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Balzac's Coffee, DaVinci's Ristorante

Balzac's Coffee, DaVinci's Ristorante

by Mark Axelrod
Publication Date: 17/05/2017
In Mark Axelrod's new book, marketplace crudity and the immortal artist intersect in a riotous and outrageous fashion. Discover the chain of restaurants run by Flaubert's researchers Bouvard and Pecuchet; how an iconic fragrance arose from the erectile dysfunction of J.S. Bach; where Octave Mirabeau consummated his masterpiece L'Erotic Biblion; General Pinochet and Borges's contretemps involving olive oil; Faulkner's stint tinkering with lawnmowers; Musil's muesli; and other secret histories. A companion to Axelrod's Borges's Travel, Hemingway's Garage (FC2), this book is an hilarious parody of literary trivia, a light-hearted satire on the commoditisation of art, and an irresistible, imaginative fancy.

"Mark Axelrod is one of my favourite American authors, blackly humorous and insightful, able to work with social and political critique without being in the least bit sanctimonious or pamphletary. Axelrod's writing is a panoply of novel ideas, surprisingly and elating, extremely intelligent. I admire his ability to play, not only with words, but also the baggage of culture, in a style that bridges American and Latin American approaches to literature." -- Luisa Valenzuela

"Borges' Travel, Hemingway's Garage is a whimsical collection focused on the imaginary commercial lives of debt-ridden cultural heroes desperate to stave off bankruptcy. In a humorous, deadpan style, Axelrod reports on the philosophical quarrels between Leibniz and Newton that fueled the competition between dueling cookie franchises Choco Leibniz and Fig Newtons confides that Balzac helped invent basketball (hence Balzac's Balls of Newport Beach); and confirms that at Ravel Shoes, in Paris, the best-selling item is, not surprisingly, Bolero Boots." -- Diane Cole, The NY Times
Contemporary fiction
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