Psalm 44


Psalm 44

by Danilo Kiš
Dalkey Archive Press, 2012
128 pages / $16.95 buy from Dalkey Archive Press
Rating: 9.0








“The work of Danilo Kiš preserves the honor of literature.”
-Susan Sontag


In his Psalm 44, Danilo Kiš offers something beautiful and immediately important. The novel, set in the Auschwitz concentration camp, confronts deep tragedy.

As a writer, Kiš trends expansive, with long lyrical passages:

“She remembered the return from the village, and her perplexity at not traveling by train (the way they had come) and only then by cart through the fields of rye and poppies, but they covered the whole distance back in a cart, moving continuously alongside the tracks with their thundering haughty trains, and she loved travel by train, as did her mother, who had told her she had loved to travel by train, but just now she said she preferred to lurch along the bumpy village lanes, where there isn’t any way to shield your head and so the sun strikes you directly on the pate, right on the crown of your skull. Then they reached the city and Marija said to her mother that she’d had more than enough of this cart and that she would at least like to ride the streetcar at this pint, to ride the blue one that went from the train station straight to the corner of their street where the chestnut blossoms were…”


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September 3rd, 2013 / 6:57 pm