This is the second in a four volume edition of the early fiction of one of the most daring and influential writers of postwar Germany, a man often called the German James Joyce due to the linguistic inventiveness of his fiction.
This trilogy of novels traces life in Germany from the Nazi era through the postwar years and into an apocalyptic future. Scenes from the Life of a Faun recounts the dreary life of a government worker who escapes the banality of war by researching the exploits of a deserter from the Napoleonic Wars nicknamed The Faun. Brand’s Heath deals with the chaos of the immediate postwar period as a writer joins a small community of “survivors” to try to forge a new life. Dark Mirrors is set in a future where civilization has been virtually destroyed; the narrator fears he may be the last man on earth, until the discovery of another creates new fears.
All three novels are characterized by Schmidt’s unique combination of sharply observed details, sarcastic asides, and wide erudition.