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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Annihilation (Norwegian Literature Series) Paperback – May 1, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nearly bereft of dialogue, this daring, beautifully understated experimental novel recreates a single day in the life of a Polish-Jewish town doomed to be destroyed in the Holocaust. On this single day in 1934 nothing much happens: children play; a lawyer visits a prostitute; cheerful Hasidim dance in the streets; merchants, policeman and citizens go about their business. Although the Nazis are nowhere in sight, the townsfolk's premonitory dreams hint of disaster to come. In meticulously re-creating an ordinary day, the omniscient voice of the narrator consecrates the everyday reality of a world he wishes to save from annihilation. Seemingly trivial events--a Gypsy reading fortunes, a rooster's crowing--take on momentous import given the horrific foreknowledge that the town will one day be obliterated. The smooth translation conveys the elegiac tone and underlying tension of Polish novelist Szewc's jolting first novel.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Your home town is about to be annihilated. What would you save? What epitomizes this place that will soon be no more? Szewc's answer to these questions is an elegiac meditation that reconstructs individual moments in the life of his hometown, razed by Nazis years before his birth in 1961. The tastes, smells, and mundane activities of an ordinary day in a small eastern Polish town are preserved here for posterity. A single day is minutely and lovingly resurrected, all of its lost opportunities and inconsequential details savored. All life here is cherished and suspended, innocent and ignorant of the passage of time. This first English translation of a mesmerizing first novel published in Poland in 1987 is highly recommended for all who revel in poignant imagery.
- Ruth M. Ross, Olympic Coll. Lib., Bremerton, Wash.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Norwegian Literature Series
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; 1st paperback ed edition (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564782050
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564782052
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully realized account of a day in the life of a small town in eastern Poland in the early 1930s. Szewc has an eye like that of Proust. Details are lovingly recorded, all in an effort to preserve the day-to-day--a day-to-day that will be destroyed, one might add, during the Holocaust. The book is also beautifully translated.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Smith VINE VOICE on June 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The intent of this beautifully written, poetic book is to capture a day in the life of a village. While there is wonderful use of symbolism, the book ultimately fails on two counts. First, there is no reason for the selection of whose lives to follow through the day. Second, the narrator vasillated between omniscient (even knowing dreams and memories) to limited only is visible. When limited, the narrator engages in speculation and philosophic reflection.
This has an author worth watching, but as a novel it is an interesting, beautiful failure.
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