The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington by Leonora Carrington

The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington

Surrealist writer and painter Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) was a master of the macabre, of gorgeous tableaux, biting satire, roguish comedy, and brilliant, effortless flights of the imagination. Nowhere are these qualities more ingeniously brought together than in the works of short fiction she wrote throughout her life.Published to coincide with the centennial of her bi...

Title:The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0997366648
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:232 pages

The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington Reviews

  • Nathan
    Dec 17, 2016

    Friend Jonathan brought this Forthcoming to my attention. Forthcoming (April '17) from Dorothy, A Publishing Project::

    “This definitive collection of Carrington’s short fiction is a treasure and a gift to the world. A stunning achievement.” --Jeff Vandermeer

    As always in cases like these, do not miss Nate D's reviews of Carrington ::

    Friend Jonathan brought this Forthcoming to my attention. Forthcoming (April '17) from Dorothy, A Publishing Project::

    “This definitive collection of Carrington’s short fiction is a treasure and a gift to the world. A stunning achievement.” --Jeff Vandermeer

    As always in cases like these, do not miss Nate D's reviews of Carrington ::

  • Nate D
    Dec 20, 2016

    I can't remember at this point how I determined that Surrealism was somehow essential to my artistic (sub)consciousness. It feels like it was always there. I do know that this had really nothing to do with the most iconic (stereotyped) gestures from Dali or Breton, who I somewhat instinctively steered around, and more to with haunting Ernst landscapes and peculiar furred tableware lurking in the collections of the Met and MoMA, as well as oneiric guideposts glowing within filmed and written work

    I can't remember at this point how I determined that Surrealism was somehow essential to my artistic (sub)consciousness. It feels like it was always there. I do know that this had really nothing to do with the most iconic (stereotyped) gestures from Dali or Breton, who I somewhat instinctively steered around, and more to with haunting Ernst landscapes and peculiar furred tableware lurking in the collections of the Met and MoMA, as well as oneiric guideposts glowing within filmed and written works by technical non-surrealists who were nonetheless inspired fellow travelers. Despite the melting clocks at the forefront of the popular (boring) imagination, though, Surrealism itself began as a predominantly written phenomenon, and I've long been scouring the book shop shelves for any traces of it. What I found was always of interest, but amid various exercises in theorizing and automatic writing, no single writer's vision seemed able to fulfill what exactly I was looking for, what I understood to be the hidden perfect potential in all of this.

    Until I came to Leonora Carrington.

    Here, at last: effortless yet perfectly-formed fables displaying an uneasy alliance of fairy tale, horror, dream, moral ambivalence, and pure rebellion. Carrington, who eloped and launched herself, already full-formed, into her literary and artistic career at age 19, has an effortless narrative style matched only by her uncanny/familiar feel for occult details and a disregard for societal strictures somewhere poised between dada and punk, even in the 1930s. She's easily my favorite surrealist. She's one of my favorite writers anywhere.

    Carrington's work has long been pretty difficult to find, and seekers of her shorter works have mostly had to rely on two collections from the 1988,

    and

    . Though leaving out a number of mid-length works from those two volumes (fortunately

    has just been reissued by the NYRB, but her wonderful surrealized recollection of time spent with Max Ernst in France, Little Francis, remains sadly buried) -- though leaving out the mid-length works, this collection brings together all of her stories for the first time, from her earliest (The Oval Lady and House of Fear) to anomalies written in Spanish in Mexico much later.

    The collection also claims three previously unpublished stories. This overlooks The Sand Camel's appearance in the essential

    anthology, but the final entry, "Jemima and the Wolf", makes up for this by being the longest of her stories, a 20-page myth of rejection of civilization that rivals "As We Rode along the Edge" and its protagonist Virginia Fur, even while moving past it into a spectral menace all its own. How did this stay out of print until now? It's clearly from her prime early period, and as good as any of the others. Are other gems like this still waiting buried in her manuscripts for such resurrection?

    I'm also seizing this chance to revisit all of the classic, familiar Carrington stories as well, so perhaps I'll continue to add my notes here. Returning to "The Debutante" after probably five or six years, for instance, is such a joy. Everyone else is already quoting its most fantastic moment of elemental teen rebellion, but I will too:

  • Jim
    May 07, 2017

    Astonishing collection of morbid fairy tales packed with haunting images. Secret forests house mansions packed with chambers filled with rotting food. These stories seem as austere as an Edward Gorey illustration but their interiors are as lush as a Peter Greenaway set. Its as Leonora has stumbled upon the makings of a still life -- slaughtered game, shining fruit, fabrics from far away -- and animated them into fables.

  • Jeremy
    May 29, 2017

    (3.5) It's extraordinary that Carrington crafted stories that could match the power of her uncanny artwork. I can think of no other artist that could also wield the pen to such a degree. Many of these nightmare fairy tales and absurd fables fall short by being either brief sketches (which do have their uses for illuminating the process of the artist) or a rapid series of random and bizarre developments/images with no concern for plot or theme. Yet when we get the fully-fleshed Carrington stories

    (3.5) It's extraordinary that Carrington crafted stories that could match the power of her uncanny artwork. I can think of no other artist that could also wield the pen to such a degree. Many of these nightmare fairy tales and absurd fables fall short by being either brief sketches (which do have their uses for illuminating the process of the artist) or a rapid series of random and bizarre developments/images with no concern for plot or theme. Yet when we get the fully-fleshed Carrington stories that are more than mere visions and create sublime juxtapositions with striking images and affecting resolutions, stories like "The Debutante", "A Man in Love", "Pigeon, Fly!", "The Sisters", or "My Mother is a Cow", the latter a mystical maturing of her style, then we are getting a one-of-a-kind treat--not unlike the work of David Lynch.

  • Jess
    May 19, 2017

    These stories are surreal. One can see the connection between Leonora Carrington's paintings and stories. The animal aspect of humans, what is considered food, jam, hair and mustaches are all prominent in the stories.

  • Neven
    May 30, 2017

    A collection of entertaining short stories from a surrealist painter. They have a Kafkaesque quality, accepting dream logic without much surprise. Any one story is fun, though as an anthology, it gets repetitive. Pick it up and read a story here, a story there.

  • Marko
    Jun 06, 2017

    Leonora Carrington was an English-Mexican surrealist painter and a mighty talented one, if you ask me. During her life, she wrote a novel, a short memoir and many stories (in English, French and Spanish), all collected in a single book for the first time ever.

    She writes as a painter; sentences are short and simple, but the choice of words is haunting, as are the stories/images, for her stories seem like sketches for surrealist paintings, filled with emotions, mythology, fantasy, carefully constr

    Leonora Carrington was an English-Mexican surrealist painter and a mighty talented one, if you ask me. During her life, she wrote a novel, a short memoir and many stories (in English, French and Spanish), all collected in a single book for the first time ever.

    She writes as a painter; sentences are short and simple, but the choice of words is haunting, as are the stories/images, for her stories seem like sketches for surrealist paintings, filled with emotions, mythology, fantasy, carefully constructed with many symbols and original, idiosyncratic thoughts.

  • Lisa Serrano
    Jun 23, 2017

    I'm enveloped in these stories. It's reading art & I never want to leave the museum.

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