Baret Magarian
 

Click here to see reader responses to Baret’s recent novella, Mirror and Silhouette, published by a small UK Oxford-based press.

And here’s another review of Mirror and Silhouette. Check it out:

Baret Magarian is a poet, and this novella is fluid poetry. Beauty is spread everywhere, ever changing, exuberant, it comes in many colours, many shapes and atmospheres. Images arise incessantly, one morphs into the next and yet another follows, like waves, like a river which cannot be contained and takes multiple paths. “Something” is lost and then again found, under other names, other faces or no faces at all, in shadows, in darkness, in silence, in a voice floating in the candle light, a voice of the soul. Venice is a gigantic, tiny, mysterious open-space labyrinth, carved in stone and water, where the characters move, driven by the inscrutable and mutable will of the marine undercurrents and tides. And yet everything assumes a unity of movement. In my way of experiencing it, this novella is about how surprising, multi-leveled, incredibly rich is the texture of reality for someone who – like Bryony, our heroine – keeps a form of primary innocence intact, is ready to realise her dreams and does not worry if the dreams manifest themselves in mysterious ways, and turn out to be different from what she imagined. Reality in its purity, in its truth, is awesome and surprising, for those who can preserve an open space in their soul and give themselves the freedom to just see, and listen, to it.

Baret Magarian is Anglo-Armenian. He was born and raised in London and currently lives in Italy. He began his career by writing features and reviews for The Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent and The New Statesman, then published fiction in World Literature Today, Journal of Italian Translation, the online magazines El Ghibli, Sagarana, and Voyages. His poetry has appeared in the Florentine magazine Semicerchio and the Australian anthology Contrappasso. He has worked as a translator, musician, lecturer, book representative, fringe theatre director, actor and nude model. He has recorded an album of acoustic rock, composed and performed piano music in the vein of Alkan and Jarrett, and recently staged his monologue “The Pain Tapestry” in Florence and Turin to great success.  His writing has been praised by Jonathan Coe, the British novelist; by Bruce Hunter, the Canadian poet; and by Mia Lecomte, the Italian poet and critic.


The Fabrications is a wildly inventive, comic novel centered around an original and bizarre idea: what if two people’s lives and thoughts became fused through the medium of fiction?

When Oscar Babel, a cinema projectionist languishing in obscurity, is befriended by Daniel Bloch, a popular novelist, strange things begin to happen and Oscar’s life changes course as he becomes a 21st century Jesus Christ. At the same time Bloch’s life descends into the darkness (and madness) that his friend narrowly avoided. Feeding in and out of this central spine are other stories: Bloch's reconciliation with his father, who was seduced by Bloch's ex-wife Natalie; the career of the brilliant but unsuccessful painter Najette, Oscar's muse and lover; and ever more insane instances of PR stunts, as master-minded by the Mefisto-like publicist Ryan Rees. Eventually Oscar's fame and myth balloon out of all proportion and the novel's climax has to be read to be believed.
      Part slapstick comedy, skewering the world of art and celebrity, and part visionary meditation on identity, synchronicity, sex, madness and love, The Fabrications abandons realism and attempts to create a parallel, unreal universe that nonetheless offers deep truths about the chaos and beauty of our own. It jostles with dozens of dazzling and grotesque characters, and will take you on an unforgettable ride, lurching among pathos, hilarity and profundity, breaking the rules of fiction in creating something subversive and beautiful. 

Available June 1, 2017  -  $19.95

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“The Fabrications is a brilliant achievement. The novel is extremely original, ambitious and accomplished. The tone is wonderfully deadpan, the comedy beautifully underplayed. The novel is also at times reminiscent of the films of Federico Fellini: in the grand set-pieces, the exuberant party scenes, and the picaresque sense of an amoral hero adrift in a large city (Oscar Babel reminded me of Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita) ... Ultimately, Magarian uses his fiction to pose some of the biggest, most complex questions about life. The themes which excite him are permanent and universal: How does one live with the passage of time, the transience of things? Can our desires ever be satisfied? How can one live a complete, meaningful life? Like all the best writers and thinkers, Magarian knows that you cannot paint an accurate portrait of the world without recognizing its essential, desperate absurdity... The Fabrications aims high, unblushingly seeking out the company of the modern European masters.” Jonathan Coe