Canone Inverso by Paolo Maurensig

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Canone Inverso has the structure and resonance of an intricate piece of music, leading up to a devastating finale. A strangely carved, beautiful violin accompanies two generations of artists from Hungary, torn by World War I, to Vienna awaiting the Nazi Anschluss. Mysteriously, the violin reappears in an auction at Christie's in present-day London.

Propelled by the prophecy that all musicians are the descendants of Cain, the story centers on two friends: a bastard peasant boy burdened with a great talent and the only heir to an Austrian aristocratic family desperately clinging to the prerogatives of noble birth. Theirs is the age-old tale of the doppelgnger reimagined: companions, perhaps brothers, and, inevitably, lethal enemies.

The lives of the main characters intertwine in a mysterious and magical fugue, in which music is at once threat and consolation. Immortality, history, and an all-consuming passion come to play in this artfully layered, erudite narrative. Maurensig's sensuous prose brings to life an age, an art, and the spirit of music.


About Paolo Maurensig

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Jenny McPhee is the author of A Man of No Moon, No Ordinary Matter, and The Center of Things. She lives in London.
Published November 1, 1998 by Henry Holt & Company. 160 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Jeno’s artistic and personal crises climax in the years just before Hitler assumes power, and a dazzling climax and denouement unravel the manifold mysteries of the Blaus, reveal the (inevitable) identity of the narrator (long since absent from the storytelling), and ironically demonstrate the tr...

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Publishers Weekly

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When Kuno invites Jeno to stay at the family castle near Innsbruck, however, Jeno is subjected to a nightmare of intimidation and derision.

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An intricate story of music, passion and destiny about a violinist who stumbles upon the unknown, Jewish half of his family, "Canone Inverso -- Making Love" unfolds first against the rise of Nazism in pre-World War II Prague and continues in 1968, as Soviet tanks invade the city.

Jun 14 2000 | Read Full Review of Canone Inverso

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