This is novel crawling with sex and violence. It?s about modernity, myth and masculinity. Can you believe no-one wanted to buy this huge and brilliant novel when it came out originally? I can?t, but here?s the deal. I?m biased, I guess. I love, cherish and admire Hans Henny Jahnn like few other writers. I think that he is, along with D?blin and Feuchtwanger, the greatest German novelist of the first half of the 20th century. He was also an accomplished playwright (see this blog next week for more news on that). When he wrote and published Perrudja
, he was known as the infamous author of two scandalous plays. Perrudja
took a long while to gestate, and almost as long to get published. And when it was published, few people bought it. (...) Perrudja
is a harrowing novel that leads us deep not into the darkness behind civilization, but the darkness civilization is made of. Joyce, whose influence on Perrudja
is palpable, might have been a paragon in this, as well. Jahnn, together with geniuses like D?blin, was clearly engaged in trying to create the conscience of his race.