Da Vinci's Bicycle: Ten Stories

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New Directions Publishing, 1997 - Fiction - 185 pages
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Da Vinci's Bicycle, Guy Davenport's second collection of stories, was first published in 1979, and contains some of his most important fiction. Written with tremendous wit, intelligence, and verve, the stories are based on historical figures whose endeavors were too early, too late, or went against the grain of their time. They are all people who see the world differently from their contemporaries and therefore seem absurd, like Pablo Picasso in "Au Tombeau de Charles Fourier," Leonardo Da Vinci in "The Richard Nixon Freischutz Rag," James Joyce and Guillaume Apollinaire in the marvelous "The Haile Selassie Funeral Train." Hilton Kramer of The New York Times has said, "Davenport's conception of the short story form is remarkable. He has given it some of the intellectual density of the learned essay, some of the lyrical concision of the modern poem--some of its difficulty too--and a structure that often resembles a film documentary. The result is a tour de force that adds something new to the art of fiction."

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Da Vinci's Bicycle: Ten Stories (New Directions Classics)

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This title collects ten short stories "full of allusion and linguistic dazzle." The stories take famous people, e.g., Richard Nixon, Leonardo Da Vinci, and James Joyce, and speculates on how they "relate to contemporary life" (LJ 5/15/79). Read full review


The Richard Nixon Freischiitz Rag
Musonius Rufus
John Charles Tapner
Au Tombeau de Charles Fourier
The Haile Selassie Funeral Train
The Invention of Photography in Toledo
The Antiquities of Elis

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About the author (1997)

Guy Davenport (1927-2005), a critic and fiction writer, is best known for two books of essays, The Geography of the Imagination and Every Force Evolves a Form. He published many collections of short stories and numerous translations of early Greek poets and playwrights. A professor of English at the University of Kentucky from 1964 to 1990, he was also a painter and illustrator.

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