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Chasm: A Weekend (Virago Modern Classics)

‘Tanning’s fictional debut unquestionably deserves to be recognised as a complete artistic success . . . Tanning has assembled all the ingredients necessary for an extraordinary drama of love and betrayal, jealousy and regret . . . told in confident, fluid prose highlighted by passages of hallucinatory beauty’ Guardian

In the stark beauty of the desert, a mansion built by a madman rears its impudent architecture like an insult.

The estate is called Windcote, ‘its very name a masquerade’, and its master, the odious Raoul Meridian, has invited a group of guests to spend a weekend, during the course of which they will find themselves driven by obsessions and confusions unlike any they’ve experienced before. Untouched by the fevers and failures around her is the indomitable child Destina, who will lead them into the heart of a mysterious canyon, where desire and cruelty forge an implacable truth.

‘It seems hardly fair that Dorothea Tanning, in a long, passionately inventive career as a painter, should have acquired as well the other harmony of prose, and that her passionate inventions as a writer should be so lovingly, so wisely resolved’ Richard Howard

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Anonymous says:

surreal writing at its best No doubt about it: this book is difficult to enjoy. However, if one is familiar with surrealist -oriented writing, it is a bit easier. this book, like other writings in its genre, works with moving the reader from the conscious to the subconscious and the unconscious…. and back again, multiple times in its brief 150+ pages. therefore, one must be willing to suspend the need for constantly-changing scenes, lots of dialogue and action, and the shifting of time. it is a “dreamy” type of…

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