THE END OF THE NOVEL by Michael Krüger


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 A man has been writing an oh-so significant novel for nine years, and now approaches the end of his task with the idea in mind of having his hero kill himself. But it's the book that actually seeks self-erasure--and the writer finds himself excising huge chunks in dissatisfaction until there's just the barest bones left. KrÅger, the editor of a well-known German literary magazine as well as a staff member of Carl Hanser Verlag, knows the literary foibles and follies well enough to strew satire like rosewater; and there is a sad-funny translucence to the writer-narrator's crumbling dream (``The corrosive solitude which he loved so much as a contrast now revealed itself as a helpless narrator's mask, his social receptiveness, which I had so carefully contrived in order to differentiate him from other literary characters, was no longer capable of outweighing his ironical proclivity towards maliciousness, the words of salvation and benediction, which at other times offset his lack of indiscretion, turned into cold rootless cordiality''). Still, stiffly translated here, the book finally seems like an inkhorn shaggy-dog story--one thin note played for more than it's worth.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1992
ISBN: 0-8076-1275-8
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Braziller
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1992


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