9781564780485 / 1564780481

Geometric Regional Novel


Publisher:Dalkey Archive Pr



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About the book:

The English-language debut of one of Austria's leading writers, Geometric Regional Novel is an innovative satire on the process by which bureaucracy and official regimentation insidiously pervade society. In a deadpan, pseudo-scientific tone, the nameless narrator takes us on a tour of a bizarre village whose inhabitants lead such habitual, regulated lives that they resemble elements in a mathematical equation. The traditional leaders of village life - the mayor, the priest, the teacher - uphold the status quo with comically exaggerated attention to ceremony and trivia, and other villagers perform roles identical to those of the generations who preceded them. That nearly every aspect of village life has been codified in some way is suggested by the intrusive presence of warnings, instructions, aphorisms, diagrams, historical records, ordinances, and forms - including a hilarious 6-page one for anyone wishing to take a stroll in the forest that makes the IRS's long form look user-friendly by comparison. Contrasting with the mathematical descriptions of village life are flashes of colorful, surrealistic writing, exemplifying the life of the imagination so often smothered beneath the monotonous routine of traditional rural existence. The stifling conservatism of such life has rarely been exposed as mercilessly as Jonke does here.

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