Monday, November 16, 2009

Liquidation, by Imre Kertész

Always difficult to know what's going on with a translation. But there's an awkwardness to this text that initially I found distracting. Over time it became poignant.

It's a work of genius, regardless—peculiar, wonderfully structured, sincere. It wonders at the big questions: We are a chaos, now, and all live in the shadow of Auschwitz—so what follows from that? And what's the relationship between love and self-destruction? Between love and sadism?

It is unapologetically, if clumsily, postmodern, but it's postmodernism functions in the service of an emotional verisimilitude that I find heroic.

That's a good word for this book. It's a word that its author would flee, rebuke, dismiss as yet another example of our contemporary stupidity.

Regardless, this is a heroic book.

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