Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
an admirable concern to keep lines open to writing in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and America.
Seamus Heaney

Moo Pak

Gabriel Josipovici

Cover of Moo Pak by Gabriel Josipovici
RRP: GBP 6.95
Discount: 10%
You Save: GBP 0.70

Price: GBP 6.25
Out of Print
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857542 87 5
Categories: 20th Century, Jewish
Imprint: Carcanet Fiction
Published: September 1997
215 x 135 x 13 mm
144 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback
Spend GBP 15 or more and receive a free Carcanet tote bag. Available internationally while stocks last.
Find out more.
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • 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 to Jewish parents of Italo-Russian, Romano-Levantine extraction. He lived in Egypt from 1945 to 1956, when he came to England. He read English at a St.Edmund Hall, Oxford and from 1963 to 1998 was first a lecturer, then a Professor in the School ... read more
    Awards won by Gabriel Josipovici Long-listed, 2019 The Republic of Consciousness Prize (The Cemetery in Barnes) Short-listed, 2018 The Goldsmiths Prize (The Cemetery in Barnes)
    Praise for Gabriel Josipovici 'On first read this slender volume of sixty pages is at once recognized as being among the highest quality of literature [...] Poetic, dramatic, and certainly lyrical.'

    Rogue Literary Society 

    'Art demans a certain silence, when creating it and viewing it. Josipovici captures the essence of this silence in both the art and the artist himself in this deceptively complex narrative which he subtitles, "A Triptych after Pierre Bonnard"'

    Melissa Beck, The Book Binder's Daughter


    A 'subtle, disconcerting and remarkable novel'
    Volume, 2019

    'the novel shows its characters overwhelmed by the temporal medium in which everything takes place, and the characters are depicted not so much against light (contre-jour) as against time (contre-temps)... time is always the overwhelming, unresolvable problem.'

    Volume, 2019
    'The narrative is constantly destabilised, leaving us puzzling over what is and isn't 'true'... his debts to writers like Thomas Bernhard, Marguerite Duras and Alain Robbe-Grillet are obvious.'
    Simon Collings, Stride
    'Gabriel Josipovici is one of the outstanding writers and critics of the post-war period.'
    David Herman, The Jewish Chronicle
    'Josipovici's best fiction has always been able to turn silence and reticence into powerful emotions, producing stories of pain and sadness. Contre-Jour is Josipovici at his very best.'
    David Herman, The Jewish Chronicle
      'The Cemetery in Barnes, though outwardly modest, expands in the mind and then lingers there - a tribute to its author's rejection of the need to explain, his willingness to hint at all the ways in which life is a "labyrinth" without trying to say the last word about any of them.'
    Leo Robson, The New Statesman
    'The Cemetery in Barnes is a subtle, disturbing meditation on death and desire, on murder, suicide and arson glimpsed, as it were, out of the corner of the eye; an examination of a life lived in three locations and told - the cue being taken from Monteverdi's Orfeo - in three interweaving voices, whose total effect has the disturbing power of a bad dream.'
    Nick Lezard, Goldsmiths Prize Judge
    'A seriously amusing, at times amusingly serious novella... its artfulness partly lies in its temporary suspension of certainty' 
    Michael Caines, TLS
     '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
     '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 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 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
You might also be interested in:
Cover of In a Hotel Garden
In a Hotel Garden Gabriel Josipovici
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog A Historian in Spring: Evan Jones read more Martina Evans: Where is the Voice Coming From? read more Living Books: Jenny Lewis read more #Carcanet50: An Ode to Wales read more PN Review 251: Editorial read more Journeys: Mina Gorji read more
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2020 Carcanet Press Ltd