Schopenhauer's Telescope by Gerard Donovan

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Part love story, part moral treatise, part theatre of the absurd, this brilliant first novel is an examination of the complexity of the human spirit, for readers of Knut Hamsun, Bernhard Schlink, and Paul Auster.

In an unnamed European village, in the middle of a civil war, one man digs while another watches over him. Slowly, they begin to talk. Over the course of the afternoon, as snow falls and truckloads of villagers are corralled in the next field, we discover why they are there--not just who they are but also how sinister events in the country have led them to be separated by a deepening grave, and why the history of civilization is inseparable from the history of mass violence. Beautifully written, with a poet's eye for detail coupled with a chilling and compelling narrative drive, Schopenhauer's Telescope is current in the best sense--no thin allegory of Bosnia or Kosovo but a remarkable attempt to make art out of the brutality of life.


About Gerard Donovan

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Gerard Donovan was born in Ireland and has lived in Germany and New York. His award-winning poetry has been widely published. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and the University of Arkansas Writing Program, he teaches English at Southampton College of Long Island University, and lives in Calverton, New York. This is his first novel.
Published June 1, 2003 by Counterpoint Press. 296 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Schopenhauer's Telescope

Publishers Weekly

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A self-reflexive commentary on war and violence, Donovan's first novel is sophisticated and innovative, though too caught up in toying with literary conventions. Two unnamed men in an unnamed,

May 05 2003 | Read Full Review of Schopenhauer's Telescope

Publishers Weekly

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The baker's past, when revealed, stands the reader's assumptions on their head, but the energy of this climax—and of the novel as a whole—is diffused by Donovan's experimental hijinks, which involve excerpts of a screenplay about Genghis Khan, a fairy tale, and such digressions as an overly long ...

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