The Story of the Lost Child concludes the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila, who first met amid the shambles of postwar Italy. In the Frantumaglia collection, there’s a moment in an interview with the novelist Nicola Lagioia in which Lagioia praises Ferrante’s portrayal of the women’s bond and then observes that “this interdependence [between Lila and Lenù] extends throughout the entire world of the two friends: Nino, Rino, Stefano Carracci, the Solara brothers, Carmela, Enzo Scanno, Gigliola, Marisa, Pasquale, Antonio, even Professor Galiani. It probably is a little of both. Her writing keeps digging, like a furious fox terrier the depths and the folds of the relationship between Lena and Lila. The same sensation finds its way into the experience of the narrators of Ferrante’s three earlier novels, where it is overtly associated with a specifically female experience of psychic and physical dissolution—as when Olga, the narrator of The Days of Abandonment, remembers a school friend who “made bodily noises according to how she felt, with her throat, her ass”—a memory of “the ferocity of women” that Olga “feels . Achetez neuf ou d'occasion Elena Ferrante’s The Story of the Lost Child. 4 by Elena Ferrante ; translated by Ann Goldstein ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 1, 2015. Think, in a different but related register, of how the rivalry and imitation embedded in the central women’s relation gets refracted in Lila’s relation to Alfonso, who in imitating Lila comes into a new version of himself and into newly dangerous relation to Michele Solara; think of how Alfonso’s femininity, which the young Lenù reads in his neat clothing and understands in relation to his slightly elevated class position (he is the son of Don Achille) makes him first a heterosexual object for the young girls, then yet another kind of third for the women, and finally a victim of Naples’ increased violence in the wake of the hard drug trade. Translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Europa). This book, more than the previous three, made me think about the real meaning of friendship. This is the final Neapolitan novel. “We are . Except there will be no next instalment here. Ferrante didn', I don't think Elena was always trustworthy. The last volume "La bambina Perduta" has just been published in Italy,so I've devoured it in three days and it's not a disappointment. The last of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. Skip to main content.sg. After reading all four books in the series, I am still unsure whether this is a fictional memoir, or a story based on the truth. Or is it Ferrante, herself, at the top line, voicing her authorial insecurities through her character?) However, she learns from Lila that despite promises that he had also left his wife, Nino has done no such thing. As a woman, my vicarious anger has an undercurrent of resignation, because each injustice and pointed strike at Lila and Elena — the character — (but also, all of the other Neapolitan women in the books) rings a little too true to feel like emotional manipulation. Retrouvez The Story of the Lost Child: Neapolitan Novels, Book Four et des millions de livres en stock sur Amazon.fr. The first book in the series, My Brilliant Friend, was a New York Times bestseller. I’ve never read a series before. In a way, I think the city of Naples took Tina. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from the city of her birth. The Story of the Lost Child. The benefit of such a change is the attention it brings to extraordinary novels not familiar to many English-speaking readers. Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila. Pondering questions about Lila as frenemy and Nino as liberal mansplainer extraordinaire. “In what disorder we lived, how many fragments of ourselves were scattered, as if to live were to explode into splinters.”, “Unlike stories, real life, when it has passed, inclines toward obscurity, not clarity.”, http://elenaferrante.com/works/story-of-the-lost-child/, BTBA Best Translated Book Award Nominee for Fiction Shortlist (2016), Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) Nominee for International Book (2016), International Booker Prize Nominee (2016). At times, you wonder why they still bother being friends, with the various trespasses, minor and otherwise, that they commit against each other. The fourth and final instalment of the Neapolitan Novels series, The Story of the Lost Child is the dazzling saga of the friendship between two women: brilliant, bookish Elena and fiery, uncontainable Lila. There is indeed a terrible loss of a child at the heart of the novel, but the lost child refers to much else—the lost dolls that Elena and Lila believe the local Mafia chief has stolen from them as children, the biological children from whom they feel estranged, and, most intensely, the childhood selves from which they’ve both departed. This elicits one of Ferrante’s most interesting responses: “Where do I start? . Ferrante closes out her Neapolitan tetralogy with The Story of the Lost Child, which picks up Elena’s and Lila’s story around age 30 and follows them until the day Elena mentions in the very beginning; when Lila walks away without a trace at the age of 66. I’ll try to make clear why I think of that most interesting feature of Ferrante’s work as its realism. Both women of extraordinary intelligence and imagination with a drive to escape the confines of their traditional world and the ways in which it defines women’s lives take different paths. Hello Select your address All Hello, Sign in. In this book, life’s great discoveries have been made; its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Last September, during a sultry late-summer lunch hour in Manhattan, I had a street encounter that very nearly moved me to tears. The National Translation Award in Prose has gone to Liz Harris, for her translation of Tristano Dies: A Life by Antonio Tabucchi (Archipelago). Among the overlaps between Lupton’s and Thurschwell’s accounts is that they make our pleasure in Ferrante into a theoretical and political problem: for Lupton, our pleasure might be premised on our distance from, even our blithe ignorance about, the Southern European context in which Ferrante writes (this is not, I would guess, the way most Anglophone Ferrante enthusiasts want their fandom described). Both women fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up—a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Europa (Penguin, dist. Christina Lupton puts Ferrante in bed with the queer theoretical resistance to the demand that sex be meaningful: as she puts it, Ferrante is “game for giving us just sex, [for] situating Lenù’s experience at this narrative impasse”—at a place that is “difficult to grasp representationally.” More important for Lupton, this kind of good sex—founded on an ignorance about our partner and about the conditions of our own pleasure—is a more accurate model to describe the Anglophone feeling about Ferrante than love, since it allows us to own our ignorance of the contexts from which she writes. The story depicts the struggle of getting lost and separated from the comfort and security of one’s loved ones. Blackwood and Mesle too position us collectively at an impasse, where it’s hard to know what, here and now, we could say about Ferrante: we just. As we’ve seen, Ferrante’s name for the energy that sponsors this movement is frantumaglia, and I want to close by sketching some of the ways that word’s multiple meanings might color our conversation today. This writer has a ferocity and a depth that I've rarely encountered. One of the two protagonists literally loses her child and begins a slow decent into instability if not madness. She writes: This experience of frantumaglia might seem to demand a classically modernist narrativization, one that would do mimetic justice to the experience of cognitive blockage and interruption through techniques of fragmentation, interruption, and imagistic density. The feelings that these books provoked in me were strong and visceral, inflamed and tender in their ebb and flow. One of the things Blackwood and Mesle are asking is whether in gathering to think about Ferrante we are betraying the “schloop” of reading her; whether in doing so we—or rather they, since this is a pressure unequally felt by women—must obey the demand “to transcend gender’s petty differences,” to pretend that everything is fine even though one of the hard-to-miss points of the Neapolitan Quartet is that everything is not fine. Studious Elena and fiery Lila have now reached middle-age, have been involved with multiple men, and have had children. Through it all, the women’s friendship remains the gravitational center of their lives. Proximity to the world she has always rejected only brings her role as its unacknowledged leader into relief. A lot of ink is taken up summing up of all the characters and where they’re at in their lives when the book ends in 2006. To say that Lenu and Lila's story gripped me it would an understatement. Turning, I saw that my assailant was a petite woman with a blonde pixie cut. “She’s so good!” the cone-eating pixie echoed. The Story of the Lost Child is the last book in a series of four – the Neapolitan novels. In any case, the writing is magnificent. Taking place from the 1950’s all the way through the 2010’s, beyond coming of age into mature adulthood, the series chronicles the personal and professional achievements and failures of two very intelligent women who are both products of their time, but who also rise above the expectations of the era and of the microculture in their misogynistic, violent Naples neighborhood. Start by marking “The Story of the Lost Child” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Without further ado, here are the winners: The National Translation Award in Poetry has gone to Hilary Kaplan for her translation of Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas (Phoneme Media). For them, the difficulty isn’t that it’s hard to talk about Ferrante, but that it’s hard to talk about her well, or in a way that doesn’t “entirely miss the point.” One of the provocations of their piece is that they don’t so much specify what they take the point to be as name some of the forums in which Ferrante talk feels un-pointless to them. Sarah Blackwood and Sarah Mesle are most overtly concerned with the pleasure they take in Ferrante, and the irrelevance of most official Ferrante-talk to that pleasure. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. Peppering tweets with the hashtag #ferrantefever. On the phone, via texts, in bars, in secret Facebook groups, in certain on-line venues: these are places where it’s possible to talk Ferrante without subjecting her to deadening “criticism.” It will have escaped no one’s notice that MLA panels do not feature on this list. I was, Those who haven't enjoyed the first three books of this series will like this one even less; but that's irrelevant, isn't it: if they haven't made it this far, they're not likely to read this last installment. This was truly an exceptional series of novels. Everywhere I look I see women with Ferrante’s novels. The four volumes in this series constitute a long remarkable story that readers will return to again and again, and every return will bring with it new revelations. Eliot begins her novel by comparing her heroine, Dorothea Brooke, to Saint Theresa: “Many Theresas have been born who found for themselves no epic life wherein there was a constant unfolding of far-resonant action; perhaps only a life of mistakes, the offspring of a certain spiritual grandeur ill-matched with the meanness of opportunity; perhaps a tragic failure which found no sacred poet and sank unwept into oblivion.” Lila, in some sense, is a modern day Theresa who fails to find an epic life, just as Elena, in some sense, is Mary Ann Evans; not the least brilliant of these novels’ many achievement is Ferrante’s exploration of the writer’s implication in her fictional project. It’s a sad ending to a glorious story. The lifelong friendship between these two women is the core of this story, with episodes from their childhood forming recurring themes. Before the vast spread of the four "Neapolitan Novels", Elena Ferrante published three slim, accomplished novels with a … The story highlights the bond of love and affection that the child shares with his parents. Book Four....The Final Conclusion to the Neapolitan novels: What can I say about this book that has yet to be said. What a way to end the year! It is the final story of many of the characters that lived in this town and came in and out of Lila and Elena lives. The two women seem almost halves of a single self, alternate lives in a complexly gender-stratified world. Lupton’s and Thurschwell’s questions are asking valuably uncomfortable questions: they put our enjoyment of Ferrante adjacent to literary tourism on the one hand and to prestige-TV binge-watching on the other. But Ferrante’s books are fully conversant with Beckettian high seriousness: we might recall the series’ epigraph from Goethe’s Faust, the references to difference feminism, the allusions to the Aeneid. In this book, life’s great discoveries have been made; its vagaries and losses have been suffered. These books are intense and emotional and dense, so, for me, it is better to let a few months pass in between one book and the next. Noté /5. Brilliant, though I'm feeling a bit bereft now. I want to thank Elena Ferrante aka Lenu, for writing such an excellent and complete story of the lives of herself and her soulmate-crazy and brilliant best friend, Lila. Copyright © Europa Editions 2021 | Privacy Policy. In this book, life''s great discoveries have been made; its vagaries and losses have been suffered. "Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay" was read this past summer, and I wanted to get this last one read before the year was out. Welcome back. To be alive meant to continually collide with the existence of others and to be collided with.”1 In the Quartet, this becomes as much a narrative as a psychic principle, so that the women’s relationship serves as a portal for others to plug into and out of and thereby to create differently scaled visions of the collective. All four of the volumes of the tetralogy are deeply satisfying, but the last is perhaps the best in bringing together all the strands of the complex world Ferrante creates. I think many prior reviewers, when they refer to "the 1950s," may be thinking of the 1950s in the USA. I expect characters in their 60s to have misgivings, joys and regrets but Elena and especially Lina, loomed larger than life and their senior years are just plain dull. Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. As much as this book is about Elena and Lila’s marriages and families, though, it is still at its core very much about the friendship between the two women. 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