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The Pathseeker Paperback – Apr 1 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 125 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House (April 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933633530
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933633534
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 12.7 x 17.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #735,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A great starting point into Kertész's works April 20 2011
By Sil - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A brief but incisive work, "The Pathseeker" is as haunting as every other Kertész work, but easier to digest (perhaps because it gently insinuates without showing the raw pain of his other works). If you have never read Kertész, I would recommend this novella as a great starting point. It will be a good test and will better prepare you to face "Fatlessness" and "Kaddish for an Unborn Child".
The explanatory note by Tim Wilkinson really helps contextualize the work if you are left scratching your head at the end.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
"The agonizing duty of knowledge..." Dec 4 2010
By Giordano Bruno - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
That's how Hermann describes his compulsive 'research' into the crime or simply the event about which the Commissioner is interrogating him: '... the agonizing duty of knowledge..." Hermann, however, turns out to be a minor character in this elusive novella; it's the Commissioner who needs knowledge, has been assigned to verify knowledge, and eventually can't assimilate the knowledge he finds.

But 'knowledge' of what? Nothing is specified, It -- whatever it was -- took place at a site near Hermann's insignificant town. There seem to be 'interests' involved either in confirming or disputing whatever happened. The Commissioner -- but commissioned by whom and for what purpose -- seems at times to have a personal remembrance of the crime, a sense of having known the site all too well, of somehow being both a survivor of the event and a doubter that such an event could ever have become a reality.

It's a very good thing this book is a novella, a mere 100 pages. I doubt that I could bear a longer exposure to such existential anxiety and uncertainty. As it stands, The Pathseeker is intensely disturbing, a puzzle to be solved only by painful empathy with the Commissioner, who has to be the author in the thinnest of masks. it's a work in the vein of Kafka or Borges, with stylistic roots in the works of the Austrian Thomas Bernhard. I could give the reader a boost or a head start toward solving the puzzle by referring him or her to the life experience of Nobel prize winner Imre Kertesz, the experience at the heart of everything he has written, such an experience that one could hardly be expected ever to write about anything else. But I won't. The anxiety - the sense of being off the path or misinformed or thwarted by shadowy obstacles - is the sensation the author wishes to 'share' with you.

If you've read other works by Kertesz, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, The Pathseeker is an excellent first choice as an introduction to his major works, "Fatelessness" and "Kaddish for an Unborn Child."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sure, it was good Feb. 26 2013
By Archie Hogsniffer Ploppingforth - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read it on the train from San Francisco to Elko, and if you need anything to get you emotionally prepared for the harrowing, desolate peoplescape that is northern Nevada, it's probably this novella.
Pathseeker Flirts With Obscure Sept. 27 2013
By donald r. beringer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The work cannot be deciphered unless the reader is acquainted with Kertesz's life because the novel is allegory; and people, places and objects represent specific qualities in the author's life, which renders the work esoteric.
Interesting and heartfelt but a little too opaque May 17 2011
By Seth H. Rosenzweig - Published on
Format: Paperback
I found Imre Kertész's tale of "going home" to the concentration camp where he was imprisoned as a teenage slave laborer to be just a little too opaque. This is understandable, since Kertész wrote the book in communist Hungary, first publishing it in 1977. Translator Tim Wilkinson's afterward is of some help--perhaps they should have had it as a forward?--but the book itself is just too dense in spots. It's still an interesting read, and Kertész is a great writer, and that makes it worth 4 stars.