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Atlantis: Three Tales [Hardcover]

Samuel R. Delany
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

30 Jun 1995
Wesleyan University Press has made a significant commitment to the publication of the work of Samuel R. Delany, including this recent fiction, now available in paperback. The three long stories collected in Atlantis: three tales -- ""Atlantis: Model 1924,"" ""Erik, Gwen, and D. H. Lawrence's Aesthetic of Unrectified Feeling,"" and ""Citre et Trans"" -- explore problems of memory, history, and transgression. Winner of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, and Guest of Honor at the 1995 World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow, Delany was won a broad audience among fans of postmodern fiction with his theoretically sophisticated science fiction and fantasy. The stories of Atlantis: three tales are not SF, yet Locus, the trade publication of the science fiction field, notes that the title story ""has an odd, unsettling power not usually associated with mainstream fiction."" A writer whose audience extends across and beyond science fiction, black, gay, postmodern, and academic constituencies, Delany is finally beginning to achieve the broader recognition he deserves.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan U.P. (30 Jun 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819552836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819552839
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 15.9 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,116,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Delany, who's best known for his science fiction, takes a variety of literary turns in these three novellas that chronicle the experience of the African American writer in the 20th century . . . Balanced and full of intricate layers of prose, these novellas present a potpourri literary references, detailed flashbacks and experimental page layouts. Delany seamlessly meshes graceful prose, cultural and philosophical depth and a knowledge of different forms and voices into a truly heady, literate blend."--Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

SAMUEL R. DELANY many prizes include the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime's contribution to gay and lesbian literature. Wesleyan has published both his fiction and nonfiction, including Atlantis: three tales (1995), Silent Interviews: On Language, Race, Sex, Science Fiction, and Some Comics (1994), Longer Views: Extended Essays (1996), and Shorter Views: Queer Thoughts & the Politics of the Paraliterary. The press has also reissued his classic science fiction and fantasy novels Dhalgren (1996), The Einstein Intersection (1998) and the four-volume Return to Neverÿon series. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Extended Sam 16 Nov 2003
Format:Hardcover
Delany once again has delivered something new and different with these three tales of different Sams.
The first story, Atlantis: Model 1924 deals with a teenage Sam coming to New York for the first time in 1924 and details his early experiences and impressions of this modern stand-in for Atlantis (note that Delany was born in 1942). Rife with metaphor and allegory, and told using some post-modern literary techniques including multiple story lines on the same page and marginalized notes, the defining point of this story is Sam’s first trip across the Brooklyn Bridge, and the poet/writer he meets there (who is possibly an older version of Sam himself?). While not an easy story to read due to its structure, by the end of the story all the various story threads, notes, observations, and characters come together in a defining moment of epiphany.
The second story time shifts us to the early fifties, where a middle-school age Sam is introduced to the world of music and art in what was, for that time, a very progressive school. His portrait of what art really is, how its definition has changed, and its importance to himself and to the world is neatly balanced by this Sam’s early introduction into the vagaries of sex. Some fine, if brief, character portraits round out this quiet story.
The last story deals with a Sam in his early twenties in Greece, and is probably the most factually based of the three stories, given that he has mentioned some of the incidents of this story in several of his other works. It is a very dark and depressing story, and details a homosexual rape and the necessity for one of Sam’s lady friends to kill her dog.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Extended Sam 13 Jan 2002
By Patrick Shepherd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Delany once again has delivered something new and different with these three tales of different Sams.
The first story, Atlantis: Model 1924 deals with a teenage Sam coming to New York for the first time in 1924 and details his early experiences and impressions of this modern stand-in for Atlantis (note that Delany was born in 1942). Rife with metaphor and allegory, and told using some post-modern literary techniques including multiple story lines on the same page and marginalized notes, the defining point of this story is Sam's first trip across the Brooklyn Bridge, and the poet/writer he meets there (who is possibly an older version of Sam himself?). While not an easy story to read due to its structure, by the end of the story all the various story threads, notes, observations, and characters come together in a defining moment of epiphany.
The second story time shifts us to the early fifties, where a middle-school age Sam is introduced to the world of music and art in what was, for that time, a very progressive school. His portrait of what art really is, how its definition has changed, and its importance to himself and to the world is neatly balanced by this Sam's early introduction into the vagaries of sex. Some fine, if brief, character portraits round out this quiet story.
The last story deals with a Sam in his early twenties in Greece, and is probably the most factually based of the three stories, given that he has mentioned some of the incidents of this story in several of his other works. It is a very dark and depressing story, and details a homosexual rape and the necessity for one of Sam's lady friends to kill her dog. Some very rough material here that may not be to everyone's taste, but delivered with Delany's typical fine sense of language, pacing, and character.
All three tales have much to offer, each in completely different ways, and each presents a different 'side' of Sam. How much is autobiographical, how much is pure fiction is almost impossible to define, but the reader will finish this book with a better understanding of not just Delany but also the entire world and the social interactions that help define what it is to be human.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by Michael Cunningham 26 April 2000
By Thomas G. Kohn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I read this book on the recommendation of Michael Cunningham (The Hours), who said, "If Samual Delany were writing in the same innovative, intelligent way and his books were not science fiction, he'd be know to every serious reader and not just a relatively small band of us."
Need I say, "I agree?"
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