Elena Ferrante

Incidental Inventions

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“Fifty-one columns, short in length but long on wisdom” from the bestselling author of My Brilliant Friend, an HBO original series (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
Collected here for the first time are the seeds of future novels, the timely reflections of this internationally beloved storyteller, the abiding preoccupations of a writer who has been called “one of the great novelists of our time” (The New York Times).
“This is my last column, after a year that has scared and inspired me . . . I have written as an author of novels, taking on matters that are important to me and that—if I have the will and the time—I’d like to develop within real narrative mechanisms.”
With these words, Elena Ferrante bid farewell to her year-long collaboration with the Guardian newspaper. For a full year, she wrote weekly articles, the subjects of which had been suggested by Guardian editors, making the writing process a sort of prolonged interlocution. The subjects ranged from first love to climate change, from enmity among women to the experience of seeing her novels adapted for film and TV.
Translated by Ann Goldstein, the acclaimed translator of Ferrante’s novels, and accompanied by Andrea Ucini’s intelligent, witty, and beautiful illustrations, this volume is a must for all curious readers.
“A masterclass in style: direct and clear and all the more resonant for it.” —The Saturday Paper
“If you are interested in the experience of having a drink with the author and listening to her muse on various subjects . . . here’s your answer.” —Vulture
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144 printed pages
Original publication
Publication year
Ann Goldstein
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  • Gabriela Martínez Reynahas quoted3 years ago
    I thought that when one writes, it makes no sense to be contained, to censor oneself, and as a result I wrote mostly—maybe only—about what I would have preferred to be silent about, resorting among other things to a vocabulary that I would never have dared to use in speaking.
  • Gabriela Martínez Reynahas quoted3 years ago
    I had to stop writing my diary and channel the desire to tell the truth—my most unutterable truths—into an invented story.
  • Gabriela Martínez Reynahas quoted3 years ago
    We always look at first times with excessive indulgence. Even if by their nature they’re founded on inexperience, and so as a rule are not very successful, we recall them with sympathy, with regret.

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