We Monks and Soldiers

We Monks and Soldiers

Lutz Bassmann
Translated by Jordan Stump

200 pages

Paperback

September 2012

978-0-8032-3991-3

$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

From one of the most original French writers of our day comes a mysterious, prismatic, and at times profoundly sad reflection on humanity in its darker moments—one of which may very well be our own. In a collection of fictions that blur distinctions between dreaming and waking reality, Lutz Bassmann sets off a series of echoes—the “entrevoutes” that conduct us from one world to another in a journey as viscerally powerful as it is intellectually heady.
 
While humanity seems to be fading around them, the members of a shadowy organization are doing their inadequate best to assist those experiencing their last moments. From a soldier-monk exorcising what seem to be spirits (but are they?) from an abandoned house, to a spy executing a mission whose meaning eludes him, to characters exploring cells, wandering through ruins, confronting political dissent and persecution, encountering—perhaps—the spirits once exorcised, these stories conduct us through a world at once ambiguous and sharply observed. This remarkable work, in Jordan Stump’s superb translation, offers readers a thrilling entry into Bassmann’s numinous world.
 

Author Bio

Lutz Bassmann belongs to a community of imaginary authors invented, championed, and literarily realized by Antoine Volodine, a French writer of Slavic origins born in 1950. Volodine’s many celebrated, category-defying works include the award-winning Minor Angels (Nebraska, 2004), which blends science fiction, Tibetan myth, a ludic approach to writing, and a profound humanistic idealism. Jordan Stump is a professor of French at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He is the author of The Other Book (Nebraska, 2011), has translated numerous texts, including Minor Angels, and was awarded the French-American Foundation’s translation prize and the Prix Médicis in 2014.

Praise

“A cold-eyed rebuke to those who complain of the lack of inventiveness of French writers.”—Jean-Maurice de Montrémy


“A continually changing, continually new poetic force.”—Christophe Kantcheff, Politis


“Between a fragile lyricism and an almost silent poetic expression of an absolute, inevitable devastation.”—Hugo Pradelle, La Quinzaine Littéraire

"Vividly imagined, thought provoking and spare, this is an unusual collection . . . worth searching out."—Sandy Amazeen, Monsters and Critics

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