Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher, Boston, MA, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 1989
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: First Edition.
Slight stain to inside of DJ from black spine. Slight discoloration to top of back grey board. Slight rubbing at board seams. Otherwise fine. Protected by Archival Brodart cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000030
Synopsis: A work of dazzling imagination, Mefisto, like John Banville's other novels, takes as its theme the price the true scientist or artist must pay for his calling in terms of his own humanity, his ability to live fully. Like his Copernicus, Kepler, and the nameless narrator of The Newton Letter, the central character of Mr. Banville's Mefisto, Gabriel Swan, is caught in the dilemma of the divided man who must choose between life and work, thought and action, experience and creation. The solution he seeks to dissolve the dilemma lies in a perhaps discoverable formula that will reduce the disorder of common things to an equation the application of which will "show up the seemingly random for what it is."
Gabriel is guided in his quest by Felix, the mysterious fixer, and his strange companions: Sophie, the silent girl, and the doomed Mr. Kasperl. At the close of the quest, as the computer-borne pattern seems set to repeat itself endlessly, Gabriel uncovers a solution that fails to bring him the rigor and certainty he had sought but offers up other things entirely. His wages are neofaustian and his fate as chancy as the "seemingly random" he would subside.
About the Author: John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of fourteen previous novels including The Sea, which won the 2005 Man Booker Prize. He has received a literary award from the Lannan Foundation. He lives in Dublin.
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