Arab Today, arab today the tragedy of arthur
Last Updated : GMT 00:47:20
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

The Tragedy of Arthur

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today The Tragedy of Arthur

Dubai - Arabstoday

Whether it\'s the mysterious Arabic manuscript undergirding Don Quixote or the autobiography at the heart of Robinson Crusoe, novels have long relied on \"false documents\" - elaborately conceived texts that, by claiming to be factual, boost a novel\'s sense of realism, of being a credible world unto itself. These writers worked hard to create a sense of authenticity around their false documents, writing introductions or commentaries that painted themselves as humble custodians of the found text. The technique could also be useful for disassociating an author from a book\'s political content, as Voltaire did by claiming that Candide was translated from the work of a \"Dr Ralph\". Readers of yore may not have been as credulous as we would like to believe - Voltaire was widely acknowledged as the author of Candide - but the false document served as a useful device for stretching the boundaries of the novel and for justifying the publication of otherwise controversial work. Today, a writer is more likely to use a pseudonym to distance himself from a potentially inflammatory work. The false document has matriculated to the realm of fanciful conceit, occupying territory adjacent to - if less ambitious than - the Oulipo group\'s constrained writing or John Barth\'s metafiction. In the 20th century, Jorge Luis Borges was among the great practitioners of false documents; in a sense, they populated his entire world. In its self-consciousness, a false document emphasises a novel\'s sense of play. It is also a gesture towards the outside world, laying claim to a life beyond the text. A protagonist\'s reading of a fake Le Monde article may be just as effective as his visiting the Louvre to remind the reader that while a novel isn\'t life, it is composed of the stuff of life. According to EL Doctorow, whose essay False Documents presents an insightful meditation on the technique, \"in order to have its effect, a false document need only be possibly true\". The Tragedy of Arthur, the fifth novel by the American writer Arthur Phillips, is a worthy addition to the shelf of novels built upon this premise. With occasional winks at his complicit reader, Phillips\'s book cannily employs fictional texts to interrogate notions of authenticity, artistic licence, inspiration and the nature of celebrity. The first 250-odd pages of The Tragedy of Arthur are an introduction to what appears to be a rediscovered Shakespeare play, The Most Excellent and Tragical Historie of Arthur, King of Britain. The introduction is written by a novelist named Arthur Phillips, a man who shares many biographical details with the real Arthur Phillips. The last 110-plus pages of the book are the play itself, a wonderfully conceived imitation of a Shakespearean tragedy, down to the Elizabethan diction and measured iambs. To further the illusion, the book includes a preface from his publisher, touting its role in bringing this \"lost\" Shakespeare play to life, as well as the customary author biographies and bibliographies for both Arthur Phillips and William Shakespeare. So why all the gamesmanship? In a sense, this is Arthur Phillips\'s literary funhouse; we\'re just passing through. But there\'s also a finely tuned novel here, as well as some fiercely moving storytelling. It\'s a fiction to which curious readers would be well advised to submit. The introduction - a pastiche of literary criticism, a self-abnegating memoir - takes us through the life of the fictional Arthur Phillips, who grew up in Minnesota under the intermittent spell of his similarly named father, an art forger and Shakespeare-devotee who spent most of his adult life in and out of prison. When he\'s not in jail, the elder Phillips reads his children - the younger Arthur and his brilliant twin sister, Dana - Shakespeare and takes them on magical night-time excursions to create crop circles. He is what we expect from a forger: shrewd, seductively charming, artistically frustrated, and wholly unreliable. Eventually, the children\'s mother divorces her conman husband and marries the steady, reliable Silvius, but the twins grow up in the shadow of their larger-than-life father and his beloved Shakespeare, the central figure of his life. Dana learns to adore both her father and Shakespeare; by age 11, she is able to recite from memory large sections of the Bard\'s corpus. But for her brother, Shakespeare is just as fraudulent as their father, a composer of \"blank-verse torture\" whose reputation as the preeminent artistic figure in the Western world owes more to good PR than literary genius.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today the tragedy of arthur Arab Today, arab today the tragedy of arthur

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordan airline suggests flyers 'talk'

GMT 11:59 2017 Friday ,24 March

Jordan airline suggests flyers 'talk'
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes

GMT 08:35 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes
View News in Arabic - Culture: بأقلامهم
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Yemen children dream of school

GMT 07:25 2017 Friday ,24 March

Yemen children dream of school
Arab Today, arab today MP submits a petition to dismiss university head

GMT 06:21 2017 Friday ,24 March

MP submits a petition to dismiss university head
Arab Today, arab today Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry

GMT 04:51 2017 Friday ,24 March

Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design

GMT 13:22 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design
Arab Today, arab today Renault Trezor wins design award

GMT 11:56 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Renault Trezor wins design award
Arab Today, arab today Merna Waleed praises her work with Soad Hosni

GMT 07:03 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Merna Waleed praises her work with Soad Hosni
Arab Today, arab today 2017 already marked

GMT 15:25 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

2017 already marked

GMT 07:12 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Donia Abdel Aziz participates in "Game of Silence"

GMT 22:00 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Number of unwedded girls amounts to 2.5m

GMT 10:34 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 07:38 2017 Friday ,24 March

Pass health bill Friday or he'll move on

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

US, Britain ban laptops on flights

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday