André Gide’s Marshlands (Book acquired, 9 Dec. 2020)

André Gide’s 1895 novel Marshland is out in a few weeks from NYRB in a new translation by Damion Searls.

NYRB’s blurb:

André Gide is the inventor of modern metafiction and of autofiction, and his short novel Marshlands shows him handling both forms with a deft and delightful touch. The protagonist of Marshlands is a writer who is writing a book called Marshlands, which is about a reclusive character who lives all alone in a stone tower. The narrator, by contrast, is anything but a recluse: He is an indefatigable social butterfly, flitting about the Paris literary world and always talking about, what else, the wonderful book he is writing, Marshlands. He tells his friends about the book, and they tell him what they think, which is not exactly flattering, and of course those responses become part of the book in the reader’s hand. Marshlands is both a poised satire of literary pretension and a superb literary invention, and Damion Searls’s new translation of this early masterwork by one of the key figures of twentieth-century literature brings out all the sparkle of the original.

Gide’s blurb:

I don’t understand a single thing in Marshlands. Did I write the book?

“Suicide and wife arrive in Cuba” and Other Wise Cracks from F. Scott Fitzgerald

From the “Epigrams, Wise Cracks and Jokes” section ofd  F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Noteboooks:

Suicide and wife arrive in Cuba.

Let’s all live together.

Debut—the first time a young girl is seen drunk in public.

He repeated to himself an old French proverb he had made up that morning.

A sleeping porch is a back room with no pictures on the walls. It should contain at least one window.

Kill the scrub sire is our slogan.

Why can’t you be square? Well, when I was young I used to play with old automobile tires.

Forgotten is forgiven.

If all your clothes are worn to the same state it means you go out too much.

American actresses now use European convents as a sort of female Muldoon’s.

You must stoop a little in order to jump.

For a car—Excuse my lust.

Andre Gide lifted himself by his own jockstrap so to speak—and one would like to see him hoisted on his own pedarasty.

Creditors’ jokes