A Book to Cherish and Read Again: A Review of Incidental Inventions by Elena Ferrante

A Book to Cherish and Read Again: A Review of Incidental Inventions by Elena Ferrante

‘This is my last column, after a year that has scared and inspired me.’

Bestselling author of My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante was asked by The Guardianto pen a weekly column. There was no set theme to the column, it could be whatever Elena wished it to be. Starting on 20thJanuary 2018 and finishing on 12thJanuary 2019, for a full year, Elena wrote short pieces – a completely different process to writing a novel – based on questions she asked the editors at The Guardianto send her. The questions prompted Elena to write about mothers, friends, romance, movies, climate change and all manner of subjects. Incidental Inventionsis the collection of these pieces, bound together complete with stunning illustrations by Andrea Ucini. These pieces, while short, give a fantastic insight into both the life of the author and your own life, as you are prompted to think of your own thoughts and feelings on the subject matter.

As Ferrante said in her final column: ‘I have written as an author of novels, taking on matters that are important to me and that — if I have the will and the time — I’d like to develop within real narrative mechanisms.’ These ruminations hold what could be the seeds of possible future novels, but even in short article form, they are inspiring. In the introduction, Ferrante mentions that she thought about organising the articles in a way other than chronologically, to give more meaning to pieces, to create a more thoughtful order. However, they were left in the chronological order they had originally been published in, as their beauty and resonance comes in part from them being such incidental inventions.

Ferrante has been a figure of mystery for a long time, along with being an internationally beloved author and ‘one of the great novelists of our time’ (the New York Times). These articles are beautiful snapshots – and they really are snapshots, not going past a page and a half per topic – into the life of such a renowned and mysterious author. The writing is intoxicating, drawing you deeper and deeper into the world of your own thoughts. You’ll never want to put this book down. It is the perfect gifting book for any fans of Ferrante’s, and even for a writer. It is an inspiring look at what can come from a question being asked, and also the power that words, no matter how brief, can have on someone.

As Ferrante mentions in her last article, her year writing these pieces was a year that scared and inspired her. But for those reading the articles, either at the time of publication, or in this stunning collection, it was a year of possibilities and wonder, of thoughts and fears, of opening yourself up to new possibilities. This a beautiful book, one you will cherish and reread, taking away different things each time you do.

Buy a copy of Incidental Inventions here

About the author

Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the author of seven novels: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love,The Lost Daughter, and the quartet of Neapolitan novels: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child. Fragments, a selection of interviews, letters and occasional writings by Ferrante, will be published in early 2016. She is one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors.

Ann Goldstein has translated all of Elena Ferrante’s work. She is an editor at the New Yorker and a recipient of the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Prize.

Reviews

Inspiring, Thoughtful Writing: Read an Extract From Incidental Inventions by Elena Ferrante

Review | Extract

21 November 2019

Inspiring, Thoughtful Writing: Read an Extract From Incidental Inventions by Elena Ferrante

    Related Articles

    Wonderful! The Perfect Read this Long Weekend: Read a Review of The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker by Joanna Nell

    News

    1 October 2019

    Wonderful! The Perfect Read this Long Weekend: Read a Review of The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker by Joanna Nell

      Impossible to Put Down: Read a Review of Cold Storage by David Koepp

      News

      30 September 2019

      Impossible to Put Down: Read a Review of Cold Storage by David Koepp

        This is Storytelling at its Very Best: Review of The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

        News

        30 September 2019

        This is Storytelling at its Very Best: Review of The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

          An Absolute Pleasure to Read: Here's a Review of The Model Wife by Tricia Stringer

          News

          30 September 2019

          An Absolute Pleasure to Read: Here's a Review of The Model Wife by Tricia Stringer

            A Tragic, Remarkable and Absolutely Mesmerising Australian Tale: Read a Review of The Devil's Grip by Neal Drinnan

            News

            24 September 2019

            A Tragic, Remarkable and Absolutely Mesmerising Australian Tale: Read a Review of The Devil's Grip by Neal Drinnan

              Thrilling, Brilliant Storytelling, Unputdownable… Christian White has Another Hit on his Hands: Read a Review of The Wife and the Widow

              News

              24 September 2019

              Thrilling, Brilliant Storytelling, Unputdownable… Christian White has Another Hit on his Hands: Read a Review of The Wife and the Widow

                Timely, Original and Affecting: A Review of After the Flood by Kassandra Montag

                News

                24 September 2019

                Timely, Original and Affecting: A Review of After the Flood by Kassandra Montag

                  A Delight to Read. Simply Perfect:  A Review of Postscript by Cecelia Ahern

                  News

                  24 September 2019

                  A Delight to Read. Simply Perfect: A Review of Postscript by Cecelia Ahern

                    Exquisite. An Astounding Achievement: Read a Review of Sleep by Catherine Cole

                    News

                    18 September 2019

                    Exquisite. An Astounding Achievement: Read a Review of Sleep by Catherine Cole

                      The Perfect Page-Turner: Read a Review of The Lying Room by Nicci French

                      News

                      17 September 2019

                      The Perfect Page-Turner: Read a Review of The Lying Room by Nicci French

                        Synopsis

                        'This is my last column, after a year that has scared and inspired me.'With these words, Elena Ferrante, the bestselling author of My Brilliant Friend, bid farewell to her year-long collaboration with the Guardian. For a full year she penned short pieces, the subjects of which were suggested by editors at the Guardian, turning the writing process into a kind of prolonged interlocution; the subjects ranged from first love to climate change, from enmity among women to the adaptation of her novels to film and TV. As she said in her final column: 'I have written as an author of novels, taking on matters that are important to me and that — if I have the will and the time — I’d like to develop within real narrative mechanisms.'Here, then, are the seeds of possible future novels, the ruminations of an internationally beloved author, and the abiding preoccupations of a writer who has been called 'one of the great novelists of our time' (the New York Times).Gathered here in a beautiful gift edition and accompanied by a new, original introduction by the author and Andrea Ucini’s intelligent, witty, and beautiful illustrations, this is a must for all Ferrante fans.
                        Elena Ferrante
                        About the author

                        Elena Ferrante

                        Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the author of seven novels: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, The Lost Daughter, and the quartet of Neapolitan novels: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child. Fragments, a selection of interviews, letters and occasional writings by Ferrante, will be published in early 2016. She is one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors.Ann Goldstein has translated all of Elena Ferrante’s work. She is an editor at the New Yorker and a recipient of the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Prize.

                        Books by Elena Ferrante

                        COMMENTS

                        Leave a Reply

                        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *