After the Floods in Florence Italy, the world converged there to save the antiquities that had been under water. One of those who came was a 26 year old. In her work, she uncovers The Sixteen Pleasures, a curious, centuries-old volume of sixteen erotic drawings coupled with sixteen steamy sonnets that sets off a. A wonderfully rich and absorbing story that seems far too assured to be a first novel. Hellenga forms Florentine art, nuns, erotica, and American.


Author: Elmer Smith
Country: Myanmar
Language: English
Genre: Education
Published: 4 January 2016
Pages: 871
PDF File Size: 22.95 Mb
ePub File Size: 34.92 Mb
ISBN: 123-2-47521-167-1
Downloads: 45028
Price: Free
Uploader: Elmer Smith


Sex is one of its subjects, yes, but so are religion, history, Italian life, book-binding, and art. The novel might almost have been written for at least the the sixteen pleasures me.

THE SIXTEEN PLEASURES by Robert Hellenga | Kirkus Reviews

When the news of the flooding of the River Arno came through in NovemberI was a junior lecturer in art history, showing slides of the very art works that were now under threat. It is remarkable that Hellenga, a recipient of a PEN fiction award for his short stories, can at this point in his career produce such a witty, sophisticated and wise novel, its erotic passages underscored by a poignant, even melancholic undercurrent of change and loss and the sixteen pleasures of existential meaning about the conflicting demands of spirit and the sixteen pleasures.


You just run out of layers. The pit is an image of myself when I was nineteen. I spent a year here with Mama when I was fifteen, the sixteen pleasures then I came back by myself, the sixteen pleasures finishing high school at home, to do the last year of the liceo with my former classmates.

Names like flowers, or bells.

  • The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga |
  • The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga
  • The Sixteen Pleasures
  • See a Problem?

And me, Margot Harrington. More friends are coming later. The coast is safe, they say, though there are bandits in the centro. The squid taste like rubber bands, the heavy kind that I used to chew on in grade school and that boys sometimes used to snap our bottoms with in junior high.

Life is sharp and snappy, too, full of the sixteen pleasures, like the sting of those rubber bands: Just at that moment I jump, sucking in my breath for a scream but then the sixteen pleasures it, in case I need it latter, which I do. I hit the Tyrrhenian Sea feet first, generating little waves that will, in theory, soon be lapping the beaches along the entire western coast of Italy—Sicily and North Africa, too.

The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga - Reading Guide -

The waiting is so lovely. But, as a woman, Margot is not quite accepted among the self-important ranks of male conservators. Forced to find her own way, Margot ends up working in the waterlogged library of a convent, falling in love with an older, married man and also coming, clandestinely, into possession of an extremely rare book, The Sixteen Pleasures, a volume of exquisite erotic drawings and sonnets from the 16th century.

What life lessons does she learn there and how does her experience there change her? Madre Badessa, the sixteen pleasures mother abbess of Santa Caterina, is a strong female character with an agenda to preserve her convent.

Discuss the measures she takes to do this. Do you think she is a feminist? The Sixteen Pleasures is told from alternating points of view: