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Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature

de Alberto Manguel (Editor)

Altres autors: Ryunosuke Akutagawa (Col·laborador), Hans Christian Andersen (Col·laborador), Marcel Aymé (Col·laborador), Max Beerbohm (Col·laborador), Hilaire Belloc (Col·laborador)59 més, Stephen Vincent Benét (Col·laborador), Adolfo Bioy Casares (Col·laborador), Léon Bloy (Col·laborador), Jorge Luis Borges (Col·laborador), Ray Bradbury (Col·laborador), Italo Calvino (Col·laborador), Jean Cocteau (Col·laborador), John Collier (Col·laborador), Alex Comfort (Col·laborador), Julio Cortázar (Col·laborador), Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (Col·laborador), Walter de la Mare (Col·laborador), André Pieyre de Mandiargues (Col·laborador), Marco Denevi (Col·laborador), Charles Dickens (Col·laborador), Isak Dinesen (Col·laborador), Daphne du Maurier (Col·laborador), Lord Dunsany (Col·laborador), Howard Fast (Col·laborador), E.M. Forster (Col·laborador), David Garnett (Col·laborador), Joanne Greenburg (Col·laborador), Graham Greene (Col·laborador), João Guimarães Rosa (Col·laborador), L.P. Hartley (Col·laborador), Nathaniel Hawthorne (Col·laborador), Lafcadio Hearn (Col·laborador), O. Henry (Col·laborador), Hermann Hesse (Col·laborador), Robert S. Hichens (Col·laborador), George Hitchcock (Col·laborador), I.A. Ireland (Col·laborador), W.W. Jacobs (Col·laborador), Henry James (Col·laborador), M.R. James (Col·laborador), Franz Kafka (Col·laborador), Francis King (Col·laborador), Rudyard Kipling (Col·laborador), Manuel Mujica Lainez (Col·laborador), Flann O'Brien (Col·laborador), Silvina Ocampo (Col·laborador), Cynthia Ozick (Col·laborador), Giovanni Papini (Col·laborador), Virgilio Piñera (Col·laborador), Edgar Allan Poe (Col·laborador), J.B. Priestley (Col·laborador), Alexander Pushkin (Col·laborador), Horacio Quiroga (Col·laborador), Saki (Col·laborador), Bruno Schulz (Col·laborador), Robert Louis Stevenson (Col·laborador), Junichiro Tanizaki (Col·laborador), Jules Verne (Col·laborador), H.G. Wells (Col·laborador), Edith Wharton (Col·laborador), Oscar Wilde (Col·laborador), Charles Williams (Col·laborador), Tennessee Williams (Col·laborador), Marguerite Yourcenar (Col·laborador)

Sèrie: Black Water (1)

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458844,195 (4.1)17
Manguel explains in his introduction that fantastic literature makes use of the everyday world as a facade through which the undefinable appears, hinting at the half-forgotten dreams of the imagination. This collection includes material from Kafka, Henry James, E.M. Forster and Herman Hesse.
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» Mira també 17 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 8 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I bought Black Water based on the high ratings at goodreads. Not caring for science fiction, I hoped I would like this different style of fantastic literature.

Well, I don't. After reading a few stories, I narrowed it down to read only those written by familiar authors. It didn't help much. In fact my favorite was another one I noticed based only on the title: Marco Denevi's "A Dog in Durer's Etching" about unending war.

How to rate it. Should I judge it on my personal proclivities or try to assess it on its own merits? Suspecting that readers don't care about my proclivities, I will try instead to be helpful. Try four stars if you like fantastic literature somewhat. Maybe five stars if you love it. (Two stars for me. The world of reality has enough fantastic stuff, and I like finding out about real things.) ( )
  KENNERLYDAN | Jul 11, 2021 |
So far, SO incredible! Alberto Manguel wrote one of my favorite reference books, "A Dictionary of Imaginary Places," and this is as imaginative, as literate, as carefully considered a collection as any I have ever, ever read, each piece lovingly introduced by the editor with all the necessary biography to put each piece in context and also bridge time & place seamlessly... from Jean Cocteau to Jules Verne to Borges and O. Henry with not a page out of place... highly recommended, one of the best anthologies I've ever encountered. ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |


Alberto Manguel - Argentine-Canadian anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist and editor. He is surely among the very greatest readers of books and lovers of world literature. Black Water collects 72 tales of the fantastic by such authors as Jean Cocteau, Marguerite Yourcenar, Herman Hesse, Italo Calvino, Vladimir Nabokov, H.G.Wells, Franz Kafka and Ursula K. LeGuin. There is one story I particularly enjoy from a less well known author from Argentina, Manuel Mujica Láinez, and it is this story I have made the focus of my review. Hope you enjoy and take the opportunity to explore this outstanding collection on your own.

IMPORTANCE by Manuel Mujica Láinez
Great Lady: Mrs. Hermosilla del Fresno, widow, lady of very great importance, lives in her huge mansion with her many servants and presides over all the city’s important charities and parties. Great writers such as de Maupassant and Balzac have always understood one of the perfect ingredients for a good short story is a character puffed up by all their wealth and social standing. Manuel Mujica Láinez was familiar with the precariousness of family wealth: born into a distinguished and wealthy lineage of Buenos Aries nobility, by the time the family line reached his parents and Manuel, the vast majority of wealth vanished. Manuel had to earn a living as a literary critic and art critic for the city’s leading newspaper.

Chink in the Armor: Unfortunately, there is one small fact diminishing the Señora’s splendid importance: her family background is somewhat less than splendid. That’s right, sad but true, she comes from a dubious bloodline. Also unfortunate for Señora, certain obscure relatives occasionally have the temerity to pop up at the wrong time forcing Señora to cloak their kinship with a wry smile and arched glance “while her vanity spits and snarls inside her like a crouching tiger.” Ah, a second valuable ingredient for a good short story featuring a puffed up character: a hidden flaw.

Piety Counts: Señora believes in God as well as in heaven and hell. And equally notable, Señora also firmly believes, a belief bolstered by her assistants and employees, that she has unquestionably earned her rightful place in Paradise. Such a worldview as the Señora’s has always amused me, a worldview shared by fundamentalists of whatever stripe I’ve encountered: there’s a heaven and hell and I’m the one going to heaven. All the rest of you people who don’t believe exactly what I believe will go to hell – good riddance!

The Fantastic: As it turns out, there’s an excellent reason why this story is included in Alberto Manguel's anthology of fantastic literature: one morning Señora wakes up only to discover she is dead. That’s right, all her very, very important servants gather in her room, wailing and crying over the fact that their beloved Señora has died. Of course, Señora is frightened and a tad astonished at this event since deep down Señora really and truly believed she is immortal. Let’s face it, all of us are not that different from Señora – a characteristically human way of viewing life: suffering, old age and especially death are things that happen to other people, certainly not me since, well . . . life is all about me!

The Unexpected: After one hour, two hours, three hours, Señora thinks enough is enough, where are heavenly angels to carry me off to paradise? Instead, exactly the beings she does not want to appear, appear: her dubious cousins, nephews and, damn, her most dreaded half-sister show up in open view of those upper crust ladies Señora has always tried her hardest to impress. Oh, my, what a bummer for someone who has spent their life molding an identity around wealth, status and bloodline. Sidebar: In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition with their Bardo Thodol (Tibetan Book of the Dead), the biggest mistake we can make at the time of our death is to cling to our past life and relationships rather than letting go.

Bad News: Señora's upper crust lady friends actually exchange pleasantries with her lowly relatives rather than paying any attention to her. What is happening here? Señora grows impatient, life is not cooperating with her wishes and desires. On top of this, after six distasteful, highly unpleasant days, Señora’s lawyer shows up on the scene and, contrary to her interests in perpetuating her good name by leaving her wealth to her chosen charities as clearly expressed in her will, the nefarious rascal denies there is any such will and boldly states all her monies will be distributed to her relatives. Ahhh! Señora wants to raise her arms to heaven and shout out the truth, but, alas, inhabiting a ghostly, otherworldly space, she cannot move her limbs or open her mouth.

Even Worse: The bad news continues, her cousins, nephews and half-sister move into her house, rummage through her drawers and closets, put on her clothes and jewelry, have lewd sex on her bed right next to her ghostly body, speak of her as prudish, vain and haughty. Here is how Manuel Mujica Láinez ends his tale: “Until, gradually, Mrs Hermosilla del Fresno (who cannot even escape into the haven of madness) understands, with surprise and despair, the she will never be taken away, not even to be guided to an unexpected Hell. Because this, however strange, absurd, unconventional and antitheological it might seem, this is Hell.”

Manuel Mujica Láinez (1910-1984) - Argentine novelist, essayist, literary critic and art critic ( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
A wonderful collection—uneven as they usually are, but the high notes are unforgettable. Hunt it down if you like hard-to-classify, weird fiction. ( )
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |


Alberto Manguel - Argentine-Canadian anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist and editor. He is surely among the very greatest readers of books and lovers of world literature. Black Water collects 72 tales of the fantastic by such authors as Jean Cocteau, Marguerite Yourcenar, Herman Hesse, Italo Calvino, Vladimir Nabokov, H.G.Wells, Franz Kafka and Ursula K. LeGuin. There is one story I particularly enjoy from a less well known author from Argentina, Manuel Mujica Láinez, and it is this story I have made the focus of my review. Hope you enjoy and take the opportunity to explore this outstanding collection on your own.

IMPORTANCE by Manuel Mujica Láinez
Great Lady: Mrs. Hermosilla del Fresno, widow, lady of very great importance, lives in her huge mansion with her many servants and presides over all the city’s important charities and parties. Great writers such as de Maupassant and Balzac have always understood one of the perfect ingredients for a good short story is a character puffed up by all their wealth and social standing. Manuel Mujica Láinez was familiar with the precariousness of family wealth: born into a distinguished and wealthy lineage of Buenos Aries nobility, by the time the family line reached his parents and Manuel, the vast majority of wealth vanished. Manuel had to earn a living as a literary critic and art critic for the city’s leading newspaper.

Chink in the Armor: Unfortunately, there is one small fact diminishing the Señora’s splendid importance: her family background is somewhat less than splendid. That’s right, sad but true, she comes from a dubious bloodline. Also unfortunate for Señora, certain obscure relatives occasionally have the temerity to pop up at the wrong time forcing Señora to cloak their kinship with a wry smile and arched glance “while her vanity spits and snarls inside her like a crouching tiger.” Ah, a second valuable ingredient for a good short story featuring a puffed up character: a hidden flaw.

Piety Counts: Señora believes in God as well as in heaven and hell. And equally notable, Señora also firmly believes, a belief bolstered by her assistants and employees, that she has unquestionably earned her rightful place in Paradise. Such a worldview as the Señora’s has always amused me, a worldview shared by fundamentalists of whatever stripe I’ve encountered: there’s a heaven and hell and I’m the one going to heaven. All the rest of you people who don’t believe exactly what I believe will go to hell – good riddance!

The Fantastic: As it turns out, there’s an excellent reason why this story is included in Alberto Manguel's anthology of fantastic literature: one morning Señora wakes up only to discover she is dead. That’s right, all her very, very important servants gather in her room, wailing and crying over the fact that their beloved Señora has died. Of course, Señora is frightened and a tad astonished at this event since deep down Señora really and truly believed she is immortal. Let’s face it, all of us are not that different from Señora – a characteristically human way of viewing life: suffering, old age and especially death are things that happen to other people, certainly not me since, well . . . life is all about me!

The Unexpected: After one hour, two hours, three hours, Señora thinks enough is enough, where are heavenly angels to carry me off to paradise? Instead, exactly the beings she does not want to appear, appear: her dubious cousins, nephews and, damn, her most dreaded half-sister show up in open view of those upper crust ladies Señora has always tried her hardest to impress. Oh, my, what a bummer for someone who has spent their life molding an identity around wealth, status and bloodline. Sidebar: In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition with their Bardo Thodol (Tibetan Book of the Dead), the biggest mistake we can make at the time of our death is to cling to our past life and relationships rather than letting go.

Bad News: Señora's upper crust lady friends actually exchange pleasantries with her lowly relatives rather than paying any attention to her. What is happening here? Señora grows impatient, life is not cooperating with her wishes and desires. On top of this, after six distasteful, highly unpleasant days, Señora’s lawyer shows up on the scene and, contrary to her interests in perpetuating her good name by leaving her wealth to her chosen charities as clearly expressed in her will, the nefarious rascal denies there is any such will and boldly states all her monies will be distributed to her relatives. Ahhh! Señora wants to raise her arms to heaven and shout out the truth, but, alas, inhabiting a ghostly, otherworldly space, she cannot move her limbs or open her mouth.

Even Worse: The bad news continues, her cousins, nephews and half-sister move into her house, rummage through her drawers and closets, put on her clothes and jewelry, have lewd sex on her bed right next to her ghostly body, speak of her as prudish, vain and haughty. Here is how Manuel Mujica Láinez ends his tale: “Until, gradually, Mrs Hermosilla del Fresno (who cannot even escape into the haven of madness) understands, with surprise and despair, the she will never be taken away, not even to be guided to an unexpected Hell. Because this, however strange, absurd, unconventional and antitheological it might seem, this is Hell.”

Manuel Mujica Láinez (1910-1984) - Argentine novelist, essayist, literary critic and art critic ( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 8 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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» Afegeix-hi altres autors (11 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Manguel, AlbertoEditorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Akutagawa, RyunosukeCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Andersen, Hans ChristianCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Aymé, MarcelCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Beerbohm, MaxCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Belloc, HilaireCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Benét, Stephen VincentCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bioy Casares, AdolfoCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bloy, LéonCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Borges, Jorge LuisCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bradbury, RayCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Calvino, ItaloCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Cocteau, JeanCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Collier, JohnCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Comfort, AlexCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Cortázar, JulioCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
de Alarcón, Pedro AntonioCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
de la Mare, WalterCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
de Mandiargues, André PieyreCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Denevi, MarcoCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Dickens, CharlesCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Dinesen, IsakCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
du Maurier, DaphneCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Dunsany, LordCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Fast, HowardCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Forster, E.M.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Garnett, DavidCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Greenburg, JoanneCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Greene, GrahamCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Guimarães Rosa, JoãoCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Hartley, L.P.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Hawthorne, NathanielCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Hearn, LafcadioCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Henry, O.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Hesse, HermannCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Hichens, Robert S.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Hitchcock, GeorgeCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Ireland, I.A.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Jacobs, W.W.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
James, HenryCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
James, M.R.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Kafka, FranzCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
King, FrancisCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Kipling, RudyardCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Lainez, Manuel MujicaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
O'Brien, FlannCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Ocampo, SilvinaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Ozick, CynthiaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Papini, GiovanniCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Piñera, VirgilioCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Poe, Edgar AllanCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Priestley, J.B.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Pushkin, AlexanderCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Quiroga, HoracioCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
SakiCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Schulz, BrunoCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Stevenson, Robert LouisCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Tanizaki, JunichiroCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Verne, JulesCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Wells, H.G.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Wharton, EdithCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Wilde, OscarCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Williams, CharlesCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Williams, TennesseeCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Yourcenar, MargueriteCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
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Manguel explains in his introduction that fantastic literature makes use of the everyday world as a facade through which the undefinable appears, hinting at the half-forgotten dreams of the imagination. This collection includes material from Kafka, Henry James, E.M. Forster and Herman Hesse.

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