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Scarred Hearts

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  228 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Emmanuel, a young man with spinal tuberculosis and confined to a sanatorium outside Paris, narrates his and his fellow patients’ attempts to live life to the fullest as their bodies slowly atrophy and die. Blending dark humor and pathos, Scarred Hearts was hailed as a masterpiece on publication in Romanian in 1939, and was more recently compared to Thomas Mann’s Magic Moun ...more
Hardcover, 227 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Old Street Publishing (first published 1937)
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Andrei Tamaş
Apr 13, 2016 Andrei Tamaş rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Cartea, care transpune într-o narațiune obiectivă viața autorului (sub numele de Emanuel), reprezintă o descriere a sanatoriului de la Berck și a oamenilor de acolo. Centrul medical e ca un viciu: dacă intri bolnav și te vindeci, nu poți pleca de acolo. Exact aceasta e și senzația pe care o dă cartea: citind-o, te simți ca un bolnav paralizat în scaun cu rotile (căci ea, cartea, numai astfel de personaje descrie).
Pentru mine a fost o senzație unică. Nu mi-am imaginat niciodată că nu o să fiu st
Aug 16, 2015 Sini rated it it was amazing
De Roemeense schrijver Max Blecher (1909- 1938) is weinig bekend, maar werd zeer geroemd door o.a. Ionesco en Herta Mueller. Zijn leven werd zeer belemmerd en bekort door ruggemergtuberculose, een zeer naargeestige ziekte die hem zijn ruggenwervels en zijn leven kostte, maar in zijn korte leven produceerde hij drie autobiografische romans die vergeleken zijn met Kafka en Bruno Schulz, en met "Der Zauberberg" van Thomas Mann. Veel mensen zien Blecher ook als voorloper van het existentialisme, omd ...more
Karen Pine
Jun 24, 2012 Karen Pine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my all-time favourites!

Elaine Feinstein celebrates the survival of a small masterpiece:
As this novella is set in a TB sanatorium, readers may look for debts to Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain. The sensibility of Scarred Hearts, however, belongs to another world: Bukovina, Polish Galicia, and German-speaking Prague.
For all Max Blecher's experience of Paris, this is plain writing, never portentous, always attentive to detail, sometimes surreally funny, and his true contemporaries are Franz Kaf
Marina Sofia
Jul 12, 2015 Marina Sofia rated it really liked it
Such a modern feel to this one: Blecher does not shy away from the good, the bad, the ugly, the things we would rather not acknowledge. Not for the squeamish or hypocritical. A burst of candour and poignancy, an urgent love of life, from a character (and an author) doomed to die. Heartbreaking.
I now want to read it in the original, because although the translation is quite poetical, I fear I may be missing something. There is a rhythm I may be able to detect there...
Nov 15, 2009 Garryvivianne rated it liked it
Story about a young man named Emmanuel who has spinal tuberculosis. He goes to a sanatorium to live as his body withers away. There he meets others who, as he, have debilitating diseases & are trying to live as "normal" as possible. The author, Max Blecher, had this disease & I would think he wrote much of this of himself. He wrote very well. Sometimes humorous & often times so sad, you can feel his torment & many times the rage of "why?" Blecher wrote 2 novels & died at age ...more
Feb 08, 2015 Theory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the French translation, with a foreword shedding some light about the initial quotation of Soren Kierkegaard (I will not disclose anything). The novel is simple, almost modest, without pathos or sentimentality. In fact, it does not suffer from lack of humour, as a number of the "scenes" (the novel was adapted on stage in the naughties) are funny, although the hero remains extremely ill and somme of his friends die (I will not disclose his fate either). While reading, we reflect without no ...more
Cristian Mihai
May 04, 2012 Cristian Mihai rated it it was amazing
Scarred Hearts, one of the few published works by Max Blecher, is a novel of pain and suffering. The author, who lived most of his life under the auspices of a dreadful disease, died at the age of 29. But even though this is a novel in which the characters live under the constant threat of death, even though their lives are bitter and painful, his little characters find enough strength to fall in love, to mold the most human of feelings and experiences after their own needs.

Emanuel, Blecher’s ma
Agnieszka Czoska
Aug 23, 2015 Agnieszka Czoska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Była to martwa meduza, olbrzymi kawał galaretowatego przezroczystego mięsa o cierpkim zapachu ryb i jodu. (...) - Czuję, jakby moja dusza była właśnie takim kawałkiem bezwładnego, plugawego życia... - szepnął - Berck ma to do siebie, że wywołuje takie odkrywcze wizje..."
Now, I have bewitched heart. Real disclosure.
Jan 16, 2015 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heart breaking book.
Mientras Leo
Nov 20, 2012 Mientras Leo rated it really liked it
Su vida en un sanatorio, una nueva visión de su mundo desde esos particulares ojos. Sin quejas. Inolvidable
Jun 08, 2009 Alice rated it it was ok
NOt really sure what I thought of this book. I don't think I entirely 'got it'. It was very weird.
Jan 27, 2016 Sara rated it it was amazing
like a virulent infection, he surges into my skull
Mar 14, 2011 Svet888boym rated it it was amazing
A beauty of a book. Profoundly moving.
Dec 31, 2012 Rafa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una novela bien escrita más.
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  • Băiuțeii
  • Pagini bizare
  • Journal 1935-1944
  • The Hooligan's Return: A Memoir
  • The Snows of Yesteryear
  • Luntrea lui Caron
  • Zenobia
  • Orbitor. Aripa stângă
  • Ani cu Alcool şi Sex (Sânge Satanic #2)
  • Jurnalul unei fete greu de mulţumit
  • Dimineaţă pierdută
  • Sinistra körzet
  • De ce este România altfel?
  • Le Grand Solitaire
  • Plumb
  •  Întoarcerea din rai
  • Sexagenara si tânărul
  • Jurnal filozofic
Blecher's father was a successful Jewish merchant and the owner of a porcelain shop. Blecher attended primary and secondary school in Roman, Romania. After receiving his baccalaureat, Blecher left for Paris to study medicine. Shortly thereafter, in 1928, he was diagnosed with spinal tuberculosis (Pott's disease) and forced to abandon his studies. He sought treatment at various sanatoriums: Berck-s ...more
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