is a master of the grotesque and one of the great representatives of Austro-Hungarian world literature. This is the first single volume edition of “Scoglio Pomo”, which remained unpublished in Herzmanovsky-Orlando’s lifetime. It is unabridged, unmodified, richly illustrated and the first of four volumes of his most important works.
It all begins quite harmless: True Kakanian patriot Jaromir von Eynhuf decides to bestow the gift of his milk tooth collection on his beloved monarch on the occasion of the latter’s royal jubilee. As fate will have it, the collection is still incomplete. On his quest for the last milk tooth, the loyal official of the royal court’s drum depot bravely faces the trials and tribulations of Kakania. With his debut novel, Fritz Herzmanovsky-Orlando created an unforgettable literary monument to Imperial Austria and the Habsburg monarchy.
A dream path behind a cabinet door leads the unmarried orphan Cyriak de Pizzicolli, who has never traveled beyond Graz and its vicinity, to “Tarockei”, the “only neighboring country to the world”. The fantastical land inhabited by magical beings is an Austrian-Byzantine utopia, where the constitution is based on the card game tarot. What adventures he experiences after encountering the breathtakingly beautiful Cyparis and why he ends up wearing stag antlers on his head can be told by none less than Fritz Herzmanovsky-Orlando.
“Masquerade of the Genii” is not only his main work, but also one of the main works of 20th century Austrian literature – the fantastical sister of Robert Musil’s “Man Without Qualities”, like Alice in Wonderland stumbling into Kafka’s Castle, a wonderful nightmare bubbling with ideas and humor!
The world of Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando is a cabinet of curiosities, a scrapbook of the strange, a sheet of pictures of the bizarre. It is populated by figures rather than by human beings – by exemplars, forms and spawns. What occurs to him is not necessarily unusual. What he describes is caricature. In fine, his world resembles a strange zoo: Come in, have a look! You will be surprised if you suddenly face yourself.
Volume 2 of the “concentrated edition” contains a selection of narratives and short pieces of prose. Many of them belong to Herzmanovsky’s most popular works and have long been classics: “The commandant of Kalymnos”, “Apoll of Nothing”, “Uncle Toni’s muffed Christmas Eve”, “The Sausage Machine” and many more. Here you have the world of Herzmanovsky-Orlando on a small scale, a bird cage: Look forward to Father Kniakal, Cavaliere Huscher and Chinesius von Schluck!
Scoglio Pomo, a small and rocky island in the Adriatic Sea, would have remained undiscovered if things had turned out right. They have not, however, and so Scoglio Pomo serves as a glamorous getaway for a group of exiles from a battered Austro-Hungarian Empire. Things go all haywire in this pompous Atlantis of Austrianisms: the decadent, goofy noble men and their insatiable ladies cultivate their spleens and whims, they dance on ghost ships until the magic is lost and they find themselves in the water. But only when the British Fleet by mistake reduces the island to rubble and ruins the Emperor’s Viennese Breakfast, it becomes clear that the golden era of Scoglio Pomo and its quirky inhabitants is over.
Scoglio Pomo is an island full of fantastic stories and lovely, cranky originals – monuments of an elegant, yet doomed and tattered world.
Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando is a master of the grotesque and one of the great representatives of Austro-Hungarian world literature. This is the first single volume edition of “Scoglio Pomo”, which remained unpublished in Herzmanovsky-Orlando’s lifetime. It is unabridged, unmodified, richly illustrated and the first of four volumes of his most important works.
H. C. Artmanns prose has lost none of its magic, and feels as powerful, surprising and multi-dimensional as ever. Every line of these 1800 pages is full of the effervescent spirit, the immense wealth of form and imagination, and the subtle wit of this stand-alone figure of Austrian literature. There are few real wonders in the world but H. C. Artmann is one of them.