twenty three

(Trans From Polish, by Jennifer Croft)

This is a beautiful grown up novel in the tradition of ‘Middle European’ literature but very much of the 21st century – the nearest current comparator I can think of is Krasznahorkai.

At 400 pages it is a considerable read but with imagination and use of language like this, it is never a chore. It is difficult to say what it’s subject is: it takes in travel, many airport and flights; anatomy and plastination, an amputated leg, Chopin’s heart; a wife who walks out of her family home with no plan other than leaving…she sleeps rough in the city, spending days riding the underground system, makes an acquaintance or two but never any friends.

The novel considers modern humanity, wonders how we got here and it ponders time.

It is a truly beautiful and elusive thing.

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