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Mercury

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Mercury

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Author: Anna Kavan
Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers, 1995
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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
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Synopsis

Set against a world facing apocalypse, a man searches for a woman who has left her sadistic husband. This glittering, hallucinogenic novel is surely one of the best inspired by drug-taking."" - Doris Lessing

This hitherto unpublished novel, an exciting literary discovery, is from Anna Kavan's most creative period. A work of sustained imaginative vision, it contains some of the novelists' best hallucinogenic writing.

The beautiful 'glass girl' Luz is pursued from one imaginary country to another by Luke, whose love for her becomes a pathological obsession. Luke is as bewitched, too, by the Indris, singing lemurs whose magical harmonies he encounters in a tropical forest of pellucid charms. The lemurs have no enemies in their jungle world 'where intelligence and affection were cherished, and destruction and cruelty had no place'.

Luke has chosen his wandering life of exile to escape his own shortcomings and failure in human relations. And he wants to protect Luz, estranged from her sadistic husband Chas. Luke himself reveals shades of latent sadism and becomes dependent on tablets that induce horror, shame and ecstatic excitement.

The narrative is projected like a series of dream sequences, enigma and illusion intertwined in the mound of Kafka. Yet, as in her novel Ice, Anna Kavan has fashioned a coruscating landscape of her own making - apocalyptic, compelling, unforgettable.


Excerpt

All of a sudden, she remembers her lost happiness. For an infinitesimal fraction of time she again experiences that almost forgotten sense of security and belonging... the bliss of loving and being loved, transforming life into supreme happiness, such intense joy that the surrounding air vibrates and sparkles with gaiety. In a flash it's all over. She's back in her aloneness. No vibration, no sparkle, no happiness. Gaiety is unthinkable. Happiness is dead, finished, nothing... perhaps it never existed.

Copyright © 1995 by Anna Kavan


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