Walaschek's Dream

Overview

Giovanni Orelli's docufictional phantasmagoria revisits a lesser-known painting by Paul Klee titled Alphabet I, which features black letters and symbols scrawled over the sports page of a newspaper reporting the results of the 1938 Swiss National Cup. This play of coincidences sets the stage for Orelli's encyclopedic portrait of European culture under Nazism, where a motley crew of philosopher-peasants as well as historical luminaries like Arthur Schopenhauer, Vincent van Gogh, Viktor Shklovsky, Marina Tsvetaeva,...

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Overview

Giovanni Orelli's docufictional phantasmagoria revisits a lesser-known painting by Paul Klee titled Alphabet I, which features black letters and symbols scrawled over the sports page of a newspaper reporting the results of the 1938 Swiss National Cup. This play of coincidences sets the stage for Orelli's encyclopedic portrait of European culture under Nazism, where a motley crew of philosopher-peasants as well as historical luminaries like Arthur Schopenhauer, Vincent van Gogh, Viktor Shklovsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Klee himself, and the titular footballer Eugene Walaschek all meet at the local tavern and debate the significance of Klee's work. Allusive, ironic, and elegiac, Joycean in scope, Walaschek's Dream is a singular meditation on the ephemerality of sport and the immortalizing power of art.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

Lire
“One of Switzerland’s most important Italian-language authors . . . Walaschek’s Dream bears a complex and perplexing structure, taking as its point of departure the emotions born from contemplating a Klee painting at a museum in Bern . . .”
Le Temps
Transforming Switzerland into a playground . . . Walaschek’s Dream uses a painting by Klee as the foundation of [a] game of life and death: the fates, separate and yet intertwined, of Servette soccer player Eugene Walaschek and the painter Paul Klee unraveling as a result of war . . . are the men doomed, asks the writer at the end of this staggeringly virtuosic narrative, or can they hope to triumph by way of the work of the artist-creator?— Isabelle Martin
Isabelle Martin - Le Temps
“Transforming Switzerland into a playground . . . Walaschek’s Dream uses a painting by Klee as the foundation of [a] game of life and death: the fates, separate and yet intertwined, of Servette soccer player Eugene Walaschek and the painter Paul Klee unraveling as a result of war . . . are the men doomed, asks the writer at the end of this staggeringly virtuosic narrative, or can they hope to triumph by way of the work of the artist-creator?”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564787569
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 5/22/2012
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Giovanni Orelli (1928– ) is a central figure in Swiss-Italian letters. He is the author of more than a dozen novels, as well as several books of poetry, and has long been active in the cultural sphere of the Ticino. In 1997, he was awarded the Schiller Prize. Walaschek’s Dream is his first novel to appear in English.

Jamie Richards is the translator of Giovanni Orelli’s Walascheck’s Dream, Nicolai Lilin’s Free Fall, and Giancarlo Pastore’s Jellyfish, among other works.

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