Bottom’s dream or Nightmare or is it Jam and Jerusalem Epic reading options

I saw earlier today a post on conversational reads That Scott Esposito had posted a picture of this year maybe most awaited amoung die hard translated fans and that is the epic Bottom’s dream by Arno Schmidt , whom I reviewed earlier this year one of his shorter books The egghead republic. But Bottom’s dream is a whole different kettle of fish a book that in the german editon a folio size 1348 page book. To give you a glue of how huge this book is here is a video of the german edition being flicked through

The book follows the struggle of  a german translator in translating the works of Edgar Allen Poe into english and is also influenced by the wordplay James Joyce used in Fnnegans wake.Well Dalkey Archive and John E Woods the  translator , who has spent years working on it. Welll 2,250,000 words is a lot as Scott point out 4 times theat of War and Peace. Add to that is the cost at 50 pound it will be an investment, but also a talking point for many years to come. Then if that isn’t enough I have also an eye on this book Jerusalem by Alan Moore

A book that follows 6000years of history in his home town of Northampton . He said in an interview there was chapter influenced by Jame Joyce , Samuel Beckett and Noir as the tale of this town is told by 12 characters .This is also a 1,000,000 word novel and has a three vol editon coming out also in sept . So I have a battle of epic reads to try and read . Which of these two epic novels grabs you ?

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lizzysiddal
    Aug 18, 2016 @ 21:59:36

    Bottom’s Dream – Are you game? The book weighs 13 pounds! That’s one brave publisher and it would take a brave reader. Imagine that falling on your head when you fall asleep reading in bed ….


  2. Tony
    Aug 18, 2016 @ 23:06:10

    I looked online for a German edition – AU$340… Not for me 😉


  3. roughghosts
    Aug 19, 2016 @ 00:32:34

    Neither hold a particular appeal for me. I have not read Schmidt though I do have a collection of shorter works. I will enjoy watching the discussion though. There is a blog called The Untranslated, I don’t know if you follow it, and he has been reading and writing about the German edition for over a year and he’s just taken a break from the task!

    The less ambitious (900+ pgs) but challenging read that has sparked my interest is The Combinations by Louis Armand which was just shortlisted for the Not the Booker. The kindle is only $5 so I downloaded it to have a look. It’s very strange and gorgeously illustrated. It’s the Prague connection that has me curious. Reading it on my tablet is tough though given the way it is formatted so, if I think I might seriously read it, I will have to consider the print edition which would be over $50 to get here. From the opening pages I suspect it will put off a lot of readers, but I like it so far!

    PS. I must be crazy. I’m hard pressed to read anything over 400 pages most of the time! 🙂


  4. BookerTalk
    Aug 19, 2016 @ 04:09:24

    Neither appeal to me though I appreciate the labour and passion that went into these worls.


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August 2016


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