THE CANNIBAL by John Hawkes


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An experimental novel by a new writer for the outer scouts of the avant grade, this is a revelation of the soul of Germany, not through logical documentary development but through an intense vision of horror. Taking palace in the year of the American occupation ""1945"" when one lone American on a motorcycle is in charge of patrolling the entire third of Germany the time continuity, like all else in this symbolic nightmare, is splintered into fragments by a throwback to 1914. Little by little the flashes of action and characterization converge upon Madame Stella Snow, the center of a vortex of racial characteristics separately represented by each of the protagonists. It is Stella, the German Women the Race Mother, who leads the townswomen to subdue with clubs the rioting members of an insane asylum; it is she who protects the idiot son of the former Kaiser; she who holds the respect of the new leader Zisendorf, and, in culmination, it is in her honor that the Duke prepares his feast from the flesh of her own nephew. A meteor shower of brilliant descriptions without that calm center of sustained attention to make this compelling rather than confusing.

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 1950
ISBN: 0811200639
Publisher: New Directions