The Internet Book List - Spread the word

Book Information: Imperial Messages

Imperial Messages (1976) [Anthology]
by Kobo Abe Duane Ackerson Samuel Yosef Agnon Hans Christian Andersen Juan José Arreola Antonin Artaud Hans Carl Artmann Isaac Babel Pierre Bettencourt Jorge Luis Borges Paul Bowles Bertolt Brecht Martin Buber Italo Calvino Elias Canetti Marvin Cohen Kirby Congdon Julio Cortázar Marco Denevi Isak Dinesen Fyodor Dostoevsky Bob Dylan Russell Edson Lawrence Fixel Gabriel García Márquez Gust Gils Nikolai Gogol Lars Gyllensten Cecil Helman Zbigniew Herbert Wolfgang Hildesheimer Enrique Anderson Imbert Edmond Jabès Eugene Jolas Franz Kafka Marie Luise Kaschnitz Daniil Kharms Heinrich von Kleist Jerzy Kosinski Rachel Kubie Günter Kunert Pär Lagerkvist Tommaso Landolfi Reinhard Lettau Jakov Lind R. Yehoshua Lovaine George MacDonald Milos Macourek Christoph Meckel W. S. Merwin Henri Michaux Barton Midwood Mohammed Mrabet Slawomir Mrozek Multatuli Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav Paul van Ostaijen I.L. Peretz Edgar Allan Poe Isaac Rosenfeld Jerome Rothenberg Andreas Schroeder Howard Schwartz Charles Schwartz (ii) Miguel Serrano Isaac Bashevis Singer David Slabotsky Robert Thompson Roland Topor Krishna Baldev Vaid Elie Wiesel Britton Wilkie Marguerite Yourcenar Rating: Weighted - 8.6 / Average - 9.0 of 10 (1 votes) (Rate!)
Reviews: None (show them) Review!

Summary (From the publisher):

Whether incorporating the innocent charm of a fairy tale or the menacing confusion of a dream, the modern parable - like its predecessor the ancient scriptural parable - is a brief story infused with a moral dimension. Meaning does not lie exposed on the surface but, submerged, waits for the reader who has ears to hear the message, which may come instantly as an insight or reveal itself languorously, stirring up the unconscious contents of the psyche. This meaning or moral is the essence of the narrative form which has continued to challenge some of the most important thinkers and writers of the 20th century, including Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Elie Wiesel, Isak Dineson, Bertolt Brecht, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Italo Calvino and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. With this splendid collection, editor and parablist Howard Schwartz announces "the resurrection of the parable as a literary genre," presenting 100 parables by 72 modern practitioners of the form, placing primary emphasis on writers of this century and including a sampling of 19th century parables by such writers as Dostoyevsky, Poe and Gogol.

With backdrops ranging from ancient civilizations to a motorcycle social club to space travel, these modern parables speak to both the emotions and the intellect. The title story, Kafka's "An Imperial Message," tells of a message from a dying emperor to his lowliest subject, a message which must travel a long distance and, even then, doesn't quite arrive. Kafka counsels both the subject and the modern reader, "you sit at your window when evening falls and dream it to yourself." Charming, imaginative and enigmatic, these modern parables have been dispatched to provide the reader with messages to read, to dream on, to ponder and to enjoy.


  • Preface
  • Introduction: Kafka and the Modern Parable
  • An Imperial Message by Franz Kafka
  • Before the Law by Franz Kafka
  • The Silence of the Sirens by Franz Kafka
  • The Spider and the Fly by Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav
  • St. Cecilia, or the Power of Music by Heinrich von Kleist
  • The Dream of a Ridiculous Man by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Castle by George MacDonald
  • The Hermit and the Bear by I.L. Peretz
  • Everything and Nothing by Jorge Luis Borges
  • The Circular Ruins by Jorge Luis Borges
  • Borges and I by Jorge Luis Borges
  • The Sirens by Paul van Ostaijen
  • The City of Builders by Paul van Ostaijen
  • Mr. Telleke's Conviction by Paul van Ostaijen
  • My Properties by Henri Michaux
  • My King by Henri Michaux
  • The Experimental World by Par Lagerkvist
  • The Adventure by Par Lagerkvist
  • On the Scales of Osiris by Par Lagerkvist
  • Fable of the Goat by S.Y. Agnon
  • The Orchestra by S.Y. Agnon
  • The Blue Jar by Isak Dinesen
  • The Blue Stones by Isak Dinesen
  • The Great Mother by Miguel Serrano
  • The Servants by Miguel Serrano
  • The Last Flower by Miguel Serrano
  • The Angel by Hans Christian Andersen
  • The Angel and the World's Dominion by Martin Buber
  • Jachid and Jechidah by Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Gabriel García Márquez
  • The Sorcerer's Son by Rodrigo Rey Rosa
  • The Sacrifice of the Prisoner by Elias Canetti
  • A Bloodthirsty Tiger by Elias Canetti
  • The Story of Lilith and Eve by Jakov Lind
  • The Bride of the East by W.S. Merwin
  • Sand by W.S. Merwin
  • A Fable of the Buyers by W.S. Merwin
  • The Mountain of Signs by Antonin Artaud
  • Cities and Signs by Italo Calvino
  • Cities and the Dead by Italo Calvino
  • Cities and the Sky by Italo Calvino
  • The Map of Lost Objects by Juan Jose Arreola
  • Mirror and Scarf by Edmond Jabes
  • The Behavior of Mirrors on Easter Island by Julio Cortazar
  • Continuity of Parks by Julio Cortazar
  • Inventions by Christoph Meckel
  • Shipbuilding by Christoph Meckel
  • The Mapmakers of the Dead by Christoph Meckel
  • One's Ship by Barton Midwood
  • Sinking Contest by Pierre Bettencourt
  • The Fragrance of Shellweed by Kobo Abe
  • The Nose by Nicolai V. Gogol
  • Gogol's Wife by Tommaso Landolfi
  • Blue Notebook No. 10 by Daniil Kharms
  • A Sonnet by Daniil Kharms
  • The Connection by Daniil Kharms
  • Dulcinea del Toboso by Marco Denevi
  • Antimatter by Russell Edson
  • A Man Who Writes by Russell Edson
  • The Tower by Enrique Anderson Imbert
  • The Suicide by Enrique Anderson Imbert
  • Punishing the Guest by Reinhard Lettau
  • Excerpt from Steps by Jerzy Kosinski
  • The Imperishable Container of All Current Pasts by Marvin Cohen
  • Excerpt from Alaap by Krishna Baldev Vaid
  • The Motorcycle Social Club by Kirby Congden
  • The Japanese Stonecutter by Multatuli
  • Feeding the Hungry by Roland Topor
  • How Wang-Fo Was Saved by Marguerite Yourcenar
  • The Tree by Andreas Schroeder
  • Women Born from Trees by Lars Gyllensten
  • Baraka by Mohammed Mrabet
  • I Sang in a Forest One Day by Bob Dylan
  • The Polish Tree by Gunter Kunert
  • The Sheep of the Hidden Valley by R. Yehoshua Lovaine
  • A Myth of Asherah by Howard Schwartz
  • The Book of Vessels by Howard Schwartz
  • Isis by Rachel Kubie
  • The Death of Rabbi Yoseph by David Slabotsky
  • The Glass Blower by Duane Ackerson
  • The Chameleon by Milos Macourek
  • Mr. K's Favorite Animal by Bertolt Brecht
  • The Elephant by Slawomir Mrozek
  • A Capsulization (of the Odd-Numbered Chapters of the Novel In Lieu of by Leroy Ortega Holcomb, from Chapter One to Chapter Twenty-Three) by Robert Thompson
  • The Garden by Paul Bowles
  • Excerpt from Green-sealed Messages: 1 by H.C. Artmann
  • Excerpt from Green-sealed Messages: 88 by H.C. Artmann
  • A Considerable Purchase by Wolfgang Hildesheimer
  • The Tramp's Sin and Charlie Chapin by Eugene Jolas
  • Pyramid Criticism by Isaac Rosenfeld
  • Mummification and Space Travel by Britton Wilkie
  • The Hot Cosmonaut by Gust Gils
  • Left Out by Charles Schwartz
  • The Master by Lawrence Fixel
  • The True Waiting by Elie Wiesel
  • Soap by Jerome Rothenberg
  • The Unmasking of the Apocalypse by Cecil Helman
  • Threatening Letter by Maria Luise Kaschnitz
  • Period by Zbigniew Herbert
  • About the Authors

Original title: Imperial Messages
Original languages: Various


Genre: Fairy Tales & FolkloreOriginal Creations
FictionFantasyLiterary Fantasy
FictionGeneral FictionLiterary Fiction/classics

The following works are contained within this one:
     St. Cecilia, or the Power of Music (1810) [Short Story]
      Author: Heinrich von Kleist
     Nose, the (1836) [Novelette]
      Author: Nikolai Gogol
     Oval Portrait, the (1842) [Short Story]
      Author: Edgar Allan Poe
     Dream of a Ridiculous Man, the (1877) [Short Story]
      Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky
     Before the Law (1916) [Short Story]
      Author: Franz Kafka
     Imperial Message, an (1919) [Short Story]
      Author: Franz Kafka
     Circular Ruins, the (1940) [Short Story]
      Author: Jorge Luis Borges
     Blue Jar, the (1942) [Short Story]
      Author: Isak Dinesen
     Major Acquisition (1952) [Short Story]
      Author: Wolfgang Hildesheimer
     Mr. K's Favorite Animal (1953) [Short Story]
      Author: Bertolt Brecht
     Continuity of Parks (1956) [Short Story]
      Author: Julio Cortázar
     Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, a (1968) [Short Story]
      Author: Gabriel García Márquez
This work contains excerpts from the following works :
     Steps (1968) [Novel]
      Author: Jerzy Kosinski
     Invisible Cities (1972) [Novel]
      Author: Italo Calvino


Edition #1: Imperial Messages

Imperial Messages (1976)
Edition Details:

Language: English

Edited by: Howard Schwartz
Search at Amazon!

Search at Powells!

Search at AbeBooks!

Manifested in:

Imperial Messages: One Hundred Modern Parables (December 1991)

Format: Hardcover
Place of publication: Woodstock, NY
Publisher: Overlook Press
ISBN: 9780879513962
Pages: 338

Add to my library

Imperial Messages: One Hundred Modern Parables (October 1976)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: New York
Publisher: Avon
ISBN: 9780380006823
Pages: 348

Add to my library

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
Terms of Use