A Book A Week Challenge – Week 49

Elena Ferrante, who remained anonymous from the time of her first publication back in 1992, was recognized by TIME as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2016. “Frantumaglia” is a collection of her essays, letters, interviews and opinions that were documented over a period of 25 years of her writing career


Book #: 49

Title: “Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey by Elena Ferrante and translated by Ann Goldstein

Pages: 400

The temptation to be anonymous is more often fixated towards activities that traditionally warranted heavy backlash but in the case of Elena Ferrante (or whatever is her original name).  Frantumaglia, a word that was introduced by her mother that meant a jumble of fragments that was used as a reference to contradictory sensations that tore her apart. As she would repeat multiple times in this collection that the book talks for itself and the author doesn’t have any control of it once it is out in public. Isn’t it true as it sometimes even reaches a level of adaptation that readers value them as much as a life changer.

In the present-day success enjoyed by the listicles which point to anything and everything under the sun, Frantumaglia stands as a non-traditional writing that beautifully articulates the craft of novel writing. The novel writing techniques have crossed media streams – from TV adaptions, movies, theater and so on. Despite that, the fundamentals remain the same as you can absolutely relate from the book of letters from Elena Ferrante.

As much as you wish, there is something astute about the characters of Elena Ferrante. For a generation that was lost in the havoc of data flow, it is often difficult to take a specific stance and the most abusively used word in the present day is “Feminism”. Most of the individuals, not specific to gender, tend to fall into a trap of using it as a proxy for women being the better species. But, Elena’s reference to her characters is a learning that everyone needs to emulate- the female characters are often vigilant, troublesome, compelling, ambiguous, but despite all that they are engrossing and makes the world you live a better place.

Overall, “Frantulamgia” by Elena Ferrante is a deep dive into the thoughts of a writer who strongly believed in letting the words of paper do the talking for her unforgettable female characters. Not a traditional how-to guide for the craft of writing but a closer focused read which teaches enriching lessons.


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