Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon
Night Train to Lisbon:
by Pascal Mercier
$25.00 List Price
It’s fitting that Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon, which first appeared in German in 2004, has been translated into fifteen languages. The novel, as mesmerizing and dreamlike as a Wong Kar-wai film, with characters as strange and alienated as any of the filmmaker’s, is in fact preoccupied with translation, with all that can be lost or gained in the process. But more than that, it is concerned with the power of language to forge and dismantle people’s experiences, desires, and identities.
Raimund Gregorius, a fifty-seven-year-old Swiss philologist, dwells on questions of language as he embarks on a quest to understand the life of a Portuguese doctor—a potentially dull premise, but Mercier (who teaches philosophy in Berlin under his real name, Peter Bieri) is a master at mixing ideas and plot. The story
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