This powerful and thought-provoking debut novel records the agonising breakdown, triggered by his mother’s death, of a mind suddenly confronted by a tragedy that is, for the most part, of its own making. Exploring the breakdown via two voices - one, emotionally very close to the person suffering the breakdown but cut off from him, and the other, the sufferer himself - and interlacing poetry and objective views from current scientific thinking give the book a unique perspective.
The death of George's mother triggers in him guilt-riddled memories of the breakup of his marriage and his subsequent neglect of both wife and mother. He relates in a polyphony of voices the build-up to a series of breakdowns and his eventual confinement in a clinic. These voices are interleaved with the voice of his estranged wife, Amanda. The voices echo off each other, revealing their lives to be so intertwined that they must reunite after George has recovered. The reunion is, however, short-lived. George is again stranded with guilt-riddled memories that refuse to fade. George attempts to understand his extreme states of mind not on Freud's by now creaky couch, but rather in terms of current ideas in neurobiology and quantum physics. During the meanderings of his mind, he touches also upon the ultimate questions of existence. He attempts at the same time to find, through poetry, a form that will accommodate the mess that's in his head.
'There is much to admire in the writing: the immediacy of the images, the ability to 'nail'
a particular feeling or perception with a single phrase and the convincing portrayal of extreme emotional states. The combined influence of scientific thinking and poetry produce an intriguing cocktail.' -- James Pusey
'A powerful and thought-provoking book, hugely ambitious in terms of both intellectual content and characterisation.' -- Joel Stickley, author of ‘100 Ways to Write Badly Well’
Publication date: 07/03/2013
Publisher: Matador an imprint of Troubador Publishing
|Publication date:||7th March 2013|
|Author:||K. M. Hartmann|
|Publisher:||Matador an imprint of Troubador Publishing|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Kurt M. Hartmann was born in Hungary and educated in South Africa and the UK. He is a physicist and a former consultant to the German government on technological matters. He lives in the Munich area. Windows on the Abyss is his first novel. Below is a Q&A with this author. 1. What can you tell us about your new book, Windows on the Abyss?The book records the agonising breakdown of a mind suddenly confronted by a tragedy that is, for the most part, of its own making. The breakdown is recorded as a cascade of ...More About K. M. Hartmann