Conversation of the Three Wayfarers (Paperback)
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This fast-moving, tightly-wound, and gleefully dark novella contains an entire universe in miniature
Conversation of the Three Wayfarers is a tale overheard, rather than told directly. Abel, Babel, and Cabel, the wayfarers, carry on a three-sided monologue, each reporting curious incidents—the effect is of three capers rolled into one: a steeplechase performed on a floating pontoon. But are they really three distinct individuals? Why do their lives blend in such a fantastic manner? Weiss’s strikingly original prose has an impossibly contained quality, with each sentence doing a perfect double-double backflip before neatly landing. This essential rediscovered work, from the masterful and acclaimed German modernist Peter Weiss, will be a delightful discovery for readers of Kafka, Musil, and Gombrowicz.
About the Author
Peter Weiss (1916–1982) was a German playwright, dramatist, visual artist, filmmaker, and novelist. His works include The Aesthetics of Resistance and The Shadow of the Coachman’s Body. He is best known in the US for his play Marat/Sade: Peter Brook’s production received the Tony Award for Best Play in 1966. His documentary drama The Investigation, which recreates the trial of Auschwitz concentration camp guards, was produced on American television in the 1960s. He was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize after his death in 1982.
E. B. Garside was a German translator and the author of The Man From Brazil.
John Keene is the author, co-author, and translator of a handful of books, including Annotations (1995) and Counternarratives (2015), both published by New Directions. Counternarratives received an American Book Award, a Lannan Literary Award, a Republic of Consciousness Prize (UK), and a Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction. His most recent publication, Punks: New & Selected Poems (The Song Cave, 2021),received the 2022 National Book Award for Poetry, the Thom Gunn Award from the Publishing Triangle and a 2022 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. A 2018 MacArthur Fellow, he is Distinguished Professor and serves as department chair at Rutgers University-Newark
Weiss remains among the most important postwar German authors no one’s read.
Peter Weiss embarks on his literary work and enters purgatory. All his work is designed as a visit to the dead.
— W. G. Sebald
Staggering ambition! Extraordinary richness.
— Susan Sontag