The Devil's Blind Spot by Alexander Kluge
Tales from the New Century

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Synopsis

Scathingly clever short stories. Includes "The Devil in the White House" and "The Development of Iraq as a Case for the Files."

At once a genuine story-teller and a literary documentarian, Alexander Kluge's genius lies in the very special way he makes found material his own. Each of the miniatures collected here touches on "facts" and is only several pages long. In just a paragraph he can etch a whole world: he is as great a master of compression as Kafka or Kawabata.

Arranged in five chapters, the dozens of stories of The Devil's Blind Spot are condensed, like novels in pill form. The first group of stories illustrates the little-known virtues of the Devil. The second explores love from Kant and opera through the Grand Guignol. The third is entitled "Sarajevo Is Everywhere" and tests how convincing power is. The fourth group concerns the cosmos, and the fifth ranges all our "knowledge" against our feelings. In each piece, Kluge alights on precise particulars: on board the atomic submarine Kursk, for instance, we are marched precisely step by step through a black comedy of the exact, disastrous stages of thinking that lead to catastrophe. Sample titles include "The Devil in the White House," "The Development of Iraq as a Case for the Files," "Intelligence of the Second Degree," and "Love's Mouth Also Kisses the Dog."

 

About Alexander Kluge

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Born in 1932, a world-famous filmmaker ("Yesterday Girl, The Female Patriot"), a lawyer, a media magnate, an associate of Theodor Adorno and the Frankfurt School, winner of Germany's highest literary award the George Buchner Prize, Alexander Kluge is a phenomenon. Martin Chalmers is a Berlin-based translator from Glasgow. He has translated some of the best-known German-language writers, including Herta Muller, Elfriede Jelinek and Hans Magnus Enzensberger. Michael Hulse teaches poetry at Warwick University and regularly does reading tours in England, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India. He is based in Warwick, England.
 
Published November 24, 2004 by New Directions. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kluge's frequent interrogatory dialogues on all these episodes throw up an array of talking-points that make his work ideal for an avant-garde reading group or post-graduate seminar, though less so for the solitary reader.

Oct 29 2004 | Read Full Review of The Devil's Blind Spot: Tales...

Kirkus Reviews

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In a work that intentionally defies categorization, the elderly German polymath Kluge, a film director as well as writer, offers commentary on love, war, the Devil and the cosmos, from the stars to the oceans, using myth, fables, the historical record and invented dialogues.

| Read Full Review of The Devil's Blind Spot: Tales...

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