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Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (Author)
Adam Thirlwell (Introduction)
Joanne Turnbull (Translator)

Autobiography of a Corpse (New York Review Books Classics)

Autobiography of a Corpse (New York Review Books Classics)

ISBN: 9781590176702

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An NYRB Classics Original.

Virtually unpublished during his lifetime, Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky’s fantastic and blackly comic philosophical fables have since 1989 earned him a reputation as one of the greatest Russian writers of the twentieth century. Included in this collection of eleven newly translated tales are some of his strangest and most brilliant conceits: a provincial journalist who moves to Moscow finds his existence consumed by the autobiography of his room’s previous occupant, a suicide who vacated his hundred square feet in exchange for his successor’s consideration of his manuscript; the fingers of a celebrated pianist’s right hand run away to spend an abrasive night alone on the city streets; a man’s lifelong quest to bite his own elbow inspires both a wildly popular circus act and a new refutation of Kant; a desperate energy crisis is resolved through the systematic exploitation of the one substance to reliably increase along with the dysfunctions of modern life: bile, or “yellow coal.” Abounding in nested narratives, wild paradox, and improbably high stakes—what would you do if a Stygian toad landed on your pillow one night and asked for help in saving the world by building a bridge to death?—the unlikely stories in Autobiography of a Corpse ask you to take a second look at the cracks in everyday reality.

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