Literary Saloon
Site of Review.

Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs.

the Best
the Rest
Review Index




to e-mail us:

support the site

buy us books !
Amazon wishlist

In Association with Amazon.com

In association with Amazon.com - UK

In association with Amazon.ca - Canada



the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Adventures In Immediate Irreality

Max Blecher

general information | review summaries | our review | links | about the author

To purchase Adventures In Immediate Irreality

Title: Adventures In Immediate Irreality
Author: Max Blecher
Genre: Novel
Written: 1936 (Eng. 2015)
Length: 138 pages
Original in: Romanian
Availability: Adventures In Immediate Irreality - US
Adventures In Immediate Irreality - UK
Adventures In Immediate Irreality - Canada
Aventures dans l'irréalité immédiate - France
Aus der unmittelbaren Unwirklichkeit - Deutschland
  • Romanian title: Întâmplări în irealitatea imediată
  • Translated by Michael Henry Heim
  • Also translated by Alistair Ian Blyth, as Occurrence in the Immediate Unreality (2009)

- Return to top of the page -

Our Assessment:

B+ : effective, if utterly self-absorbed

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
FAZ . 3/2/2004 Harald Hartung
The Nation . 24/9/2015 Ricky D'Ambrose
Neue Zürcher Zeitung . 9/12/2003 Andreas Breitenstein
Die Welt . 6/12/2003 Christine Knust
Die Welt . 13/3/2004 Hanne Reinhardt

  From the Reviews:
  • "Der Titel des Buches ist spröde, das Buch selbst aber ganz und gar nicht. (...) Blechers Prosa ist tatsächlich Körperprosa. Sie öffnet sich der Welt wie der Protagonist seine als löcherig empfundene Haut." - Harald Hartung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

  • "A good deal of the pleasure and interest of Adventures in Immediate Irreality is in its delicate handling of a different sort of psychology, concocted in defiance of the usual oppositions (inner life and outer life, form and content, mind and body) (.....) Our narrator, his mind clenched against the universe, flaunts a perspective on his own degraded situation with such relish, with such an exalted style of infelicitous thinking, that we are left with a winded (and wounded) aesthete of the abject." - Ricky D'Ambrose, The Nation

  • "Der jugendliche Ich-Erzähler des Romans mit dem sperrigen Titel streunt durch die Gassen einer rumänischen Stadt. Kein Flaneur, sondern ein seelisch und physiologisch Gehetzter, fieberträumend, rauschhaft und sexuell stimuliert. Ein Gefühl der Ferne und Einsamkeit, die Frage nach der eigenen Identität und eine Melancholie des Seins treiben ihn um. Alles ist geheimnisvoll, selbst die Dinge schreien nach Freiheit und brechen aus der gewohnten Ordnung." - Christine Knust, Die Welt

  • "Er führt uns in eine unwirkliche Welt, in der die surrealen Beobachtungen und die entgrenzte Vorstellungskraft des Erzählers eine Hellsichtigkeit verraten, die an Wahnsinn grenzt. Er gibt sich ihm anheim, Wahnsinn macht frei, am Schluss wälzt er sich im Schlamm, eine überwältigende Szene. Ach, wenn Kinski noch lebte, er läse uns diesen Text, wie er gelesen werden müsste." - Hanne Reinhardt, Die Welt

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

- Return to top of the page -

The complete review's Review:

[Note: This review was written before an English translation was available; it is based on the German translation by Ernest Wichner, Aus der unmittelbaren Unwirklichkeit Suhrkamp, 2003).]

       In Întâmplări în irealitatea imediată ('Events in Immediate Unreality') the narrator is not so much lost in thought as simply overwhelmed by experience. He constantly loses track of time, captivated for minutes or hours by the simplest objects or actions. The childlike fascination with the world around -- and every bit of it -- carries over into adolescence and beyond. The descriptions of what often amount practically to trances resemble some drug-induced narratives (and the narrator has that mellow attitude, too), but there's nothing artificially induced here.
       The narrator's world is one of largely friendless isolation, and yet this doesn't weigh on him: he's like the small child revelling in his entirely own world -- except that he doesn't outgrow that phase, even as he grows up. This isn't a Bildungsroman; there's little education or personal growth, just, for the most part, overwhelming experience. He can stare at a pig scratching itself on a fence for ages, and it strikes him as perfection.
       There's little imagination here, either: he is not a daydreamer -- and that might be part of the reason that experience overwhelms him so: he lives entirely in the moment, and can barely imagine beyond it. A rare ambition and dream he has -- the one thing he longs to see, he claims -- is to see a wax museum go up in flames, and to be able to watch the figures slowly melt away. It is a leap of the imagination for someone who seems to cling to what is almost all static, a radical change and complete destruction of a world before his eyes that might perhaps force him to confront actual change.
       There's some brilliant description in the novel, as Blecher manages to convey the intensity of his narrator's perception. There's limited interaction with others, including his family, but his visit to the annual fair is a wonderful chapter, the depressing carnival atmosphere and acts suggesting why withdrawal into an entirely self-centered point of view might be the way to go after all.
       Among his few acquaintances are the owner of a sewing machine store and his sister, as he often spends his days in the store. Eventually a sexual relationship develops between him and the girl, surreally developed and related, yet another intense experience that he barely knows how to handle.
       The world around him -- almost every bit of reality -- is too much for him, and Blecher conveys this impressively. It's an atmospheric book, bizarre and self-absorbed, but full of this peculiar life. Worthwhile.

- Return to top of the page -


Adventures In Immediate Irreality: Reviews: Other books by M. Blecher under review: Other books of interest under review:

- Return to top of the page -

About the Author:

       Romanian author M. Blecher (who signed his name Max or Marcel) lived 1909 to 1938.

- Return to top of the page -

© 2006-2022 the complete review

Main | the New | the Best | the Rest | Review Index | Links