The Procedure by Harry Mulisch

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Harry Mulisch's last novel, The Discovery of Heaven, was published to critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. The Times Literary Supplement called it an "exhilarating, magnificent and dangerous book" and John Updike in The New Yorker compared Mulisch's "magnum opus" to Joyce's Finnegans Wake, Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain, and Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. Mulisch's new novel, The Procedure, is about everything you could say about the world, mankind, time, life, birth and death, man and woman, love and creation, ethics and genetics.

In the late-sixteenth century, Rabbi Jehudah Low, in order to guarantee the safety of the Jews in Prague, tries to make a golem with the aid of a third-century Cabalist text. Four hundred years later Viktor Werner, a biologist, causes an international uproar when he creates in his laboratory a complex organic clay crystal that can reproduce and which has a metabolism. He has, in effect, manufactured a primitive organism out of inorganic materials. We learn of Viktor's life after his discovery as he starts new research and is pursued by his own inner and outer demons. In this elegantly written and immaculately constructed story of two men who suffer similar punishments for their hubris, Harry Mulisch attempts nothing less than to unravel the structure and meaning of man's being.

About Harry Mulisch

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Harry Mulisch was born in Holland and is the author of the international bestseller The Discovery of Heaven and Last Call, as well as other novels, short stories, essays, poetry, plays, and philosophical works.
Published August 2, 2001 by Viking. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

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All this sounds oppressively dense, but Dutch author Mulisch (The Discovery of Heaven, 1996) uses the complex, self-challenging (and strangely endearing) figure of Werker as the fulcrum of a dazzlingly brilliant fictional structure that is itself a series of “creations”: the original one recorded...

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Publishers Weekly

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(July 9)Forecast:The esteem Mulisch gained for The Discovery of Heaven will probably ensure respectful reviews, but lame jacket art (a clay-covered fist) and the lurking sense that this is a minor work may discourage potential buyers.

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