaușescu-era satire and visionary fantasies that recalls William S Burroughs. Stay with him: epiphanies and beauties abound in this deliriously ambitious work.

See the whole list here.


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