Giancarlo Pastore - My breath stinks, at work they step back when i start to talk, their necks retract and they scatter off like chickens

Giancarlo Pastore, Jellyfish, Trans. by Jamie Richards. Xenos Books, 2007.


«'my breath stinks.
at work they step back when i start to talk, their necks
retract and they scatter off like chickens.
i think they link it with my last sickness, the attack,
the tests and everything. hence the pity, the moderate sympathy, like "poor thing. it's not your fault at all, with everything that's happened..." yet every time,
eyes glassy from apnea, nostrils contracting hysterically,
they rereat and escape discreetly.
i yawn, it happens so often i don't even notice, and so itcreates the void that surrounds me, the abyss.'
Thus begins a literary voyage that takes the reader to the farthest reaches of alienation and despair. Translated into English for the first time, Jellyfish (original title: Meduse) was hailed as a classic by major critics in Italy upon its appearance in 2003.»

"An original work, a scream, that emerges as the testimony of a resentful, mournful reflection of the self and the world. Meduse's language brings to light sensations and states of being that could never be reached through mere reflection." - Antonio Debenedetti

"A text that boasts an entirely uncommon literary power and stylistic rigor. Its point of departure is not the trivial; rather, its inventiveness draws upon a range of readings from the classical to the modern, from voyages to the great beyond to Beckett's continuous speech, even to Kafka's 'The Burrow.'" - Cesare Barboli

"Pastore seems to be in possession of a hundred different speeds. His strength is this velocity and a dramatic intensity. We become the spectators of such subtle and refined editing that it becomes a formidable sequence shot." - Arnaldo Colasanti


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