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Dhalgren (1975)

di Samuel R. Delany

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
3,152703,140 (3.81)166
Nebula Award Finalist: Reality has come unglued and a mad civilization takes root in Bellona, in this science fiction classic.   A young half-Native American known as the Kid has hitchhiked from Mexico to the midwestern city Bellona--only something is wrong there . . . In Bellona, the shattered city, a nameless cataclysm has left reality unhinged. Into this desperate metropolis steps the Kid, his fist wrapped in razor-sharp knives, to write, to love, to wound.   So begins Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany's masterwork, which in 1975 opened a new door for what science fiction could mean. A labyrinth of a novel, it raises questions about race, sexuality, identity, and art, but gives no easy answers, in a city that reshapes itself with each step you take . . .   This ebook features an illustrated biography of Samuel R. Delany including rare images from his early career.  … (altro)
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» Vedi le 166 citazioni

It's one of those so called must read novels if you're serious about your science fiction, and I decided I was finally going to tackle this monstrosity.

It has its bits of genius. Through all the meandering, the sex (and sex, and more sex) there are passages worth remembering. Dhalgren has ideas and they're big interesting ones. The city itself is awesome: there is a character that walks around the neighborhood changing Street signs and a newspaper that seems to randomly assign dates.

But it's all buried by the trudgery. Lots and lots of "balling", a word I wish to never really read again. At about three hundred I was wishing for it to wrap up. By the final third, experimental found journal bit, it was forced reading. ( )
  illmunkeys | Apr 22, 2021 |
The punkrockest setting and philosophy ever written probably. Won't add anything superficial to the scholarship around it here on GR. Read it, then we'll talk! ( )
  EugenioNegro | Mar 17, 2021 |
It's tough to review this, as what I had initially expected going into this and what I actually got were two very different things. I think the first half of it works really well, but there's some poorly-defined point about halfway through where I realized that Delany had lost me and I ended up pushing myself through to finish it. Someone more prepared for the more formally experimental parts might be more into it, though. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
This book sold over a million copies. I wish there was a graph that showed how far each reader made it through.

This is my experience.

I bought Dahlgren in the year of its publication, 1975, 3rd printing. Sometime probably around 2015, I started my first read. (I should add I have read tons of SF and Fantasy since the 1960's.) I made it over 300 pages, then my attention flagged and I moved on.

During this Pandemic Year of 2020, I picked it up again, tried to read from where I left off, but could not pickup the thread. So I decided to start over. (I sometimes find that with more challenging reads, if I reread the beginning and invest the time fully to understand what is going on and any seeded mysteries to be solved, it gives me the momentum I need to make more enjoyable progress. And the opening to the novel is very compelling. Daphne!) But, once again, my momentum flagged a wee bit further along this time, around page 400, and died this morning (RIP) on page 456.

So what to make of this? Well, for one, I started to suspect that maybe there was nothing to solve, that it just wasn't that kind of book, but, instead, one in which plot is totally subordinated to character and setting. (No spoiler alert since I do not know if my intuition is correct.) If this is the case, the reader is then fully dependent on the interest in the moment to carry one through.

Moreover, I was sure that there was no more pleasure to be had in Bollona for me. This is not to say that there had been no pleasure along its smoky streets.

Finally, disturbingly, all of my other reading is in a holding queue governed by a negative correlation: the queue grows as my ability to turn pages in Dahlgren decreases. (This raises thorny questions like "Should Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain languish behind Dahlgren?")

My final judgment on Delany's work goes no further than to report that I have twice failed to finish it, but that I am glad I made each attempt. It was not a waste of time, but it has now become a waste of energy. I am a boomer. "Time's wingèd chariot [is] hurrying near."

Some decisions are just pragmatic. Moving along... ( )
  tsgood | Nov 1, 2020 |
I read this many, many years ago when it first came out and it really caught something of the time, like a whiff of the spirit that moved some of us then. I came back to it not knowing how it would fare in this age or indeed how I would fare.

I was enthralled from the get go. To me it had lost nothing of the magic that it brings, not bright, shiny, dragon magic but dirty, filthy, deranged magic. Reading it again it brought back so much of that age, the aimless drifting, the random groups of people and their stupid rules or ideas and sheer unknowingness that made it all seem like a great adventure, which indeed it was, but to the pedestrians and tourists it looked like a filthy, debauched happening, which indeed it was too. The drugs and happenings. How two groups can see the same thing so differently, one lot in the current swimming naked and the other group on the banks pointing out how sensible they are for not swimming but ogling the girls tits all the same.

The impostors, like Frank, who appeared more regularly as time went on and never felt the spirit running through them never felt time running through them never felt connected and who only saw easy sex and gullible hippies but never for a moment realised how transparent they were and who also never noticed that one by one we slipped away until it was only them left in their shop bought outfits mouthing the words but missing it all.

I also liked how he caught the cultishness of the time too, how some people were pushed up to near mythic status when they were “just a bum like one of us” as the song says. Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Emmett Grogan, Timothy Leary, Tariq Ali, Abi Hoffman and others. But when, if you really looked around, you could see acts of bravery and vision by unknowns all around you.

I loved the ever changing vista of the city and the shifting landmarks how that reflected the social structure which really was shifting at the time, the uncertainty and fear that this engendered in the rest. That family in the apartment and their futile struggle to maintain appearances, they represented the rest that were not part of the force for change.

I could go on but obviously you can clearly see where I am in all this. I am just so impressed at how much Samuel Delaney manages to capture of that age in this one book and wrap it up in a mythical setting so we can see it so clearly. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
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» Aggiungi altri autori (4 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Samuel R. Delanyautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Gibson, WilliamPrefazioneautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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"You have confused the true and the real."

GEORGE STANLEY/In conversation
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This book about many things
must be for many people.

Some of them are
Joseph Cox, Bill Brodecky, David Hartwell,
Liz Landry, Joseph Manfredini, Patrick Muir, 
John Herbert McDowell, Jean Sullivan, Janis Schmidt,
Charles Naylor, Ann O'Neil, Baird Searles,
Martin Last, Bob & Joan Thurston, Richard Vriali,
Susan Schweers, Judy Ratner, Oliver Shank

also
Thomas M. Disch, Judith Merril, Michael Perkins, Joanna Russ,Judith Johnson, & Marilyn Hacker
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to wound the autumnal city.
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(Click per vedere. Attenzione: può contenere anticipazioni.)
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Nebula Award Finalist: Reality has come unglued and a mad civilization takes root in Bellona, in this science fiction classic.   A young half-Native American known as the Kid has hitchhiked from Mexico to the midwestern city Bellona--only something is wrong there . . . In Bellona, the shattered city, a nameless cataclysm has left reality unhinged. Into this desperate metropolis steps the Kid, his fist wrapped in razor-sharp knives, to write, to love, to wound.   So begins Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany's masterwork, which in 1975 opened a new door for what science fiction could mean. A labyrinth of a novel, it raises questions about race, sexuality, identity, and art, but gives no easy answers, in a city that reshapes itself with each step you take . . .   This ebook features an illustrated biography of Samuel R. Delany including rare images from his early career.  

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