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Moo Pak

Gabriel Josipovici

Cover of Moo Pak by Gabriel Josipovici
RRP: GBP£ 6.95
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Price: GBP£ 6.25
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857542 87 5
Categories: 20th Century, Jewish
Imprint: Carcanet Fiction
Published: September 1996
215 x 135 x 13 mm
144 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Hardback
  • Description
  • Excerpt
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  • We swim in a sea of memories, but they only extend a few feet all around us. Cross that boundary, he said as the waiter appeared with a menu and we are in new territory, unknown realms...
    'This is the istry of Moo Pak,' writes a schoolboy, struggling with his assignment as he sits in the Great Hall of Moor Park, now a secondary school. Once the home of Sir William Temple, here Swift wrote The Tale of the Tub and tutored the nine-year-old Stella. Later the building was a lunatic asylum, a college of theology, a code-breaking centre (during World War II), and an institute for the study of primate behaviour.

    So Jack Toledano, a Sephardic Jew from Egypt and ex-University lecturer in English, tells his friend Damien Anderson in the course of innumerable walks through the parks and waterways of London during the 1980s. Toledano is writing a history of Moor Park which is also a history of himself and his times, of the Jews and the English. Moo Pak unfolds that history in an eloquent and breathless sweep, as Anderson strives to record what Toledano says and what he knows of his friend, a sweep that takes in man's relation to the great apes, the nature of language, Classicism and
    Romanticism, Swift, Pope, madness, despair and death.

    Moo Pak is a palimpsest not only of themes that have preoccupied Gabriel Josipovici in the past twenty-five years but of our civilisation itself, its dreams, achievements and repressions. And it is a simple, moving tale of friendship and its aftermath.
    Gabriel Josipovici was born in Nice in 1940 of Russo-Italian, Romano-Levantine parents. He lived in Egypt from 1945 to 1956, when he came to Britain. He read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, graduating with a First in 1961. From 1963 to 1998 he taught at the University of Sussex. He ... read more
    Praise for Gabriel Josipovici 'A tour de force of straightfaced high-culture lunacy ... very funny, deeply serious, at once scathing about the sublime preposterousness of modernism and profoundly admiring of it. Infinity is that rare thing - a novel about a creative genius in whose artistry you are made to believe, and who, for all his monstrous egoism and crackpot theorising, you come to care about and finally applaud.' Howard Jacobson 'Concealed in this wry interview is an exhilarating "world tour" of music, and how it comes to be created. Music aficionados will recognise Infinity's central figure with delight; newcomers will learn all they need, and more, about an extraordinary composer, and the anguished musical era - the twentieth century - in which he lived and worked.' Judith Weir
    'A tour de force of straightfaced high-culture lunacy ... very funny, deeply serious, at once scathing about the sublime preposterousness of modernism and profoundly admiring of it. Infinity is that rare thing - a novel about a creative genius in whose artistry you are made to believe, and who, for all his monstrous egoism and crackpot theorising, you come to care about and finally applaud.' Howard Jacobson 'A Doctor Faustus for our time. Like Thomas Mann's great novel, Infinity shows how a composer's times are reflected in the creative process of composing, and has the novel's structure itself parallel the composer's aesthetic. Books as insightful as these into the composer's world are rare indeed.' Jonathan Harvey 'Josipovici is one of the UK's most distinguished and fearless writers... [Infinity] is a charming, sexy, modern and scholarly novel - an unusual mix but all the better for it.'
    Deborah Levy, Jewish Quarterly
    'Gabriel Josipovici's Infinity (Carcanet, £12.95) is a wondrous Mobius strip of a narrative that turns ideas of biography, memory and the making of art into a story that one reads with rapt attention, in one sitting.'
    Kirsty Gunn, Scotsman Books of the Year 2012
    'Concealed in this wry interview is an exhilarating "world tour" of music, and how it comes to be created. Music aficionados will recognise Infinity's central figure with delight; newcomers will learn all they need, and more, about an extraordinary composer, and the anguished musical era - the twentieth century - in which he lived and worked.' Judith Weir
    'A tour de force of straightfaced high-culture lunacy ... very funny, deeply serious, at once scathing about the sublime preposterousness of modernism and profoundly admiring of it. Infinity is that rare thing - a novel about a creative genius in whose artistry you are made to believe, and who, for all his monstrous egoism and crackpot theorising, you come to care about and finally applaud.' Howard Jacobson 'A Doctor Faustus for our time. Like Thomas Mann's great novel, Infinity shows how a composer's times are reflected in the creative process of composing, and has the novel's structure itself parallel the composer's aesthetic. Books as insightful as these into the composer's world are rare indeed.' Jonathan Harvey 'Josipovici is one of the UK's most distinguished and fearless writers... [Infinity] is a charming, sexy, modern and scholarly novel - an unusual mix but all the better for it.'
    Deborah Levy, Jewish Quarterly
    'Gabriel Josipovici's Infinity (Carcanet, £12.95) is a wondrous Mobius strip of a narrative that turns ideas of biography, memory and the making of art into a story that one reads with rapt attention, in one sitting.'
    Kirsty Gunn, Scotsman Books of the Year 2012
    'Gabriel Josipovici is a deeply perceptive critic, always rewarding with a wide range of reference. The Singer on the Shore is a beautifully written and enjoyable book.' Dame Muriel Spark 'A Doctor Faustus for our time. Like Thomas Mann's great novel, Infinity shows how a composer's times are reflected in the creative process of composing, and has the novel's structure itself parallel the composer's aesthetic. Books as insightful as these into the composer's world are rare indeed.' Jonathan Harvey 'Gabriel Josipovici is a deeply perceptive critic, always rewarding with a wide range of reference. The Singer on the Shore is a beautifully written and enjoyable book.' Dame Muriel Spark 'Gabriel Josipovici's Infinity (Carcanet, £12.95) is a wondrous Mobius strip of a narrative that turns ideas of biography, memory and the making of art into a story that one reads with rapt attention, in one sitting.'
    Kirsty Gunn, Scotsman Books of the Year 2012
    'Josipovici is one of the UK's most distinguished and fearless writers... [Infinity] is a charming, sexy, modern and scholarly novel - an unusual mix but all the better for it.'
    Deborah Levy, Jewish Quarterly
    'Concealed in this wry interview is an exhilarating "world tour" of music, and how it comes to be created. Music aficionados will recognise Infinity's central figure with delight; newcomers will learn all they need, and more, about an extraordinary composer, and the anguished musical era - the twentieth century - in which he lived and worked.' Judith Weir
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