By Max Blecher, Michael Henry Heim
Often referred to as “the Kafka of Romania,” Max Blecher died younger yet now not prior to developing this incandescent novel.
Adventures in fast Irreality, the masterwork of Max Blecher—a really good author who brings to brain Bruno Schulz—paints in brilliant shades the crises of “irreality” that plagued him in his formative years, eerie mirages in which he might glimpse destiny occasions, gleaming glimpses unsettling in each way. In gliding chapters that circulation with a unusual dream common sense in their personal, this memoiristic novella sketches the tremulous, scary and exhilarating awakenings of a truly younger guy.
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Yes, hideous more than anything. ” And inside the crystal coffin of a wax figure cabinet is “a woman with a pale, yet luminescent face, lying in a glass box and sheathed in black lace, a striking red rose between her breasts, her blond wig coming undone at the forehead, the rouge in her nostrils aquiver. . ” The adolescent vagabond falls for the objects, because he’s fallen for the eroticism of sensory perception. And as the things themselves become increasingly transparent through his close observation, he becomes less and less transparent to himself.
I met hay carts and, now and then, extraordinary things, like a man in the rain carrying a chandelier with crystal ornaments that sounded like a symphony of hand bells on his back while heavy drops of rain dripped down the shiny facets. ” It is the question that Michael Henry Heim—the great translator who brought into English some of Central Europe’s finest writers—heard in his own body. Heim was himself ill when he translated Blecher, for the sake of whom he learned Romanian. This translation is a special event in the complex geography of literature: it represents the meeting of a young Romanian genius racing the imminent destruction of his body, with Michael Heim, a master of the superb English sentence.
The objects themselves, their features, become surrogates. They offer no answer, yet they usurp the place of everything the narrator wants to discover about himself. Here is a description of a gypsy’s ring: “The extraordinary embellishments used by birds, animals, or flowers for purposes of sexual attraction . . the hysterical lace of petunia petals. . It was made of marvelous tin—fine, grotesque, and hideous. Yes, hideous more than anything. ” And inside the crystal coffin of a wax figure cabinet is “a woman with a pale, yet luminescent face, lying in a glass box and sheathed in black lace, a striking red rose between her breasts, her blond wig coming undone at the forehead, the rouge in her nostrils aquiver.