Stigmata of Bliss, Klaus Merz
By Klaus Merz
Seagull Books, 2017
Celebrated as a master of concise, condensed sentences, Klaus Merz brings depth and resonance to his spare narratives with lyrical prose and striking images. These novellas, vividly grounded in Switzerland's landscape and village life strike a universal chord. It is in the tension between the ordinary and the exotic, between the familiar and the bizarre, that Merz's stories bloom.
Jacob Asleep introduces a family marked by illness, eccentricity, and a child's death. In A Man's Fate, a moment of inattention on a mountain hike upends a teacher's life and his understanding of mortality. And The Argentine traces the fluctuations of memory and desire in a man's journey half-way around the world. In each novella, Merz takes readers on a profound and intimate journey. Read together, the novellas complement, enrich, and echo each other.
"Rarely is the short form deployed with so much skill." Stuttgarter Zeitung
"Klaus Merz is not only a sovereign stylist, he also dares to take on the great themes of literature. From the depths of his own life he shapes what has occupied poets for millenia: love and death, hope and fear, belief and doubt." Aargauer Kulturpreis
Klaus Merz, Stigmata of Bliss