Jesse's Reviews > Efraim's Book

Efraim's Book by Alfred Andersch
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Feb 06, 09

bookshelves: him, them
Read in January, 2009

Probably the most formally accomplished novel I have ever read. Andersch uses meta techniques brilliantly to transform potentially weak moments into major coups. Beautiful.
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Peter Selgin Can't agree more. This book should be far better known in this (or any) country. It was postmodern long before that term became a vogue in literature. Sadly, Andersch may be best known here by the essay wherein W. G. Sebald trashes him on moral grounds, unfairly, I think, or at any rate not taking into consideration the possibility that a man and his novels may lead separate lives. I have to wonder if Sebald felt threatened by an artist who was, if not his better, in this book certainly his equal.

Jesse I'll have to look for the essay, I hadn't heard of it. Andersch has definitely fallen off the map (though I don't know how secure his place on the map ever was, ND's "Modern Classic" designation notwithstanding). At the bookstore where I work he has been pretty much excluded (i.e. there are notes in the inventory system suggesting we don't bother to buy/price/shelve his books should we ever see them).

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