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Blindness and Rage: A Phantasmagoria

by Brian Castro

Blindness and Rage is a novel told in 34 cantos, somewhat in the manner of Pushkin’s great Russian novel in verse, Eugene Onegin. Castro’s hero Lucien Gracq is a townplanner from Adelaide who is writing a book-length poem, Paidia.

Doubtful of its reception, he travels to Paris to join a literary club which guarantees its members anonymity, by having their books published under someone else’s name, while the authors themselves are encouraged to commit suicide if they are not already, as in Gracq’s case, facing death from a terminal illness.

Castro’s novel is a part-serious, part-comic fantasy on the present fate of literary authors, who might as well be anonymous, or dead, for all the recognition that they are likely to receive for their writing.



About Brian Castro

Brian Castro is the author of the prize-winning Australian classic Shanghai Dancing and recipient of the 2014 Patrick White Literary Award. His recent novels include The Garden Book and The Bath Fugues, both shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, and Street to Street, loosely based on the life of the poet Christopher Brennan. He is Professor of creative writing at Adelaide University.



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