Asylum Piece (Peter Owen Modern Classics)

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9780720611236: Asylum Piece (Peter Owen Modern Classics)

Kavan was always a dark writer, a very dark writer. Like Kafka, she writes of prisons with no bars, of paranoiac nightmares, of living in a halfway world between hell and reality. First published sixty years ago (Doubleday did it in the U.S. in 1946), Asylum Piece charts the descent of the narrator from the onset of neurosis to final incarceration at a Swiss clinic. This collection of interlinked and largely autobiographical stories (Kavan suffered numerous breakdowns and was a life-long heroin addict) evokes the sense of paranoia and persecution found in The Trial, though her deeply personal, restrained, and almost foreign-accented style has no true model. The same characters who recur throughout-the protagonist's unhelpful advisor,"" the friend/lover who abandons her at the clinic, and an assortment of deluded companions-are sketched without a trace of the rage, self-pity, or sentiment that have marked more recent accounts of mental instability.

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Product Description:

This collection of stories, mostly interlinked and largely autobiographical, chart the descent of the narrator from the onset of neurosis to final incarceration in a Swiss clinic. The sense of paranoia, of persecution by a foe or force that is never given a name, evokes The Trial by Kafka, a writer with whom Kavan is often compared, although her deeply personal, restrained, and almost foreign  —accented style has no true model. The same characters who recur throughout—the protagonist's unhelpful "adviser," the friend and lover who abandons her at the clinic, and an assortment of deluded companions—are sketched without a trace of the rage, self-pity, or sentiment that have marked more recent accounts of mental instability.

About the Author:

Anna Kavan was one of the greatest unsung enigmas in 20th-century British literature. Born Helen Ferguson, a fraught childhood and two failed marriages led her to change her name to that of one of her characters. Despite struggling with mental illness and heroin addiction for most of her life, she was still able to write fiction that was as powerful and memorable as any English female writer of the last 150 years.

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Book Description Peter Owen Ltd, London, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. NEW. Small 8vo, pp 212, a very good new copy. [First published sixty years ago, Asylum Piece today ranks as one of the most extraordinary and terrifying evocations of human madness ever written. This collection of stories, mostly interlinked and largely autobiographical, chart the descent of the narrator from the onset of neurosis to final incarceration in a Swiss clinic. The sense of paranoia, of persecution by a foe or force that is never given a name, evokes The Trial by Kafka, a writer with whom Kavan is often compared, although her deeply personal, restrained and almost foreign-accented style has no true model. The same characters who recur throughout - the protagonist's unhelpful 'adviser', the friend/lover who abandons her at the clinic and an assortment of deluded companions - are sketched without a trace of the rage, self-pity or sentiment that have marked more recent accounts of mental instability.]. Bookseller Inventory # 007533

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