Cover of Ladislav Klíma: A Postmortem Dream

Ladislav Klíma A Postmortem Dream

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U Lužického semináře 10, Malá Strana

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Twisted Spoon Press










One of Ladislav Klíma's most famous ghost stories, A Postmortem Dream is an unfinished novella about Matthias Lebermayer, a corpulent provincial shopkeeper who is either dead or dreaming (while passed out drunk), or maybe both, simultaneously experiencing past and future lives as himself and as someone else. As he tries to work out where the borders of reality lie, if he's dreaming, awake, or indeed dead, he is continually haunted by a mysterious man in a shabby checkered suit who utters the strange words: "Five fields I have passed," triggering overwhelming dread as well as dislocations in time and space. Lebermayer has no idea what the words could mean, but more clues are revealed as his life bleeds into another. With echoes of Poe and Plato's Myth of Er, Klíma tells his tale of horror with great brio and humor. Initially only the first part was published in a magazine in 1920 with a sort of coda tacked on, and this was how all subsequent printings in Czech appeared over the next 70 years. But Klíma had also written a second part and included notes on how the novella was to be continued, which remained among his unpublished manuscripts. This translation includes all extant material along with illustrations created by Pavel Růt exclusively for this one-time only limited edition.

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