Quentin S. Crisp's The Paris Notebooks was published by Snuggly Books in September 2017.
Information about Quentin S. Crisp:
Quentin S. Crisp was born in 1972, in North Devon, U.K. He studied Japanese at Durham University and graduated in 2000. He has had fiction published by Tartarus Press, PS Publishing, Eibonvale Press and others. He currently resides in Bexleyheath, and is editor for Chômu Press.
Information about The Paris Notebooks:
In 2007, Quentin S. Crisp visited Paris and kept a diary of his stay there and his return to Britain. An experiment in literary improvisation, the Notebooks are also a tribute to mood, moment, image and allusion. Making a virtue of pareidolia, the author sifts through the subjective impressions of cumulative duration in an attempt to distil beauty and truth from the everyday, and to reclaim first-person experience from the ravages of 21st century media saturation.
A REVIEW OF QUENTIN S. CRISP'S THE PARIS NOTEBOOKS
Quentin S. Crisp's The Paris Notebooks is a fascinating experiment in literary improvisation and storytelling, because it tells of the author's visit to Paris in 2007. It's one of the few books of its kind, because there are not many works that can be compared to this one in terms of depth and prose. It's a rewarding and irresistibly thought-provoking reading experience.
If there are readers out there who are not familiar with Quentin S. Crisp, here are a few words about him. His fiction has been published by Tartarus Press, PS Publishing, Eibonvale Press and other presses. He is the author of such works as Rule Dementia!, Shrike, Defeated Dogs, Blue on Blue and The Cutest Girl in Class (with Brendan Connell and Justin Isis).
The Paris Notebooks is an interesting book, because it's something different. Although it has been written by an author who has become known to several readers as an author of literary speculative fiction, it is not speculative fiction, but experimental literary fiction.
One might easily be fooled to think that a book that consists of diary entries would be boring or stale, but this book is excellent and deserves to be read. It's an enjoyable account of what happens to the author, what he thinks about several things and what he does in Paris. It's a deeply rewarding reading experience in many ways. When you read this book, you'll get insight into the author's life and you may be able to understand his fiction in a more profound way.
The diary entries begin at 7th May and end at 31st May. These entries form a compelling narrative structure about being in Paris and returning back to England. I found each of the entries worth reading and was fascinated by the author's way of telling about his feelings and thoughts, because the entries were fascinatingly detailed and vivid.
This book can be seen as a kind of an exploration of life, identity and self, because it covers a period of one month in the author's life. The mood, moments and emotions fluctuate in a realistic way in this book, just as they do in real life. There's a surprising amount of personal and intimate thoughts in the diary entries, because the author doesn't hold anything back, but boldly explores many things. These private thoughts make this book stand out, because some of them are satisfyingly honest and poignant. This is an essential part of the book's charm, because it sheds a bit of light on the author's life back in 2007.
The author's observations about spending time in Paris are insightful and occasionally delightfully sharp. For example, the comparison of English and French landscape is interesting and has a significant affect in evoking a distinct sense of place. What the author writes about art, people and sexuality deepens the reading experience. I enjoyed reading about what the author wrote about paintings and classical music, because his comments were honest.
What makes this book unique is that underneath all the private thoughts, philosophical elements and refined juxtaposition can be found bits and pieces of wisdom. This is one of the reasons why this book is worth reading and can be recommended to many readers.
By the way, if this book awakens an interest in you to explore Quentin S. Crisp's fiction, I say go for it. Don't hesitate to explore his fiction, because you won't regret reading his stories. All of his stories are worth reading, because they're good and well written.
If you're an openminded speculative fiction reader or if you enjoy reading literary fiction, I'm sure that this book will be of interest to you. It's something different and will charm those who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and experience something new. If you like books and stories by such authors as Joel Lane, Nina Allan, David Rix, Brendan Connell and Douglas Thompson, you owe it to yourself to read this book, because it's a charming little gem of literary fiction and experimental fiction, highlighted by the author's evocative prose.