Author(s): Albert Vigoleis Thelen
Winner of the PEN Translation Prize Unavailable to English readers for more than 50 years, "The Island of Second Sight" is a masterpiece of world literature. Set in the years leading up to World War II, it is the fictionalized account of the time spent in Mallorca by the author and his wife, who encounter the most unpredictable and surreal adventures, pursued all the while by Nazis and Francoists. And just as the chaos comes to seem manageable, the Spanish Civil War erupts. Drawing comparisons to "Don Quixote" and "The Man Without Qualities, ""The Island of Second Sight" is a novel of astonishing and singular richness of language and purpose. At once ironic and humanistic, hilarious and profoundly serious, philosophical and grotesque, "The Island of Second Sight" is a literary tour de force.
"A genuine work of art." -- Paul Celan "A masterpiece." -- "Times Literary Supplement" "Worthy of a place alongside "On the Marble Cliffs, Berlin Alexanderplatz, The Death of Virgil" and other modernist German masterworks; a superb, sometimes troubling work of postwar fiction, deserving the widest possible audience." -- "Kirkus Reviews," "A charming if exhausting blend of cultural self-examination and picaresque adventure...Even when the author-narrator's observations prove overwhelming, his cultural insights, historical laments, literary references, and abundant wit make this first English translation (by Amherst professor White) and the book itself a literary achievement." -- "Publishers Weekly" "[A] brilliant novel...Readers will thank a gifted translator for finally making this masterpiece--acclaimed by Thomas Mann--available to English-speakers." -- Booklist, starred review
Albert Vigoleis Thelen (1903-1989) was a German writer and translator. Donald O. White is a professor of German at Amherst College.