DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD for Mircea Cărtărescu!

The world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English is worth 100.000 Euro and was given today in Dublin to the Romanian author and his American translator Sean Cotter. Rights sold to 17 countries. Finnis and Icelandic rights are still available!The judging pannel commented:By turns wildly inventive, philosophical, and lyrical, with passages of great beauty, Solenoid is the work of a major European writer who is still relatively little known to English-language readers.  Sean Cotter’s translation of the novel sets out to change that situation, capturing the lyrical precision of the original, thereby opening up Cartarescu’s work to an entirely new readership.

WINNER of the Dublin Literary Award 2024 and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize 2022

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2022 by the New Yorker, Publishers Weekly, The Financial Times, Words Without Borders

A highly-acclaimed master work of fiction from Mircea Cărtărescu, author of Blinding, Solenoid is an existence (and eventually a cosmos) created by forking paths.

A young man reaps scorn and ridicule in his literary circle when he reads from his text  The Decline. Rather than becoming the celebrated writer he hoped to be, he takes up a teaching position at school number 86 in a suburb of Bucharest. But when this nameless narrator buys a house in the form of a ship, he falls under the spell of the Solenoid, a giant magnet coil located below the cellar. Its gravitational force does not pull downwards, however, but elevates everything in its immediate vicinity: people, objects – even reality itself.

Mircea Cartarescu’s monumental novel is based on the simple realisation that there is more between heaven and earth than we suspect. The result is a work filled with the art and obsession of its creator.

Solenoid . . . is a novel made from other novels, a meticulously borrowed piece of hyperliterature. Kleist’s cosmic ambiguity, the bureaucratic terror of Kafka, the enchantments of García Márquez and Bruno Schulz’s labyrinths are all recognizable in Cărtărescu’s anecdotes, dreams and journal entries. That fictive texture is part and parcel of the novel’s sense of unreality, which not only blends the pedestrian and the bizarre, but also commingles many features of the literary avant-garde. Although the narrator himself is largely critical of literature . . . he also affirms the possibility inherent in the “bitter and incomprehensible books” he idolizes. In this way, he plays both critic and apologist throughout, a delicious dialectic whose final, ravishing synthesis exists in the towering work of Solenoid“ —Dustin Illingworth, New York Times

„Instead of delivering a sharp, succinct punch, Solenoid goes the way of the oceanic—rejecting brevity because the author, a Romanian Daedalus, is laying the foundation for a narrative labyrinth . . . The writing itself is hypnotic and gorgeously captures the oneiric quality of Cărtărescu’s Bucharest . . . Cotter’s translation is attentive to the efficiency of Cărtărescu’s ornate but surprisingly approachable prose, gliding from sentence to sentence and calling little attention to itself. The sheer immensity of Cotter’s undertaking combined with the unfailing evenness of the translation’s quality is nothing short of remarkable.“ —Ben Hooyman, Los Angeles Review of Books

„The great fun of this teeming hodge-podge is the way that Mr. Cărtărescu tweaks the material of daily life, transmuting the banal into the fantastical.“ —Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

„A masterwork of Kafkaesque strangeness, brilliantly conceived and written.“ —Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

„[S]omething of a masterpiece . . . Solenoid synthesizes and subtly mocks elements of autofiction and history fiction by way of science fiction. The result is unlike any genre in ambition or effect, something else altogether, a self-sufficient style that proudly rejects its less emancipated alternatives…The mesmerizing beauty of creation, of reality giving way to itself: that, above all, lies behind the doors of Solenoid.“ —Federico Perelmuter, Astra Magazine