Psalm 44
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Psalm 44

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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Written when he was only twenty-five, before embarking on the masterpieces that would make him an integral figure in twentieth-century letters, Psalm 44 shows Ki at his most lyrical and unguarded, demonstrating that even in the place of dragons . . . covered with the shadow of death, there can still be poetry. Featuring characters based on actual inmates and warders includ...more
ebook, 128 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published 1962)
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Mariel
Apr 18, 2013 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the child and the cicerone
Recommended to Mariel by: as if in front of a curtain on a stage
Thou hast made us like sheep for slaughter,
and hast scattered us among the nations.
Thou has sold thy people for a trifle,
demanding no high price for them...
Thou hast made us byword among the nations,
a laughingstock among the peoples.
All day long my disgrace is before me,
and shame has covered my face.

- Psalm 44

Separating her from nature, dividing by blood. Marjita didn't know she was Jewish until she heard the rumblings of jeering laughter from far away. Thunder before or after the lightning ha...more
Jonfaith
The little creature kept crying in the intense blackness of the night, and his voice rose, twisting like a vine, like a stalk of some miraculous green plant glimpsed among the cavities of skulls, amid the ashes of a fireplace, from out of the entrails of a corpse; and from far away replied the cannon, proclaiming the terrible love between nations.

The creature is a child. The place Auschwitz. Psalm 44 is a lyrical hiss: what are you going to do with your gift of life? The wage was paid for my ass...more
Mark Sacha
It's bizarre to think that Kis wrote this at the same time as The Attic - a vacuous satire on the Künstlerroman - but he did. There's still an unwieldy postmodernism to it that can probably be chalked up to the overearnest efforts of a young writer, but there's so much more substance in Psalm 44 that it almost seems as if someone else wrote it. It's not just that it's a Holocaust novel, and by nature sort of dour - it's genuinely a touching piece of fiction. There are things that happen here tha...more
Sal
The book was something of a slow read as it took me a bit to get into it. Short in length. Kiš is very much a post-modern writer. Utilizing incredibly long, multi-clause sentences in a (quite successful) attempt to convey the atrocity of the Holocaust and the struggle to come to terms with it, Kiš's approach can make for passages that may need to be read multiple times.

Written while in his early to mid-20s, it makes sense that the book isn't perfect. Kiš himself would comment that the book coul...more
Peter Edelman
For those interested in 20th Century Europe, Kis is not to be missed.
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127676
Danilo Kiš was born in Subotica, Danube Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the son of Eduard Kiš (Kis Ede), a Hungarian Jewish railway inspector, and Milica Kiš (born Dragićević) from Cetinje, Montenegro. During the Second World War, he lost his father and several other family members, who died in various Nazi camps. His mother took him and his older sister Danica to Hungary for the duration of the...more
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