Count Luna is the story of Alexander Jessiersky, an Austrian aristocrat who presides over a Viennese transport company. As World War II opens, Jessiersky, who detests the Nazis, is asked by his board of directors to acquiesce in the confiscation of a neighboring parcel of land in order to accommodate expanded war business. Jessiersky refuses to go along, but because of inattention or laziness his board carries out the land seizure behind his back. The owner, a certain Count Luna, is sent to a concentration camp on a trumped up charge. When Jessiersky discovers the deed, he is enraged. But his efforts to free Luna are in vain. Years later, at the end of the war, Jessiersky is convinced that Luna has survived his ordeal and is seeking vengeance. With one mysterious event succeeding another, Jessiersky begins to sink into an obsessive, murderous paranoia over Luna. It is an obsession that finally ends years later in the labyrinthine catacombs of Rome....Alexander Lernet-Holenia, (1895 - 1977), was born into the aristocracy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A soldier himself, he watched that empire crumble to dust and closely observed its effects on Central Europe. His writings, which include a copious number of poems, plays, and novels, are among the greatest works in modern German literature. Count Luna is a masterpiece of psychological profiling and employs elements of romanticism, naturalism, expressionism, and magic realism.
The literary merit of Lernet-Holenia is secure in the line of masters like Dostoyevsky and Mann, and his work remains some of the most important of the 20th century. Count Luna is one of his greatest achievements. It is the spellbinding work of a master writer at the height of his power.
"As a writer, Alexander Lemet-Holenia combines the best of the classic tradition in literature with a surprisingly contemporary understanding of structure and language. Passages in Count Luna tracing lineage and metaphorical relationships are brilliant; Lemet-Holenia is truly, as the critic Hermann Bahr calls him, a 'goldsmith of words.'" (Independent Publisher)
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Great literature, great narrator
An almost forgotten gem
- Die Falknerin "Painter, musician, bibliophile..."