Max Blecher
Even at a young age it was clear that Max Blecher (1909-38) was quite talented. By age 16 he had been published by a prominent Bucharest magazine and by 19 he began medical school in Paris. During this year of medical school Blecher was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the spine, or Pott’s disease, and was forced to abandon his studies. He sought treatment at various sanatoria in France, Switzerland, and Romania but the disease was incurable. The treatment at the time was prolonged bed rest and a plaster body cast, which encased Blecher for the remainder of his life. Blecher spent this decade between his diagnosis and death by writing two novels, one book of poetry, and numerous articles and translations. He also continually corresponded with some of the great writers and philosophers of the time, including Geo Bogza, André Breton, André Gide, and Martin Heidegger. His writing was deeply influenced by surrealism and rich with metaphors and dream-like moments. Often compared to Kafka, Blecher wrote about his illness without an element of self-pity. He died at the age of 28. Adventures in Immediate Irreality will be published by New Directions on 17 February 2015.

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