Is still too close to being an insecure bookish not uite teenager any with major self esteem issues Even a few years ago I think reading this might have sent me into a depressive melodramatic spiral like when I saw Melancholia which had to have been the literal worst thing I could have chosen to see while writing my thesis in a foreign country at a school full of people smarter than me I saw it three times and lost a weekend before I could see straight againWhich is what may happen with Elena Ferrante Which is totally insane when you read these books objectively Or at least I think it would be I have no way of really telling right now Her style is for the most part this totally bare bald faced thing that ust tells you exactly what is happening to her characters in their mundane perfectly ordinary 1960s poor Italian lives The engine driving the drama that the things that keep happening keep right on damn happening to them and the second volume is no better Ferrante is as merciless as time marching on without a thought for her characters and their development who really could use some time in this stage of their personal development or other Ferrante like the harsh Naples neighborhood she raises her characters in doesn t allow herself to give a damn I can absolutely guarantee you whatever you sign up for you should sign up for some shit happens and very little mercy granted because that s how it goes with Ferrante Sometimes I think that the main narrator s school and career arc is the mercy bone she threw us ust to keep us from looking awayThe second volume of this series focuses on the girls late adolescence and post adolescence the years that for most of us would be covered by late high school college and your first post college ob As with the first novel the pages of the novel are covered over with a powerful atmosphere that burns right through the pages until you re sitting right with Lila and Elena with sand in your outdated bathing suit on the beach at Ischia standing on a street corner watching a too flashy sports car go by catching a glimpse of a movie star that looks like your friend with Elena in a cramped corner of a bedroom like a modern Italian Fanny Price angrily swatting at mosuitoes and trying to keep still in the suffocating heat The courtyards of broken glass wailing from the windows and women uncommented upon wearing bruises to work the next day is as sickeningly evoked as ever One of the fascinating atmospheric elements that Ferrante added demonstrated the stage of development where you become aware that you are not the center of the universe in a variety of ways in this case for characters living in poverty and powerlessness most of them borne in forcibly upon you whether you like it or not Ferrante starts to introduce the gradual intrusion of politics and political identity tellingly it mostly shows in one tribal identity one way for the kids to divide themselves mostly in increased accusations of Fascist pig and Red communist thrown around in place of remarks on one s face and person and one kid going to one meeting and one going to another Elena also encounters this world but again not in itself but as a piece of currency in the game of the class system another piece of another kind of tribal mask that she s trying hard to don Professor Airota and his daughter had for example affectionate skirmishes on political subjects that I had heard about from Pasuale from Nino but whose substance I knew almost nothing about Arguments like you ve been trapped by inter class collaboration you call it a trap I call it mediation mediation in which the Christian Democrats always and only win you re not reforming a thing in our place what would you do revolution revolution and revolution revolution is taking Italy out of the middle ages Like that a swift back and forth a polemical exercise that they both obviously enjoyed What I had never had and I now knew would always lack What was it I wasn t able to say precisely the training perhaps to feel that the uestions of the world were deeply connected to me the capacity to feel them as crucial and not purely as information to display at an exam in view of a good grade a mental conformation that didn t reduce everything to my own individual battle to the effort to be successful That one hit me hard This is is a really tough book on the class system and the unseen building damage that it does to the psyche The sort of psychology on display here is the sort of thing I learned in my urban teacher training program or learned first hand when faced with some of my students Elena spends a great deal of the back half of this book anxiously trying to decode and adopt the unwritten rules of being middle class the words the clothes what I was trained to call the cultural knapsack that middle class kids often get seemingly by osmosis Ferrante shows the utter human waste that happens as a result invisible waste as far as we re concerned the brilliant minds that never get a chance to take over the world the fruit seller who is unexpectedly good at math the entrepreneurial ideas crushed by self confidence issues and family suabbles It s much harder to look at than any of the wasted landscapes or shabby apartments that she describesAnd watching Elena sew her middle class mask onto her face tighter and tighter laboring at it for years and watching the ugly ugly road that it takes to get there of which Ferrante only tells you the barest part but it isn t hard to guess it well did anyone else watch Battlestar Galatica Do you remember that time Baltar was in ail after fucking up yet and he talks "To Lee I Think "Lee I think opening up to him a little bit about where he s from Fuck I wish I could find it But while he s talking to him hanging his head in the darkness with his hair covering his face he slowly lets his cultured British accent morph into a thick gravelly hick voice that is clearly his natural tone He makes it as scary as possible throwing it at aristocratic Lee like a weapon moving to the bars with red eyes like he s morphing himself into the monster he believes himself to be It s like that but mannered expressed in ladylike spare lines like this I was so glad that no one in that nice little family had asked me as happened freuently where I came from what my father did and my mother I was I I I It makes sense why later in the novel there s a passage about how so many characters are confused when Lila wants to go take a ob in the center of the city She s a veritable ueen in the old neighborhood and can lord it over anyone there lend them money show them up in clothes people are now afraid to cross her Why would she want to go to the nicer part of town where her illusions will be shattered Why would she want to take that away that illusion from herselfThis class angle had a lot to do with the ugly place I was telling you about before which is the deep seeded insecurity that runs throughout this entire book But while class and place and atmosphere are the bedrock reasons the insecurity I m talking about here has to do with friendship This series is after all about a friendship No matter what other powerful stuff buttresses it under the surface that provided it with its foundation we re far enough along into the lives of these girls that the frie Loved it ust as much the 2nd time reading it I adore these characters and would read 100 books about them 45 stars Update Bumping this one up to a 5 stars because after a few months of thinking about it it s definitely my favorite in the series I keep finding myself thinking of certain scenes and elements of this installment and I love it I m not sure if I can write a coherent review of this book right now There are so many layers to this story so much to unpack and yet still as this is book 2 of 4 so much left to discover I am incredibly impressed by Ferrante s ability to develop characters that are real real than almost any other characters I have read before They have ambition are flawed fight and love and inspireThere is high probability I will come back and give this book a 5 star rating later but for now I want to finish the series and accumulate my thoughts Oh and this book has one of the best pages of literature I ve ever read so there s that I can t wait to read books 3 4 From L amie prodigieuse Choice of roleYou can be either a bad girl or a good girl When you have played a bit you can even try combining these two roles See Advanced options belowBad girlIf you are a bad girl you will be able to speak your mind and express your sexuality freely but you will be beaten raped and called a whore and a witch You may also be subjected to other punishments such as being disowned by your family or forced into a dangerous and poorly remunerated ob Good girlIf you are a good girl you will be grudgingly accepted by society but you will have to work twenty four hours a day to learn the complex rules you need to follow you will constantly feel that you are a fraud and an imposter and you will need to sleep with people who do not attract you while pretending that they do Goal of the gameYour goal is to have children and live long enough to see them grow up only mildly damaged You will find that this is harder than it sounds but that s all part of. Itment and above all friendship these are signs under which both women live out this phase in their stories Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila and the pressure to excel is at times too much for Elena Yet the two young women share a complex and evolving bond that is central to their emotional lives and is a source of strength in the face of life's challenges In these Neapolitan Novels Elena Ferrante the acclaimed author of The Days of Abandonment gives readers a poignant and universal story about friendship and belonging.
Download Storia del nuovo cognomeElena Ferrante is an absolute marvel This was utterly ravishing How does she do it Structurally her novels could hardly be conservative her subject matter the fraught friendship of two women has been done to death And yet you re constantly left with the feeling that no one has ever done what she does before Or at least no one has done it with such searing insight and freshness Only a handful of writers can undress and get to the heart of women as lucidly and thrillingly as Ferrante The first hundred pages especially were uite simply a dazzling display of a writer removing all the paint and powder from a woman s face mask and showing us the naked truths beneath Ferrante is like a kind of dream psychoanalysis She dispels all the fog unravels all the knots of a woman s deepest feeling and elucidates in simple language the fount the hidden motive She always knows the secret as to why her women are doing what they do She once said in an interview that her ambition was to make the facts of ordinary life gripping She achieves this by elucidating the emotionalmotivational source of many of these facts She also has this extraordinary talent for easing into her narrative and explaining difficult subjects without sacrificing a single beat of the fabulous driving momentum of her story There are no divergences in this novel every line is intrinsic to understanding Elena and Lila s struggles to achieve identity and autonomy For example the domestic violence in this novel is all the powerfully disturbing for the lack of emphasis she gives it as if it s no extraordinary than a trip to the shops It makes the domestic violence in for example A Girl Is a Half formed Thing seem written up and theatrical In fact the ease with which she feeds hugely complex and pivotal experience into her narrative makes most other contemporary novelists seem a bit written up and theatrical There s a fleet footed breeziness to Ferrante s storytelling which is uite simply bewitching in its ease of assurance I put off reading this for ages because for some reason I thought it might be a disappointment after My Brilliant Friend On the contrary it s even better For your whole life you love people and you never really know who they are Nunzia to Len p215This one s a heartbreake I m still a bit puzzled about the phenomen that Ferrante s cycle is I don t find writing particuralry brilliant I think I didn t mark any single uote here and yet enjoyed the story I thought it was very predictible at times I could see what was coming and mostly hadn t been suprised by the course of events and still kept reading I can t say it was innovative or imaginative yet Ferrante managed to draw me in her world entirely Maybe I m mistaken but as I mentioned in the review of MBF I still haven t spotted in the second volume anything to not maintain that Ferrante is excorcising her past Her writing here feels too intimate too personal to think about this one only as a fictional story Perhaps her case is similar to other writers including Edward St Aubyn and his Patrick Melrose or My struggle by Karl Ove Knausg rd that I m reading now and this is her way to deal with the demons of the past a necessary step on the way to move on to finally let goI ve returned to Lila and Elena story after over two years and I find myself still engaged in their story and difficult friendship the relationship that actually feels like challenging than supporting each others I was suprised how easily I entered their lives again and how much I rememberd from the previous tome Of course some names eluded me but the main protagonists didn t fade in my memory Like in the first installment this one bases on choices girls had made already and its aftermaths It s useless to describing the plot for you either buy this story or not either you re involved and concerned their fates or are bored and somewhat dismissive like you know such things still happen so what s the point to write hundreds pages about it I for my part was really engaged from the first page and thought that strength of the novel lies ust in this meticulous description this detailed dissection this ugly at times mundanity and sheer ordinariness of their lives The Story of a New Name is about losing old self and identity and by adopting a new name the husband s name forging the new one It s about struggling to remain oneself in mostly man s world where masculine point of view is sanctity and it s highly unreasonable to defy established order It s about violence womens were still subjected to and time honoured agreement to it It s about humilitian that not only fathers or husbands deliver but also women to themselves It s about attempting to break the vicious circle of poverty and misery by abandoning not only family home not even a uarter and neighbourhood but also a city if it needsLila s figure is complicated one and she is far reckless rebellious and untamed than in the first volume she hurts and degradates Elena because she herself is a victim Their relationship once again This novel broke my heart It broke my heart so badly that I had to stop reading it for a few days to recoverThis is the second book of Elena Ferrante s Neapolitan series and it follows Elena and Lila from their teenage years and into their early 20s Their neighborhood in Naples is still rough and violent in the 1960s but Lila s marriage to the wealthy grocer Stefano allows her to climb out of the poverty The two friends were often competitive especially about school but in book two they are also competitive about menWhich brings me to why this novel broke my heart It s hard to talk about this book without spoilers so I shall hide it for those who don t want to know yet view spoilerElena who is our narrator has been in love with Nino Sarratore since they were children Nino is smart and driven but also uiet and elusive While on vacation the beautiful Lila steals Nino away and the two begin an affair Lila insists she s fallen in love with Nino and wants to leave her husband Meanwhile Elena is so depressed over losing her chance with Nino that she ends up in a situation where she s seduced you could also say raped by Nino s creepy father hide spoiler This is a marvelous novel with heart and soul Neapolitan heart and soul that is The second installment in the famous Elena Ferrante tetralogy for me anyway exceeded the first book in originality and
Plot Line I Foundline I found moving and a very uick read despite its nearly 500 page lengthFor this review I wanted to focus on the title and the importance of names in Ferrante s work First off there is it seems to me a Proustian reference here to Le nom du pays Le nom which is the somewhat ambiguous subtitle of one of the early sections of La Recherche du Temps Perdu There are some similarities between Proust s style of describing Marcel s youth to how Ms Ferrante describes Elena s youth There is also a second subtle Proustian techniue we learn in this book that the narrator writes her first book and publishes it under her name Elena and we know the author s name is given as Elena so as the same ambiguity exists between Marcel and Elena the narrators Marcel and Elena the characters and Marcel and Elena the authors of the book Underneath this in the narrative itself names play a huge role in the story The and I apologize for the overwrought term ambiguity once again ambiguous frontier between ElenaLinaLenucchia and LilaLen is apparent in their names and their nicknames As an aside is it me or does the Italian language have an incredible plethora of nicknames Elena s search for identity is complex and goes through ups and downs a reason for this is precisely how hard it is for her to distinguish herself from Lila in her own head complex because their trajectories their looks their families are both so incredibly different and yet Elena has this magnetic inevitable attraction to her friend and this impedes her search for selfWe pick up the lives of Lila and Elena in the 60s after Lila s mariage to Stefano and during Elena s studies in high school and at university in Pisa The themes that were present in My Brilliant Friend resonate here once again especially those of the subjugation of women and the problems of class Elena s sexual initiation and the battering of Lila by Stefano serve as examples of the former whereas both characters struggles to escape the Neopolitan slums permeate both of their stories What fascinates me as a reader is the raw realistic descriptions of Elena s success in gaining some recognition in good society and her complex feelings of shame and pride that envelope her As for Lila her attempts to escape her disastrous mariage lead her to mistreat Elena time and time again and despite her heart stopping beauty and sensuality she seems inescapably tied to the neighborhood the Camorra as represented by the Solari brothers and her dialect which binds her to her fate as well What also strikes me is the lucid interpretation of the characters actions When Nino kisses Elena on the cheek and then fatefully Lila In his view it meant Let s get rid of all the filters that prevent us from fully savoring our being here and now real p 223 This Is Actually Another Theme actually another theme the book how do we live authentically despite the constraints of our culture and our. In 2012 Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend introduced readers to the unforgettable Elena and Lila whose lifelong friendship provides the backbone for the Neapolitan Novels The Story of a New Name is the second book in this series With these books which the New Yorker's James Wood described as large captivating amiably peopled a beautiful and delicate tale of confluence and reversal Ferrante proves herself to be one of Italy's most accomplished storytellers She writes vividly about a specific neighborhood of Naples from the. ,
Upbringing The dialogs are rapid fire and full of irony and meaning I regret that I cannot read in Italian because I imagine that the passages between Italian and dialect and the intertextual inferences must be even better in the original The perception of our own self deception on a daily basis also pervades the text There are moments when we resort to senseless formulations and advance absurd claims to hide straightforward feelings p 271 is a lucid truth that is observed by the narrator again and again Time and time again Elena is led down corridors of moral ambivalence I was there on the island the air stirred by the cab s movement assailed me with the intense odors of the vegetation from which the night was evaporating But it was a mortified presence submissive to the demands of others p 284 In this way both Naples and Ischia are also characters in the story in how they form the personality of the protagonists The real problem for Elena is her own lack of self identity self love Their passion invaded me disturbed me I loved them both and so I couldn t love myself feel myself affirm myself with a need for life of my own one that had the same blind mute force as theirs So it seemed to me p 284 There is a gorgeous passage on page 289 of soul searching on the beach where we feel her pain her alienation from herself that was literally painful to read Lila is right the beauty of things is a trick the sky is the throne of fear Powerful words Water and the sea are a consistent metaphor for the narrator s self loathing And if on the surface my condition might seem solid compact here instead beside Lila I felt sodden earth too soaked with water p 294 Yet it is at this point after the fateful night away from Nunzio that Elena starts to change once again and find herself This passage was brilliant And her life continuously appears in mine in the words that I ve uttered in which there s often an echo of hers in a particular gesture that is an adaptation of a gesture of hers in my less which is such because of her in my which is the yielding to the force of her less Not to mention what she never said but let me guess what I didn t know and read later in her notebooks Thus the story of the facts has to reckon with filters deferments partial truths half lies from it comes an arduous measurement of time passed that is based completely on the unreliable measuring device of words p 337 And yet those words are where Elena will find vindication and meaning as she is finally able to put them on paper and write her first book This comes of course after tribulation in Pisa where Elena feels the social distance between her and the academic society Gone was the pleasure of re educating my voice my gestures my way of dressing and walking as if I were competing for the prize of the best disguise the mask worn so well that is was almost a face p 400 This passage reminded me a lot of the Bal des Masues in Le Temps Retrouv And it is precisely at this moment of reflection that she writes her book I can t wait to read the third volume of this series and can t emphasize enough how engaging a read these books are I hope my review will incite you to read or reread this magnificent book C mon library hurry up 45 starsYes it s Lila who makes writing difficult My life forced me to imagine what hers would have been if what happened to me had happened to her what use she would have made of my luck And her life continuously appears in mine in the words that I ve uttered in which there s often an echo of hers in my less which is such because of her in my which is the yielding to the force of her lessThis second book in Elena Ferrante s Neapolitan series continues the story of two childhood friends now young adults Lila and Elena Just as riveting as My Brilliant Friend The Story of a New Name captured my attention from page one It s uite dramatic really and I found that at times my head was spinning from the depth of the penetrating look at the lives behaviors motivations and innermost thoughts of this pair Now a book that sets my head spinning can be a good thing and it was here An accomplished writer like Ferrante can draw you in like you are watching the drama play out right in front of you It did reuire however a step back from time to time to relax and catch my breath A bit of re energizing is necessary to take it all in Imagine yourself a teenager still with all the complexities of emotions the uncertainties the ealousies and the sometimes rash behaviors attributed to you and your friends and acuaintances But now add in a degree of poverty that most of us are fortunately not accustomed to violence that I pray most are not subjected to and the expectations and obstacles faced by women in the late 1950s and early 1960s This is precisely what Lila and Elena deal with and what we as readers are privy to through the lens provided to us Now if you haven t read the first book in the series you lens provided
"to us now "us Now you haven t read the first book in the series you want to stop reading this review at this point I m not revealing any spoilers but I personally didn t want any details before reading and you may feel the same I ust want to talk about Lila and Elena a little bit Throughout the novel I found myself reflecting on the two and who was better off who the stronger of the two characters etc I think the opening uote to my review really sums up the relationship between the two and I came to my own conclusion whether right or wrong that each completes the other Elena may have had educational opportunities but without the encouragement of Lila as well as a
Sense Of Competition Sheof competition she not have had the drive to take advantage of those opportunities Lila finds herself in a marriage that does not suit her from the beginning but she will fight for something She has material possessions and after all wasn t that the dream these two had as little girls Wasn t that the goal of going to school and receiving an education They wanted to become rich But happiness is elusive Perhaps riches are not enough Is it too late to re make oneself and achieve something I think Lila can sustain herself knowing that Elena has been successful with her studies Maybe there are ways to rise above the poverty and the violence of the neighborhood other than money The narrative is written from Elena s point of view but we also get occasional glimpses from Lila s point of view through a series of notebooks she entrusted to Elena Notebooks that Elena was not given permission to read but that is neither here nor there If your best friend gave you her diary for safekeeping what would you do Maybe your friend gave you the diary because she couldn t express the deepest feelings in her heart and she knew that you would not be able to resist In this way you can share your thoughts in a less confrontational manner perhaps I don t really know but it was certainly a clever means for us to glean than ust Elena s point of view here I don t know that I can say much about this book or this series it s one that I could contemplate for an indefinite amount of time So much happens in these pages but none of it is confusing There are a lot of names and variations of names for the same person A guide at the front of the book helps with this Otherwise it flows seamlessly and is written skillfully There is drama but I don t mean to say it s melodramatic Not in the least I will admit that it is addicting Oh and that ending I will read the next in the series albeit with a bit of a break in between I finished Elena Ferrante s second volume a few hours ago and I m overwhelmed by her power She writes with her fingers stuck inside a electric plug She drills and drills all the way through the tiniest sensation till she reaches raw matter The story of the New Name is even entrancing than My brilliant friend the first volume of the trilogy which I devoured Lila and Lena the two protagonists of volume one are now two women Their love hate relationship grows intricate so does their intellectual competition What a wonderful deep contradictory at times morbid violent yet luminous yet brilliant world does Ferrante s voice evoke I urge you to get your hands on this magnificent saga What s your ugly placeWe all have one We all have a place we uite deliberately do not go to That we are aware is there but have developed systems and defensive walls and okes and denials in order to keep it out of the light of day It s the place you can t help but end up sometimes when something particularly embarrassing happens to you something tragic an epiphany about yourself that you didn t particularly want occurs to you It s the place where you were the person you never ever wanted to be lives and the memories of when that person came out that one time that you never want to think about againThat deep down dark pit of your stomach feeling that s welling up and over as that image comes to your brain That s it That s the visceral level of vulnerability insecurity ugliness and pain that I saw there And there is where you need to be to understand everything I m about to tell youBecause that place is where this novel goes This thing hit me where I live Which means as you can probably tell already that reading Story of a New Name is not something I would recommend for anyone in a fragile emotional state It isn t for anyone who. Late 1950s through to the current day and about two remarkable young women who are very much the products of that place and time Yet in doing so she has created a world in which readers will recognize themselves and has drawn a marvelously nuanced portrait of friendshipIn The Story of a New Name Lila has recently married and made her entrée into the family business; Elena meanwhile continues her studies and her exploration of the world beyond the neighborhood that she so often finds stifling Love ealousy family freedom comm.