On the Edge of Reason (Paperback)

On the Edge of Reason By Miroslav Krleza, Zora Depolo (Translated by), Joshua Cohen (Introduction by) Cover Image

On the Edge of Reason (Paperback)

By Miroslav Krleza, Zora Depolo (Translated by), Joshua Cohen (Introduction by)


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From the great Croatian writer: a masterly work of literature—hilarious, unforgiving, and utterly reasonable

Until the age of fifty-two, the protagonist of On the Edge of Reason suffered a monotonous existence as a highly respected lawyer. He owned a carriage and wore a top hat. He lived the life of “an orderly good-for-nothing among a whole crowd of neat, gray good-for-nothings.” But, one evening, surrounded by ladies and gentlemen at a party, he hears the Director-General tell a lively anecdote of how he shot four men like dogs for trespassing on his property. In response, our hero blurts out an honest thought. From this moment, all hell breaks loose.

Written in 1938, On the Edge of Reason reveals the fundamental chasm between conformity and individuality. As folly piles upon folly, hypocrisy upon hypocrisy, reason itself begins to give way, and the edge between reality and unreality disappears.

During his long and distinguished career, the Croatian writer Miroslav Krleža (1893–1981) battled against many forms of tyranny. He wrote over forty novels, plays, and volumes of poetry and is widely considered to be the greatest Croatian writer of the twentieth century.

Zora Depolo also translated Krleža’s The Return of Philip Latinowicz.

Joshua Cohen was born in 1980 in Atlantic City. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction 2022 for The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family. He lives in New York City.
Product Details ISBN: 9780811222044
ISBN-10: 0811222047
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: June 6th, 2023
Pages: 192
Language: English
An attack on conformity. 
— Library Journal

Krleza is a shrewd observer of man as social animal, and his wry, sardonic style fits cleanly into the Eastern European tradition of bureaucratic satire by the likes of Kafka, Karel Capek, and Jaroslav Hašek.
— Publishers Weekly (Starred)

Paris had its Balzac and Zola; Dublin, its Joyce; Croatia, its Krleža. One of the most accomplished, profound authors in European literature.
— Saturday Review

On the Edge of Reason is one of the great European novels of the first half of the twentieth century.

— Susan Sontag

A tale of refusal to match Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener — though its nameless protagonist has more fun than Bartleby ever does.

— Lily Meyer - NPR