A German Picturesque

A German Picturesque

by Jason Schwartz




Haunting in their tone, brilliant in their images—very like fantastic presences moving across glass—the twenty-one fictions in this startling debut collection seem both inexplicably familiar and like no writing we have seen before.
        The opening story leads us through a kaleidoscopic series of thoughts and memories around the act of writing a letter. Another, an intricately structured document of documents—household inventories, daily calendars, property deeds, an announcement—suggests the reality overflowing these mundane markers of our lives. Yet another traces the histories of five artifacts, while at the same time slyly assembling five miniature biographical portraits.
        Point of view is important: Elements of a house, for example, are seen from the perspective of an adult and of a child. And a wedding unfolds in conflicting word snapshots taken by the bride and groom and other guests, each providing a unique and sometimes disturbing impression.
        Phantasmagoric episodes of travel appear in several entries—an encyclopedic vision of a voyage at sea, a family's cross-country railroad trip through a timeless America, or the revealing journey to Spain by two elderly sisters.
        An exhilarating experiment in language and form, A German Picturesque is at once a challenge and a great pleasure to read.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679443322
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/30/1998
Pages: 133
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 7.85(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Jason Schwartz's stories have been published in numerous journals, including Conjunctions, Exact Change Yearbook, The Quarterly, and StoryQuarterly. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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