A German Picturesque

A German Picturesque

Jason Schwartz / Feb 26, 2020
A German Picturesque Haunting in their tone brilliant in their images very like fantastic presences moving across glass the twenty one fictions in this startling debut collection seem both inexplicably familiar and like
  • Title: A German Picturesque
  • Author: Jason Schwartz
  • ISBN: 9780679443322
  • Page: 227
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Haunting in their tone, brilliant in their images very like fantastic presences moving across glass the twenty one fictions in this startling debut collection seem both inexplicably familiar and like no writing we have seen before The opening story leads us through a kaleidoscopic series of thoughts and memories around the act of writing a letter Another, an intHaunting in their tone, brilliant in their images very like fantastic presences moving across glass the twenty one fictions in this startling debut collection seem both inexplicably familiar and like no writing we have seen before The opening story leads us through a kaleidoscopic series of thoughts and memories around the act of writing a letter Another, an intricately structured document of documents household inventories, daily calendars, property deeds, an announcement suggests the reality overflowing these mundane markers of our lives Yet another traces the histories of five artifacts, while at the same time slyly assembling five miniature biographical portraits Point of view is important Elements of a house, for example, are seen from the perspective of an adult and of a child And a wedding unfolds in conflicting word snapshots taken by the bride and groom and other guests, each providing a unique and sometimes disturbing impression Phantasmagoric episodes of travel appear in several entries an encyclopedic vision of a voyage at sea, a family s cross country railroad trip through a timeless America, or the revealing journey to Spain by two elderly sisters An exhilarating experiment in language and form, A German Picturesque is at once a challenge and a great pleasure to read.
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      Jason Schwartz

    About "Jason Schwartz"

      • Jason Schwartz

        Jason Schwartz is the author of a book of fiction, A German Picturesque Alfred A Knopf, 1998 His work has appeared in American Letters Commentary, Antioch Review, Conjunctions, New York Tyrant, The Quarterly, StoryQuarterly, Unsaid, and other publications.


    682 Comments

    1. I need to write a review of this book someday, but anybody who has not read A German Picturesque should do so soon That is, anybody who demands the highest quality from their literature Jason Schwartz continues to write short stories and publish them in a select few print periodicals He is taxing and is the only contemporary writer who never disappoints me in any way I would recommend this book to demanding readers who enjoy the intellect of Thomas Bernhard and Robert Walser but could do with a [...]



    2. I can see what Schwartz is trying to do It just didn t work for me Dissonant sentences, that don t fit together, or might almost fit together through near assonance such as the purse is brown, its buckle undone But then this is followed by the near gibberish of the next 2 sentences The necktie is red blood red, if you like And as for our speculation upon the hat So much of these stories read like lists of clothes, of food, of furniture I hesitate to say descriptive lists, though they are in most [...]


    3. A really wonderfully inventive book that to me at least presents a totally different way to approach narrative As much a revelation to me as Ben Marcus was.The book is split into three sections, which I think might be useful a organizing heuristic than the short and fragmentary pieces that make up each section the sections, then, group the stories or less by setting and period, and the fragments are something like monologues that describe sometimes the action but often the environment themselv [...]


    4. This book is has imbedded itself so deeply into my head, that it has influenced almost all of my own writings since I first read it It is a book of short stories that are magical and dream like, shifting perspectives and time itself seemlessly and with the elegance of a romantic poet in prose it conjures up images and feelings of rustic furniture in the country side, of childhood innocence and size of the world, of grass swaying on hills and bedtime stories of sea faring adventures.I love this b [...]


    5. I usually love short books with no narrative and no characters, but this collection left me feeling like I had just read a mover s list written by a poet Lots of well written descriptions of all the furniture in a room.



    6. Kaleidoscopic and utterly compelling in small doses Read like science fiction disorienting time travel through recent pasts Hidden menace obfuscated by detail and arcana Unforgettable.


    7. Absolutely stellar, elliptical writing The stories such as they are form long after the reading is over Schwartz writes fever dreams.






    8. When it works, which is surprisingly often, it is difficult not to believe Schwartz an extraordinary, original and major figure it is difficult to ignore a whiff of genius about these stories.


    9. The problem is there s nowhere to grip, so I m sliding down the 21 story face of a beautiful building with a truly unique facade but no chance to digest it, and little salvation in the end.




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