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Book Information: German Picturesque, a

German Picturesque, a (1998) [Collection]
by Jason Schwartz Rating: No votes (Rate!)
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Summary (From the publisher):

Haunting in their tone, brilliant in their images--very like fantastic presences moving across glass--the twenty-one fictions in this startling debut collection seem both inexplicably familiar and like no writing we have seen before.

The opening story leads us through a kaleidoscopic series of thoughts and memories around the act of writing a letter. Another, an intricately structured document of documents -- household inventories, daily calendars, property deeds, an announcement -- suggests the reality overflowing these mundane markers of our lives. Yet another traces the histories of five artifacts, while at the same time slyly assembling five miniature biographical portraits.

Point of view is important: Elements of a house, for example, are seen from the perspective of an adult and of a child. And a wedding unfolds in conflicting word snapshots taken by the bride and groom and other guests, each providing a unique and sometimes disturbing impression.

Phantasmagoric episodes of travel appear in several entries -- an encyclopedic vision of a voyage at sea, a family's cross-country railroad trip through a timeless America, or the revealing journey to Spain by two elderly sisters.


  • Antwerp
  • Stories for Boys
  • Killies
  • Five Diaries
  • Latin Black
  • Blindstitch
  • A German Picturesque
  • Ox
  • A Grammar
  • Octave
  • The County Houses
  • Circus Station
  • I Am Tired
  • Ram Farm
  • Garrison Town
  • Pastoral
  • Roman Versions
  • Bees
  • Situs
  • Bone China
  • The Staves

Original title: A German Picturesque
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionGeneral Fiction

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Edition #1: German Picturesque, a

German Picturesque, a (1998)
Edition Details:

Language: English

  • "...Schwartz's work contains genuine passion and invention--and an enormous appetite for challenging himself and his audience." New York Times Book Review
  • "An extraordinary, associative, allusive artist whose stories in scope, skill, innuendo, subtlety are like reading T. S. Eliot in prose." Kirkus Reviews
  • "Reading the 21 runelike stories that comprise Schwartz's debut collection is a bit like eavesdropping: you may not follow the conversation, but you'll certainly overhear something interesting." Publishers Weekly
  • "Those whose idea of a good-time read is a literary Rubik's Cube have a colorful new toy on their hands." Detroit Free Press
  • "Jason Schwartz has a very distinct style here's hoping he does something with it someday." Jim Trageser
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Manifested in:

German Picturesque, a (June 30, 1998)

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 0679443320
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 x 0.8
Pages: 133

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