Image of HOURGLASS
(Click for larger image)


Kis, Danilo (Translated by Ralph Manheim). HOURGLASS. New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1990. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 274 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's third novel. One of the greatest novels of the 20th century. Review Copy. Review Materials laid-in. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. Review Copies were issued in a tiny number only. The First Edition is now rare. Presents Danilo Kis' greatest novel. "Describes the external and internal worlds of a railway clerk called ES whose quotidian concerns include antagonism toward his well-to-do sister Netty, quarrels with her son George about a piece of jointly owned property, and futile, indignant inquiries to the authorities about why his pension has been reduced. But Kis uses this life of a victim as a counterpoint to his second storyline, which matter-of-factly reveals an exploding, horrific world in which Jews are murdered in countless mundane or outlandish ways, commit suicide, or simply disappear while the general population goes mad" (Publisher's blurb). The novel is an homage to an earlier masterpiece, Bruno Schulz's "Sanatorium Under The Sign of The Hourglass" (first published in English in 1978). Schulz was a murder victim of the most arbitrary kind, shot in the street by a Nazi officer who wanted to kill someone else but couldn't, a fellow Nazi officer, who was Schulz's protector. In this "life-and-death" game of displacement, Schulz's Nazi protector could not up the ante. Schulz was just another Jew after all, inferior to him and all other Nazi officers. Kis' fictional re-creation of Schulz's pathetic life is one of the most sublime and moving gestures, artistically and morally, by one great writer to another (very) great writer. An absolute "must-have" title for Danilo Kis collectors. This is a Review Copy. The Review Materials are laid-in. This title is a modern classic. As far as we know, this is the only Review Copy of the First American Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. All other copies available online are subsequent editions or have serious flaws. A rare copy thus. "Hourglass" is regarded by Joseph Brodsky and Susan Sontag as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER DANILO KIS TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0374172870. $200.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on April 30, 2017.