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Angelina's Lips
Guernica Editions, Spring 2011
120 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN13: 9781550713374
ISBN10: 155071337X
English, Italian
Translated from the Italian
$7.95 Canada, $7.95 US

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To be Hitchcockian about it, the story deals with the relationship between Umber, a professor of comparative literature, and a Dr. Jamshid Kloster, an experimental physicist whom Umber meets on a Laguna Beach bench as Diane Keaton, a long-time Laguna Beach resident, strolls by. Apparently, Conte wasn't as oblivious to his Laguna Beach surroundings as I thought he was. Umber's other obsession or, perhaps, his deepest regret is that as time goes by he will never be able to know any of “the characters of future novels.” In Hitchcockian terms, that's the McGuffin and as Kloster tells Umber, “If you're interested in future novels, we must travel to the libraries of the future.” And that's where the story becomes both Borgesian and Contesque as Umber asks Kloster what he will need for that to happen and Kloster replies: “We need a library, four mirrors, and a beautiful sunset.” - Mark Axelrod
Umber posed no limits on himself. Between Frollo and Quasimodo, Phoebus and Gringoire, he allowed himself to be seduced by Esméralda, the fatally beautiful gypsy of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He wandered through the woods of the Friuli and the quays of Venice with la Pisana of Confessions of an Italian. He burst the banks of propriety with Connie Chatterley. He not only had breakfast with Holly Golightly at Tiffany's, but at all the best jewellery shops and restaurants in New York, Paris and London. There is no need to believe that these affairs were exclusively sexual. Umber would fall in love with the woman only if he considered her a well-written character.

Books by Giuseppe Conte

Angelina's Lips

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Angelina's Lips