book cover of The Golden Age
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The Golden Age

(2010)
A novel by

 
 
Heir to the philosophical-fantastical tradition of Borges, Calvino, and Perec, The Golden Age is Michal Ajvaz's greatest and most ambitious work. The Golden Age is a fantastical travelogue in which a modern-day Gulliver writes a book about a civilization he once encountered on a tiny island in the Atlantic. The islanders seem at first to do nothing but sit and observe the world, and indeed draw no distinction between reality and representation, so that a mirror image seems as substantial to them as a person (and vice versa); but the center of their culture is revealed to be 'The Book,' a handwritten, collective novel filled with feuding royal families, murderous sorcerers, and narrow escapes. Anyone is free to write in 'The Book,' adding their own stories, crossing out others, or even ap- pending 'footnotes' in the form of little paper pouches full of extra text - but of course there are pouches within pouches, so that the story is impossible to read 'in order,' and soon begins to overwhelm the narrator's orderly treatise. .

Genre: Literary Fiction

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