OVERRIDE

The Delighted States

A Book of Novels, Romances, & Their Unknown Translators, Containing Ten Languages, Set on Four Continents, & Accompanied by Maps, Portraits, Squiggles, Illustrations, & a Variety of Helpful Indexes

Adam Thirlwell

Picador

Having slept with a prostitute in Egypt, a young French novelist named Gustave Flaubert at last abandons sentimentality and begins to write. He influences the obscure French writer Édouard Dujardin, who is read by James Joyce on the train to Trieste, where he will teach English to the Italian novelist Italo Svevo. Back in Paris, Joyce asks Svevo to deliver a suitcase containing notes for Ulysses, a novel that will be viscerated by the expat Gertrude Stein, whose first published story is based on one by Flaubert.
 
This carousel of influence shows how translation and emigration lead to a new and true history of the novel. We devour novels in translation while believing that style does not translate. But the history of the novel is the history of style. The Delighted States attempts to solve this conundrum while mapping an imaginary country, a country of readers: the Delighted States.
 
This book is a provocation, a box of tricks; it is also an intelligent and original work from a young writer and translator.  Thirwell unravels the heredity of more than a dozen great works, showing what influenced literature that still influences today.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Delighted States

"A thoughtful, and frequently hilarious, study of the nature of literary translation.  It is also a work of art, a new form."--A. S. Byatt, Financial Times
 
"The Delighted States truly raises questions that are vital to novelists and their readers; it will be hard for anyone with an interest in the subject to keep from defiling the margins with notes."--The Wall Street Journal
 
"Thirlwell is a talented young literary Brit. . . . He has distilled the wisdom from what amounts to a lifetime of reading onto his pages. . . . His animated commentary belongs on a shelf all its own."--The Boston Globe
 
"A prodigy, and, as such, unstoppable . . . a treasure."--The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Adam Thirlwell

  • ADAM THIRWELL’s first novel, Politics, was translated into thirty languages. In 2003, he appeared on Granta’s list of the Best British Novelists under forty.

  • Adam Thirlwell Eamon McCabe
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Delighted States

A Book of Novels, Romances, & Their Unknown Translators, Containing Ten Languages, Set on Four Continents, & Accompanied by Maps, Portraits, Squiggles, Illustrations, & a Variety of Helpful Indexes

Adam Thirlwell

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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