Giovanni Orelli’s docufictional phantasmagoria revisits a lesser-known painting by Paul Klee titled Alphabet I, which features black letters and symbols scrawled over the sports page of a newspaper reporting the results of the 1938 Swiss National Cup. This play of coincidences sets the stage for Orelli’s encyclopedic portrait of European culture under Nazism, where a motley crew of philosopher-peasants as well as historical luminaries like Arthur Schopenhauer, Vincent van Gogh, Viktor Shklovsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Klee himself, and the titular footballer Eugene Walaschek all meet at the local tavern and debate the significance of Klee’s work. Allusive, ironic, and elegiac, Joycean in scope, Walaschek’s Dream is a singular meditation on the ephemerality of sport and the immortalizing power of art.
Translated by Jamie Richards
Publication: Swiss Literature Series
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of pages: 160
List price: $13.95