BERG by Ann Quin


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A man called Berg, who changed his name to Greb, came to a seaside town intending to kill his father...."" Does he? doesn't he? the reversal of the letters in his name is not the only transposition here-- past and present, memory and desire, all coalesce in a Jumbled drift. For Berg, a sad, sicks shattered little man, is the victim not only of the father who abandoned him, but his ""incomparable"" mother who for years has fed this dream of revenge with her plaintive, possessive love. Now, lodged next door to his father and his mistress, Judith, he peers and listens through a partition; kills the old man and wraps him in a rug-- oh no, it's just a bloodstained dummy; is approached by Judith and is engulfed by erotic fantasies of her ample anatomy; etc. etc. All of this is told in a jerky, abrupt, appropriately fragmentary manner, making use of effective, horrid detail. Technically, and imagomatively, it's rather admirable, even where it repels.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1965
ISBN: 1564783022
Publisher: Scribners