Literary roundup: Leo Perutz, spaceman and love

There is an excellent essay entitled “The Forgotten Genius of Leo Perutz” in the LARB by Daniel Polansky on the Prague-born Austrian writer Leo Perutz. He gives a survey of Perutz’s novels and unique sensibility and mix of genres with complicated exploration of issues of identity and nationalism among many other subjects. Add to this the way he brought in the mythic, supernatural and then infused them both with doubt, and it really is puzzling that contemporary readers don’t share the high opinions of Borges, Graham Greene and Calvino among other Perutz admirers.

One thing in the essay I thought was strange was that he didn’t mention Perutz’s final, posthumously published novel Leonardo’s Judas. Set during Leonardo da Vinci’s time finishing The Last Supper in Milan and filled with intrigue and betrayal, I’ve always imagined this novel as the alternate universe version of The Da Vinci Code (imagined, because I’ve never read the latter).

Book Launch

There will be a book launch and reading for Mikhail Iossel’s story collection Love Like Water, Love Like Fire on Thursday, May 6 at 10pm UTC, which means midnight in Prague and 6pm in New York (the rest of you, figure it out yourselves). The book is being published by Bellevue Literary Press and is comprises “twenty stories of Soviet childhood and adulthood, dissidence and subsequent immigration”.

Read more about the book here

Spaceman of Bohemia

Jaroslav Kalfař’s debut novel, The Spaceman of Bohemia, is being brought to the screen by Netflix, starring Adam Sandler and, it was just announced that Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan will be playing the role of his earthbound wife. It was also just reported that the film will be shot in Prague, the city recently having become one giant film set. My neighborhood is littered with signs on the street that say “No Parking: Film Only”. Not that I care, I don’t have a car. It will also be refreshing as I have recently seen Prague serving as Berlin, Riga, Vilnius and early 60’s Berlin (Spy City) and it was hard to not see Prague.

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Categories: Literary Events, News


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