THE MAIMED by Hermann Ungar

THE MAIMED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

First English translation of a bleak 1928 novel by a forgotten Czech member of the generation of Döblin, Brecht, and Werfel. It’s a closely concentrated analysis of the frail psyche of obscure bank clerk Franz Polzer, a timid paranoid whose obsessive pursuit of order and control lead ironically to helpless explosions of irrationality and violence, and to his eventual undoing. Ungar’s understated prose (perfectly captured by veteran translator Mitchell) trains a cold clinical eye on the processes through which Polzer—in effect, a country mouse adrift in a wicked city—is seduced by his promiscuous landlady and misled by his satanic “best friend,” a moribund, wheelchair-bound misanthrope, thus set on a path toward self-destruction. Unusual and unsettling: what a film it would make.

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 2002
ISBN: 1-903517-10-9
Page count: 210pp
Publisher: Dedalus
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002




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