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La Divina Caricatura: A Fiction (Green Integer) [Paperback]

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Item description for La Divina Caricatura: A Fiction (Green Integer) by Lee Breuer...

Related to his successful plays Ecco Porco, The Shaggy Dog Animation, Prelude, and Epidog, La Divina Caricatura is the first two parts of a trilogy of fiction that Breuer describes as "a loose sendup of Dante, with an Inferno, a Purgatorio, and a Paradisio. But instead of being sequential, they are intercut. And the main characters each have his own realm-the dog is in hell, the pig is in purgatory, and the ant (who will figure in part 3) . . . is in heaven."

As The New York Times described La Divina Caricatura is "a comic spectacle . . . an acid-trip collage of philosophy, mythology, corny jokes, and lyric poetry." But the chaotic structure of the work definitely creates an energy that is at once hilariously funny and, if not tragic, animated by the pathos of living at the beginning of a century which at times appears heading toward terror.

Lee Breuer is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Mabou Mines.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   330
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.28" Width: 4.42" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.48 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2002
Publisher   Green Integer
ISBN  1931243395  
ISBN13  9781931243391  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > Formats
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary

Reviews - What do customers think about La Divina Caricatura: A Fiction (Green Integer)?

La Divina Caricatura: The essence of American post-modernism  Feb 2, 2003
Being a Greek I could not resist the temptation to review a book that concludes with the tantalizing phrase: " The Greeks have been in denial for 3,000 years. The truth is not beautiful". What is it all about? On the back cover we read that it is `a loose sendup of Dante with an Inferno, a Purgatorio, and a Paradiso [...] an acid trip collage of philosophy, mythology, corny jokes and lyric poetry", among other things. I read the book. And I find this description quite insufficient. It is much more. Lee Breuer's La Divina Caricatura, is a rare synthetic narration- or a narrative synthesis, whichever term you may prefer. What do I mean by this? Virginia Wolf had warned us, many years ago, that a time would come that a new kind of writing would eventually emerge, one where novel and poetry would merge into a new entity. This is what Lee Breuer's writing is. It is perhaps what Joyce would do if he wanted to take a look from the end of the century to what became of the 60's in the U.S.-quite a Dantean approach, for that matter. Lee Breuer's book is a cultural mural of America in the last half of the twentieth century. On the surface it is a book about a dog. A female dog for that matter. And about this dog's desperate love for and need of her master. Keeping in mind that `dog' is the mirror image of `god', the same as man is the tragicomic broken image of its prototype, one enters the hell and purgatorio of someone trying to love and be loved in contemporary America. The book is so deeply entrenched in its culture that it becomes universal. Breuer seems to know it. "A dog's life is a review of the world", he writes approaching the conclusion of this amazing text. And indeed in this book, Lee Breuer gives us a world theory, a theory of relations and a genuinely touching love story of a dog / cartoon, symbol of modern man, or rather woman. He manages to uncover the dialectics -in the form of analogies- between the various domains of the world, from god to animal, from fantasy to reality, from the historical and biological past to the fleeting present. I totally disagree with the back page writer speaking about `a chaotic structure that creates energy'. It is the structure of a movie action, not chaotic but parallel and cinematic, bringing forth wisdom and understanding. The energy comes from this continuous mobility, woven into the structure. The cartoon is to contemporary America a mythic symbol, equivalent to the heroes of ancient mythology. When Euripides was writing his tragicomic plays, such as Alkestis, the existential concerns and the mockery of man's helpless condition were presented through mythic figures. Lee Breuer is a modern tragic poet, using cartoon and psychological codes as his metaphors where ancient poets would use myth and moral codes to show the human creature struggling with understanding while immersed totally in the inherent irrationality and uncontrollability of pure feeling- the true god in the dog. What one is left with upon closing Lee Breuer's book is so beautiful that it really reverses his final phrase. Greeks were right after all. And this is exactly what the ancient Greek tragic poets had managed to accomplish. To produce something so beautiful with such an ugly truth.

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