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The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (original 1972; edición 1986)

por Angela Carter (Autor)

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
9441316,602 (3.74)31
With a new introduction by Ali Smith 'One of the most original, radical and stylish fiction writers of the twentieth century' Independent Desiderio, an employee of the city under a bizarre reality attack from Doctor Hoffman's mysterious machines, has fallen in love with Albertina, the Doctor's daughter. But Albertina, a beautiful woman made of glass, seems only to appear to him in his dreams. Meeting on his adventures a host of cannibals, centaurs and acrobats, Desiderio must battle against unreality and the warping of time and space to be with her, as the Doctor reduces Desiderio's city to a chaotic state of emergency - one ridden with madness, crime and sexual excess. A satirical tale of magic and sex, The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffmanis a dazzling quest for truth, love and identity.… (más)
Miembro:parasolofdoom
Título:The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman
Autores:Angela Carter (Autor)
Info:Penguin Books (1986), Edition: Reissue, 240 pages
Colecciones:Tu biblioteca
Valoración:
Etiquetas:to-read

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The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman por Angela Carter (1972)

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» Ver también 31 menciones

Inglés (12)  Sueco (1)  Todos los idiomas (13)
Mostrando 1-5 de 13 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
Concept: 4 stars
Magical realism: 5 stars
Symbolism: 4 stars
Literary merit: 4 stars
Narrative coherence: 3 stars ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
If Goodreads had a "????" option for ratings in lieu of stars, that's what I'd give this. ( )
  wearyhobo | Jun 22, 2020 |
Beware the Hoffmann effect! I should've heeded. I got here through this apparently increasing monomania for E.T.A. Hoffmann and how he exists outside his works which is, in a word, multifariously. This book is rich with reference to his characters and biography, to the point where I'm not sure why Carter chopped the second "N" off his name because when you're working so deliberately from that source you might as well give the direct reference proper spelling.

This is such a 70s surrealist novel--if someone asked me what 70s surrealism looked like in its good and bad parts, I would hand them this. Particularly in the pseudo-avant-garde sexuality, where body parts are sort of divided up and hyper-sexualised, and where paedophilia gets sanctioned by the storyline, and there's rape and kinky brothels and it's all just grotesque and not that interesting, and I'd like it if we were a little more over that, culturally.

That said there was a lot going on that did keep pulling me in. The writing itself is often beautiful, very rich and strange. The divides between the rational and irrational would've delighted Hoffmann, and the idea that reality might not be so stable definitely got into my head and my dreams afterwards. It just doesn't have me rushing to read Carter again. ( )
1 vota likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
While many of Angela Carter’s short stories and novels are delightful, bizarre, and twisted takes on fairy tales and genre stories, some tend more towards the dark, disturbing, and random. I’d probably put a bunch of stories and The Passion of New Eve in the latter category as well as this one, The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffman. It has a very episodic, random feel, like an old-timey picaresque. There are also a lot of disturbing elements – for example, there is more than one gang rape in the book (err…there’s a centaur gang rape, for those who want to avoid that). The Passion of New Eve had a random feel and lots of bizarre sex and violence, but in that one, I felt there was a strong feminist thread running through the narrative, the author upended a lot of stereotypes, and it was more coherent in its focus on various aspects of an apocalyptic America. There wasn’t as much of that in this one – the stereotypes stayed stereotypes. For example, although the two main characters and One True Lovers, the narrator and Albertina, are both described as non-white, there are multiple characters who are portrayed in a “stereotypical native” way. I also didn’t find the book as cohesive as The Passion of New Eve, even with links to the main Albertina/Dr. Hoffman plot. It was still involving and had Carter’s wonderfully descriptive language, but not her best effort.

I thought the first chapter, describing the War on Reality, was superb. I was expecting something random, but was still a bit disappointed that Carter didn’t focus on that thread. In fact, after the initial chapter, the narrator encounters people and groups who are pretty much unaware of what is going on in the city. The narrator, Desiderio, is a dedicated but rather colorless bureaucrat. He describes how things in the city turned topsy-turvey – a plague brought down by the formerly believed-dead mad scientist Dr. Hoffman.

“The Doctor started his activities in very small ways. Sugar tasted a little salty, sometimes. A door one had always seen to be blue modulated by scarcely perceptible stages until, suddenly, it was a green door.”

But there’s no denying this incident – “During a certain performance of The Magic Flute one evening in the month of May, as I sat in the gallery enduring the divine illusion of perfection which Mozart imposed on me and which I poisoned for myself since I could not forget it was false, a curious, greenish glitter in the stalls below me caught my eye. I leaned forward. Papageno struck his bells and, at that very moment, as if the bells caused it, I saw the auditorium was full of peacocks in full spread who very soon began to scream in intolerably raucous voices, utterly drowning the music so that I instantly became bored and irritated. Boredom was my first reaction to incipient delirium.”

Things rapidly degenerate, as the dead roam the streets, inanimate objects come alive, and phantoms invade everyone’s dreams.

Desiderio faithfully assists the Minister, who is the only one willing to continue defending the city, but admits to himself that he is agnostic in the battle. He has strange dreams that are dominated by his ideal woman, Albertina, and she comes to be his only passion. The Minister sends him outside of the city on a mission related to Dr. Hoffman, but from then on, the narrator runs into one and another set of weird characters. He starts out in the creepy house of a missing mayor, finds refuge with boat-dwelling natives, joins a circus, falls in with a Marquis de Sade-like nobleman, and wanders a weird fantasy land. There are links to Hoffman and Albertina, but sometimes it feels like a stretch. Even when Albertina appears, there is still wandering and randomness. Carter’s writing makes everything very vivid and I was into the story enough, but this one was probably my least favorite of her works so far. ( )
2 vota DieFledermaus | Apr 24, 2015 |
Now this is an interesting novel, albeit not a great one. The book starts off in a city where the titular machine is picking away at the seams of reality, and through those openings pour illusions given form. The opening raised my expectations, as the story of a bureaucrat trying to work in a city being colonized by figments of imagination and where reality is in flux is a fascinating concept. Instead we are only in the city for a brief time before the bureaucrat is sent off on a mission, which sends him to circuses and pleasure houses, and riding on sleighs and riverboats. It's a bizarre tale, not without its beauty, but ultimately it felt like the best opportunity was missed and what was left is more style than substance. ( )
1 vota BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
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Nombre del autorRolTipo de autor¿Trabajo?Estado
Carter, Angelaautor principaltodas las edicionesconfirmado
Bikadoroff, RoxannaArtista de la Cubiertaautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Marsh, JamesArtista de la Cubiertaautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Perria, LidiaTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Smith, AliIntroducciónautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
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Wikipedia en inglés (1)

With a new introduction by Ali Smith 'One of the most original, radical and stylish fiction writers of the twentieth century' Independent Desiderio, an employee of the city under a bizarre reality attack from Doctor Hoffman's mysterious machines, has fallen in love with Albertina, the Doctor's daughter. But Albertina, a beautiful woman made of glass, seems only to appear to him in his dreams. Meeting on his adventures a host of cannibals, centaurs and acrobats, Desiderio must battle against unreality and the warping of time and space to be with her, as the Doctor reduces Desiderio's city to a chaotic state of emergency - one ridden with madness, crime and sexual excess. A satirical tale of magic and sex, The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffmanis a dazzling quest for truth, love and identity.

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Penguin Australia

2 ediciones de este libro fueron publicadas por Penguin Australia.

Ediciones: 0141046686, 0141192399

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