Re: Colm T骾b韓: The Testament of Mary
Originally Posted by leyla
Good idea, it could be something like this:
Mephistopheles by Arthur Galca Radacanu.
This almost unknown early 20th. Century masterpiece is one of the great works of Romanian literature.
It shows in four highly different sections how Mephistopheles gains the souls of four complicated historical characters:
William Blake, Holderlin, Gogol and Galca Radacanu himself. In each section the prose is highly mimetic of the styles of the different protagonists' works (Radacanu's own prose style is most close to say Bulgakov's Master and Margarita or Andreyev's Satan's diary)
Written before Broch wrote his own Death of Virgil and Virginia Woolf wrote Orlando or Joyce wrote Ulysses, it shares with them the mimetic writing that parodies literary periods.
However, the most interesting part of this novel is how it explains nervous breakdowns as religious experiences to which those undergoing them have not yet reached enough enlightenment to understand what's going on. In the four cases covered Radacanu explores different ways to react to the possibility of the devil touching you. Blake embraces it; Holderlin goes crazy; Gogol fears it and tries to get God to protect him by abandoning all of his sinful past; and Radacanu tries to exorcise it by writing this book and failing, finally commits suicide.
By the way, I'm halfway through Crace's Quarantine, and I gotta say that it is not written in a plodding or predictable way like The Last Temptation was, let's hope that the ending packs as good a wallop as that Greek book did.
When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food.