On the Edge of Reason (Paperback)
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.
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.
— 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