cover image Adventures in Immediate Irreality

Adventures in Immediate Irreality

Max Blecher, trans. from the Romanian by Michael Henry Heim. New Directions, $14.95 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-0-8112-1760-6

Originally published in 1936, Blecher%E2%80%99s novella spins the narrative of a nameless young man who suffers from self-proclaimed %E2%80%9Ccrises,%E2%80%9D moments of uncertainty and loss of identity, as he drifts across a small Romanian town one warm summer. Episodic chapters find him acting similarly to most of his peers%E2%80%94experimenting with sex, visiting the cinema, wax museums, local fairs, and attending weddings%E2%80%94yet during each of these events, the adolescent breaks from his contemporaries by ruminating on internal and peripheral occurrences impacting his life, and he searches for the existential and physical connection between himself and his surroundings. %E2%80%9CThe notion of the world as stage accompanied me everywhere,%E2%80%9D he claims, and Blecher uses his account to scrutinize how we all perceive our fellow man, as well as the emotional investments we apply to inanimate objects. Blecher%E2%80%99s gift of language is exceptional. In addition to this new translation, the slim volume contains two essays, which provide backstory and insight. (Feb.)