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"When you read his books it's hard to believe your eyes. The author of this masterpiece was a twenty-five-year-old already weakened by disease, but Blecher's words don't merely describe the objects-they dig their talons into the things and hoist them high." -- Herta Muller "Blecher has often been compared to Kafka (and not without reason), but the strongest connection, however, is with Salvador Dali. Like Dali's 'soft clocks,' everything here is about to melt. It is as though Blecher's world is always on the verge of ontological collapse; from behind the veil of things, nothingness stares out at him." -- The Times Literary Supplement "An extraordinary writer, in the family of Kafka and Bruno Schulz. A short life, overwhelmed by disease; a small-but great-magical work. Hallucinatory, intense, and deeply authentic, its literary force is fueled, paradoxically and not entirely, by an acute sensitivity and ardor." -- Norman Manea "Sleekly liquid work, the poetry of seething matter itself." -- Dustin Illingworth - 3:AM "This is, in any case, a book deserving of new readers, by a writer whose remaining body of work I can only hope will finally appear in its entirety in this country." -- The Nation
Max Blecher, born in 1909 into a Jewish family in Romania, contracted tuberculosis of the spine at 19, and spent the rest of his life in hospitals. Despite his illness, he wrote steadily and carried on an intense correspondence with many, including Andre Breton, Andre Gide, and Martin Heidegger. He died at the age of 28. Working with great Czech, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, French, Italian, German, and Dutch authors, Michael Henry Heim-one of America's greatest translators-won many awards, including the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize, the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and the PEN Translation Prize.