An Offering for the Dead by Hans Erich Nossack
(Eridanos Library)

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Hans Erich Nossack's work is a link between the titans of early 20th-century German fiction - Mann, Musil and Broch - and the later generation of Boll and Grass. An Offering for the Dead is a small, hard gem set in the crown of that tradition. "It was raining again," the narrator of this haunting novel begins. He has survived some unmentionable, perhaps worldwide cataclysm - a biblical flood? nuclear war? - that has stripped him of his memory and most everything else. A woman's room, a notebook, a mirror, her comb - these artifacts in a void are all that remain: his first clues to the past, his own and the world's. His errant musings, reminiscent of the guilt-driven wanderings of Orestes, gradually piece together a history he must both remember and create in order to regain his identity, and, like Noah, repopulate a world in which he may be the only survivor. In a delicately allusive prose that resonates with overtones of man's ancient past and darkly apocalyptic warnings, Nossack, like Joyce and Proust before him, exposes the mythical undercurrents of contemporary life. Past, present and future blend into an eternal return of archetypal figures whose stories transform human history into a timeless parable of creative memory and immemorial destruction.

About Hans Erich Nossack

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Hans Erich Nossack (1901-77) was a prolific writer. His books The D'Arthez Case, To the Unknown Hero, The Impossible Proof, Wait for November, and An Offering for the Dead have been translated into English.
Published January 1, 1992 by Marsilio Publishers. 124 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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