Jeanne's Reviews > Schopenhauer's Telescope

Schopenhauer's Telescope by Gerard Donovan
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's review
May 27, 2009

it was amazing

Donovan's debut novel, long-listed for the Booker, is set in a field somewhere in Europe, on a wintry day during a war. One character, identified only as the Teacher, is watching the other character, the Baker, dig a hole the size of a mass grave - a Sisyphean task given the rate at which snow is falling. Over the course of the day, the two have a philosophical dialogue about genocide and war, the nature of evil and the reliability and usefulness of recorded history, and we learn a little more - only a little, mind - about their respective involvements in the present nonspecific conflict.

In its methods, themes and tone, Schopenhauer's Telescope closely resembles a piece of Theatre of the Absurd,
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