Did Martin Fissel-Brandt murder his wife? His cat accuses him of foul play, as does his lover, Anna, who after his wife's death leaves both Martin and France for Asia. Later, while on vacation, Martin coincidentally finds an undelivered letter addressed to the apartment where he and Anna used to meet. His discovery prompts the decision to find her ...Read MoreDid Martin Fissel-Brandt murder his wife? His cat accuses him of foul play, as does his lover, Anna, who after his wife's death leaves both Martin and France for Asia. Later, while on vacation, Martin coincidentally finds an undelivered letter addressed to the apartment where he and Anna used to meet. His discovery prompts the decision to find her again. He transfers his job to Asia, where he is immediately caught up in a local rebellion. His search for Anna takes him deeper into the violent unrest. Is it now too late for them? Is Martin Fissel-Brandt hallucinating, or is it his destiny to find Anna again under these circumstances? Christian Gailly is often cited for his experimental approach to narrative, and his work is characterized by a fascination with coincidence and often fantastic chance encounters or near encounters. Born in Paris to a working-class family, Gailly's education was cut short at the age of fifteen. He worked as a jazz saxophonist, taught himself the literature of psychoanalysis, and while in his forties, began his literary career. "The Passion of Martin Fissel-Brandt" is the first of Gailly's novels to be translated into English.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2002-01-14 Experimental minimalism comes with a decidedly Gallic twist in this brief romantic fiction, a noteworthy book that marks the first English translation of an author who has built a reputation in France based on eight novels. Here he deals with the odd fate of Martin Fissel-Brandt, the middle-aged protagonist who begins a quest for his former lover, Anna Posso, after he finds a hidden letter addressed to the apartment where they used to meet. The author's prose flits here, there and everywhere over the course of incredibly short chapters, introducing coincidences, plot twists and unexplained characters with barely a whiff of logic. The more intriguing turns include Martin being whisked away to Asia by the demands of his profession to quell a local rebellion, along with a seemingly random attack on him and some of his co-workers at a construction site. As for the erstwhile romance, the normal pining is replaced by some diabolical hints that Martin may in fact have murdered Anna as well as several other former girlfriends, with one of those hints entertainingly delivered by a cat. Despite the absence of conventional narration, Gailly's prose has a certain whimsical rhythm and a unique sense of rhyme and reason, which makes reading this novel not unlike perusing the script of a Bu$uel film. Gailly's work is definitely an acquired taste and demands a suspension of linear thinking, but readers who like to be surprised won't get shortchanged here. (Mar. 18) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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