Awakening to the Great Sleep War

Awakening to the Great Sleep War


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One of the loveliest riddles of Austrian literature is finally available in English translation: Gert Jonke’s 1982 novel, Awakening to the Great Sleep War, is an expedition through a world in constant nervous motion, where reality is rapidly fraying—flags refuse to stick to their poles, lids sidle off of their pots, tram tracks shake their stops away like fleas, and books abandon libraries in droves. Our cicerone on this journey through the possible (and impossible) is an “acoustical decorator” by the name of Burgmüller—a poetical gentleman, the lover of three women, able to communicate with birds, and at least as philosophically minded as his author: “Everything has suddenly become so transparent that one can’t see through anything anymore.” This enormously comic—and equally melancholic—tale is perhaps Jonke’s masterwork.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781564787941
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date: 01/03/2013
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Gert Jonke is counted among Austria's most important authors and dramatists. Among other prizes, he received the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, the Erich Fried Prize, and the Grand Austrian State Prize for Literature. He died in 2009 at the age of 62.

Jean M. Snook lives with her husband on the easternmost tip of North America, the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland, where she has taught German language and literature at Memorial University since 1984. She received the 2011 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator s Prize for her translation of Gert Jonke s The Distant Sound.

What People are Saying About This

Elfriede Jelinek

He played with language like a child with soap bubbles, but the bubbles contained extremely refined and precise thought instead of air.

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