Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

Ursule Molinaro


Encores for a Dilettante
by Ursule Molinaro

Hardcover
1977
Price: $17.95

Paperback
1977
Price: $9.95

Buy


About the author:


Ursule Molinaro's work has been published in France, Japan, Italy, and England. Encores for a Dillettante, as well as her latest novel, The Autobiography of Cassandra, Princess & Prophetess of Troy are scheduled to appear in Canada, in French translation.


She has also written many short stories and plays, and has translated fiction from French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. She is a resident of New York City, where she paints animal jungles in oil on wood, in a Neo-Haitian Primitive style.


About Encores for a Dilettante:


On the morning of his 45th birthday, a youthful-looking Professor of English Literature finds himself sitting cross-legged on an unfamiliar hotel bed. Once again his freckle-faced reddish-haired Irish concert-harpist wife has walked out on him.


Flying faster & faster non-stop against the rising sun, he begins to perceive the imprint he has left in time: backing into his wife-less apartment the evening before into the parting scene one of his many girlfriends made him several years earlier into a brief previous life as a clammy little girl into 17th century England, where he was a printer, leveler, & ladies' man, about to be hanged into 14th century Rome, where he was a gout-ridden high priest & finally into pre-recorded history, when he was a Happy Hermaphrodite, worshipped as a living symbol of fertility.

A freckle-faced reddish-haired Irish-looking chambermaid intrudes to clean the room …

"…takes us through wonderfully funny patterns of social observations and ingenious wit… Ursule Molinaro is one of the most gifted novelists we have." —Joseph McElroy about The Borrower (Harper & Row)

"One happy sign of the times is that the style in which this witty, sad novel is written need no longer be described as 'experimental'… Miss Molinaro deserves congratulations and lots of readers for pulling off such a feat…" —Sara Blackburn in Bookworld about Sounds of a Drunken Summer (Harper & Row)

"Molinaro's new novel is further evidence that the realm of literary art is not determined by national boundary lines." —Kenneth Atchity about Green Lights are Blue (New American Library)

Excerpt


He realizes that he knows very little about his wife's long life before their marriage. He knows only that she was not a virgin when they first made love. Not that he had expected her to be a virgin, at close to 30, when they first made love. In spite of her being Irish; & playing the harp. Under a potted palm in a French restaurant a different French restaurant

Where he first saw her. Projecting an image of patched purity & drooping Icarus wings.

Perhaps she has abandoned more than one orphan to the potluck of the Irish, in order to be a harpist rather than a mother. Other sons who've had to make their own motherless millions.

Chrys Cronyn has earned his money. Playing Orphan Annie on nation-wide TV in drag under an assumed name. Now he wants to be a saint, under his own name, to honor the father & mother he's never known. Preach childlike simplicity, & spend what he has earned on bringing peace to the world. Beginning with Vietnam.

He counts on winning the Indo-Chinese over to the American way of life by bombing both sides with mickey mouse watches. Which will subtly disconnect them from the Chinese calendar; which is in the year of the Rat. Once they're hooked on good time play-time USA, they won't want to continue dying for survival. They won't want to fight other nations' economic battles in their rice paddies. Hanoi & Saigon will shake hands. Surrender to each other, & go on welfare.

He has faith in the child in man, regardless of race, creed, or calendar. He has yet to meet a man who doesn't enjoy taking a watch apart.