5 quotes to make you read: Adventures in immediate irreality by Max Blecher

5 quotes to make you read: Adventures in immediate irreality by Max Blecher

Shortly before dying at 28, Max Blecher published “Adventures in immediate irreality” a book whose labels range from surrealist to hyperrealist. If the definition is unclear it’s because the book also deals with foggy aspect of the being and the reality with such a sharp eye that justifies all comparisons between him and names like Kafka, Proust and Schulz.


When I stare at a fixed point on the wall for a long time, it sometimes happens that I no longer know who I am or where I am. Then I feel my absence of identity from a distance as if I had become, for a moment, a complete stranger. With equal force, this abstract character and my real self struggle to win my conviction.
— Page 1


Ordinary words are not valid at certain spiritual depths. I’m trying to define my spells exactly but only find images. The magic word that could express them would have to borrow something from the essence of other sensibilities in life, distilling itself from them like a new scent from a masterly concoction of perfumes.
For the word to exist, it should contain something of the stupefaction that grips me when I see a person in reality and then follow their gestures in a mirror, plus something of the disequilibrium of falling in dreams with the whistling fear that runs down the spine in an unforgettable instant; or something of the fog and transparency inhabited by bizarre scenes in crystal balls.
— Page 6


“How splendid, how sublime it is to be crazy!” I would say to myself, and observe with unimaginable regret how powerful stupid and familiar habits were, and that crushing rational upbringing separated me from the extreme freedom of a life of madness.
— Page 29


My distrust in the art of the painter gave way to a newborn boundless admiration.
In it I felt the distress of not having observed the essential quality of the picture earlier and at the same time a growing uncertainty of all that I saw: since I had contemplated the drawings for so many years without discovering the material they were composed of, couldn’t it be that through a similar myopia the meaning of all the things around me escaped me, though it was inscribed in them, maybe as clearly as the letters making up the pictures?
— Page 45


“Your life was thus and not otherwise” says my memory, and in this pronouncement lies the immense nostalgia of the world, enclosed in its hermetic lights and colors from which no life is permitted to extract anything other than the aspect of an exact banality.
In it lies the melancholy of being unique and limited, in a unique and pathetically arid world.
— Page 90

Reference: Max Blecher. Adventures in immediate unreality. Translation: Jeanie Han.