Alexander Pechmann: The Library of Lost Books

Alexander Pechmann
The Library of Lost Books

non-fiction, new

Is there a library somewhere in the world, collecting all those books that could never be published? What compels writers to torching their work? And how can it be that manuscripts are stolen and disappear forever? With literary sleuthing, Alexander Pechmann conjures them in this book and tells of all the works that were destroyed or lost through accidents and coincidences, on purpose or even by mistake. Their fates and secrets are told in numerous anecdotes: from Dostoevsky to Flaubert, from Thomas Mann to Balzac, from Joyce to Kafka.

The library of lost books also contains texts that were never written or that no one was ever supposed to know about. Finding oneself on an expedition through literary history and the world of books, one encounters a bizarre book caravan in ancient Persia, a barbaric typewriter, Hemingway's travelling bag, chambermaids and ventriloquists, Pushkin's rabbits and Herman Melville's lost island.