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Comment: Publisher: ATLAS PRESS
Date of Publication: 2012
Binding: paper back
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Description: 1900565595 Paper Back
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Living are Few, the Dead Many, The Paperback – 8 Nov 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: ATLAS PRESS (8 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900565595
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900565592
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 1.5 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 568,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing in the City 12 Dec. 2014
By Anthony B. Cline - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As I've said in a few other reviews, it is rather easy to compare a variety of authors to Kafka. Queasy interior spaces, discussions whose meanings explode through failed communication, a constant uprooting of linear movement. This is why we pull so many books from the shelves, old and new, to see Prague's weaver of strange fables as a point of reference. Descending from K, we then find authors such as Blanchot and Bataille, who show this influence but swim into modes even murkier and more transgressive. With Blanchot, I refer not simply to more popular works like Death Sentence, but also the shorter parables to be found in the collection Vicious Circles. Here we do not simply encounter discomfort, impossible exchanges, and dreamlike states, but meet a philosophical obsession with dying head on. Of course the same can be said for Bataille, whose Story of the Eye, Blue of Noon, and My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man, are texts of sexual subversion somehow equally preoccupied with the grave.

Jahnn has the most in common with these two authors, and perhaps even outdoes them here. The Night of Lead is a complete submersion into a thousand foot deep vat of tar that our disembodied protagonist attempts to swim his way out of. He is a soul dropped onto the streets of a nameless city, apparently left by some colossal presence to navigate the landscape. Inside the facades there are supposedly flickering lights; outside their doors perhaps a doorman to show the way in. Once entered the proceedings are gauzy, the spaces fleeting, with characters urging that this instant, this moment, can never be returned to. The door will lock behind you. There is doubling, but doubling like you've never quite seen it, done so ingeniously and with such purpose that it quite literally baffles on first reading. And, at the risk of sounding redundant, there is the gradual closing of a door that begins with the first breath.

Huge, this novella. As though being dropped into the labyrinth beneath a casket.
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