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Chatterton (1987)

de Peter Ackroyd

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
8831624,450 (3.59)35
Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770), apparently a suicide at 18, posthumously astonished literary England when he was revealed as the author of a sequence of famous and influential "medieval" poems he claimed to have discovered. An authentic talent as well as a literary counterfeiter, he is the guiding spirit of Peter Ackroyd's brilliant novel. In today's London, a young poet and an elderly novelist engage the mystery of Chatterton by trying to decode the clues found in an old manuscript, only to discover that their investigation discloses other riddles for which there are no solutions. Chatterton is at once a hilariously witty comedy; a thoughtful and dramatic exploration of the deepest issues of authenticity in both life and art; and a subtle and touching story of failed lives, parental love, doomed marriages, and erotic passions.… (mais)
  1. 10
    The Forgery of Venus de Michael Gruber (Bookmarque)
    Bookmarque: while not as overtly loopy as Chatterton, the elements of the stories are similar - originality in art, personal delusions and shifting time periods from present to past.
  2. 10
    The Daughter of Time de Josephine Tey (kmcmahon)
    kmcmahon: Though very different types of book, both feature modern day characters trying to solve famous mysterious deaths from centuries before.
  3. 10
    Possession de A.S. Byatt (shaunie)
    shaunie: Literary mysteries which both take place across multiple timelines.
  4. 00
    Headlong de Michael Frayn (KayCliff)
  5. 01
    What's Bred in the Bone de Robertson Davies (KayCliff)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 16 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
El hallazgo de un manuscrito del siglo XVIII reaviva la intriga sobre la vida y la muerte de Thomas Chatterton, uno de los fundadores del romanticismo inglés.
  libreriarofer | Sep 13, 2023 |
Among other things, the jaunty eccentricities of certain characters were too much to bear. ( )
  KatrinkaV | May 13, 2020 |
Chatterton was a rising young poet, with everything to live for. However, it comes to light that the medieval poems that he had "discovered", he had , in fact, written himself. there's an echo here of the "Ossian" scandal. I think PA tried to walk into the later painting, and looking at the body from another angle, tried the greater experiment of asking himself, "If I was where Chatterton was, would I deal with the fear of further life the same way he did?" Another level is revealed that the painting was of a novelist named George Meredith, and it is not even of an imagined Chatterton. So we try to deal with what is deliberate, and what unconscious, art? this book requires rereads. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 5, 2013 |
"I am here, listen to me!" is what Peter Ackroyd, the author, seems to say. He says it rather well mind you and he's quite talented in his technical and emotional writing skills. Nevertheless we have here a book about the author himself, cleverly veiled as a treatise about what is real and what isn't, what is genuine and what is fake, and most of all: how important is suffering for one's craft and convictions?

We meet down and out Charles, a poet suffering from terrible headaches. He lives with his wife and son a very meager existence. We also meet Thomas Chatterton (20 November 1752 – 24 August 1770) a poet of similar ilk who did obtain fame, or rather notoriety after it was discovered he forged many medieval poems. Finally we meet Henry Wallis (21 February 1830 – 20 December 1916), a painter who depicted Chatterton suicide some 80 years after the poet's death.

This work of magical realism, since that is truly what it is, weaves in and out of the main characters lives and draws parallels between various forms of art, be it poetry, prose, painting and even living. Charles discovers clues that Chatterton might have faked his own death. Chatterton himself struggles with his talent when he finds out his own creations are more welcome when given the pedigree of someone else. Various other characters in the novel struggle with the more traditional questions of what makes a painting real or genuine.

Peter Ackroyd serves up the question: what is genuine and what is not, and does the question even matter? The question is not new but is presented well in this novel. Quite frankly we're beaten over the head with it. That's quite alright since Ackroyd's writing style provides plenty of detail and intrigue to keep you reading.

Ackroyd's writing is also infuriating. Not being an initiate into British literature and art I felt like I shouldn't be reading the text. Unless you get every alliteration, every reference and every quip the author throws around you will most likely feel you haven't studied hard enough to be worthy of this novel. In a way the book reminded me of The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, which is another novel where the author gets too carried away with his own cleverness and literary prowess. It makes me wonder if this was the reason the novel was so well received by the critics, it was almost as if they were thinking: we have no idea what he's talking about either but it sounds all so clever it must be good.

Admittedly the novel is a work of magical realism, but let's say that we take all the mysterious imagery and hallucinations away, would we have a deeply emotional work of art here? I'm hesitant to say yes for one particular reason. There is no objection against using bizarre behavior if it serves a purpose. But some of the events and acts the characters perform clash so much with the reality the book creates that you wonder sometimes if you've read the words correctly.

If it weren't for the literary stunts and incomprehensible character behavior I would have given this novel 5 stars. ( )
  TheCriticalTimes | Jan 27, 2013 |
I believe I have read this book once before many years ago, but I honestly couldn't remember anything about it. In one strand of the story, we follow young Thomas Chatterton with his literary ambititions, in another we are in the modern day with two writers, a painting from a junk shop, and different forms of forgery, and the end result was interesting enough. ( )
  mari_reads | Nov 21, 2011 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 16 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The structure of the book is as complex and doubling-back as the subject demands, with Charles Wychwood, the bewitched poet of our times, haunted by henna-haired Chatterton (himself best known, since the demise of interest in his middle-ages forgeries, as a beautiful suicide, painted by Henry Wallis in 1856 with George Meredith as the model for 'the marvellous boy').
adicionado por KayCliff | editarThe Guardian, Emma Tennant (Sep 11, 1987)
 
Chatterton is at once a hilariously witty comedy; a thoughtful and dramatic exploration of the deepest issues of authenticity in both life and art; and a subtle and touching story of failed lives, parental love, doomed marriages, and erotic passions.
 

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I learned how to give my own Papers the semblance of Antiquity. Into my Closet I smuggl'd a pounce bag of Charcole, a great stick of yellow ochre and a bottle of black lead powder, with which Materials I could fabricate an appearance of great Age as closely as if my new invented Papers were the very ones from the Chests of St Mary Redcliffe. I would rub the ochre and lead across the Parchments and sometimes, to antiquate my Writings still further, I would drag them through the Dust or hold them above a Candle - which process not only quite chang' d the colour of the Inke but blackened and contracted the Parchment itself. I was a willing Student but, at first, there was more madness than method in my labours; and my Mother, hearing sundry Groans and Curses coming from my Chamber on the fust Day that ever I tried them, entered and found me in a clowd of Charcole. I was so cover'd in ochre and in lead that she threw up her hands, saying 'Lord, Tom, do you colour yourself to join the Gypsies?'
For him the pleasure of painting rested in formal execution and not in imaginative exploration, in mimesis rather than invention.
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Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770), apparently a suicide at 18, posthumously astonished literary England when he was revealed as the author of a sequence of famous and influential "medieval" poems he claimed to have discovered. An authentic talent as well as a literary counterfeiter, he is the guiding spirit of Peter Ackroyd's brilliant novel. In today's London, a young poet and an elderly novelist engage the mystery of Chatterton by trying to decode the clues found in an old manuscript, only to discover that their investigation discloses other riddles for which there are no solutions. Chatterton is at once a hilariously witty comedy; a thoughtful and dramatic exploration of the deepest issues of authenticity in both life and art; and a subtle and touching story of failed lives, parental love, doomed marriages, and erotic passions.

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