Una donna americana sta leggendo tutto il catalogo...
August 25, 2016 12:58 PM   Subscribe

New York City's Karen Barbarossa is reading the Biblioteca Adelphi catalogue, in order, from 1965 through now. All of it. That's 653 titles, to date.
posted by adamgreenfield (7 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Ambitious! The Adelphi volumes are so appealing: I always loved the look of them and bought a few during my couple of years in Italy, even though my Italian was never up to the job of actually reading them. None of them have survived my several relocations since then, alas.
posted by misteraitch at 1:42 PM on August 25, 2016

I love these "do all of something" projects.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:44 PM on August 25, 2016

I've always wondered about (or at) Adelphi's success.

Their editorial line is not dissimilar to that of HM Enzensberger's Die andere Bibliothek (though it's only close to three hundred volumes, and focuses on a more rarified bibliophile audience).
posted by progosk at 3:03 PM on August 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Madness. Beautiful madness.
posted by Pendragon at 3:06 PM on August 25, 2016

This Karen Barbarossa is my kind of people.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:47 PM on August 25, 2016

It looks like a great catalogue and thanks to my voracious reading of Simenon, Perutz and Borges, it looks like I could already check many titles off my list if I decided to attempt this too.

This Wikipedia article provides a readable catalogue. I've been looking for Italian literature and I think I might give Manganelli's Centuria a try. From an English review:

"Giorgio Manganelli describes the contents of Centuria as "one hundred romans fleuves". They are a hundred stories, of roughly equal, one-page length, and while they can't offer the expansive detail and turning plots of real novels, Manganelli does compress a great deal into most of them.
Manganelli writes with great precision, and these stories are crafted like those by Borges or Monterroso, the wild imaginings contrasting with the exacting style. The stories are incredibly varied -- indeed, far from growing stale or repetitious, the collection gains energy in its variations and echoes.
There are ghost-stories and there is the surreal (a woman gives birth to a twenty-centimetre sphere). There is the grand -- stories describing the day before the Creation of the World, or, in one of the true stand-outs, the demise of the dinosaurs -- and the mundane. Characters meet themselves or are condemned to non-existence. Temporal confusion is often an issue -- so for the pensive and dispirited man faced with the conundrum of loving three women, two who lived long before he was born, another who won't be born for another two centuries. The possibility of death, of killing or being killed, are often at issue too. "

posted by vacapinta at 2:14 AM on August 26, 2016

vacapinta—I can vouch for Centuria (at least the English translation of it): the individual stories struck me as a little flat to begin with, but a large part of the pleasure of the book, as I recall, is in the cumulative effect of the connections between them all.
posted by misteraitch at 2:33 AM on August 26, 2016

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