Tractatus is a book like no other—often funny and touching and always intellectual, written in the form (and spirit) of Ludwig Wittgenstein. It blends philosophical aphorisms with poetic sensibility and creates a unique and beautiful narrative of self-observation of a person from the 21stC. An elegant kit of thoughts for readers looking for witty meditation in our turbulent times.
Heralded by Joshua Cohen as "The Aphorism Master," Róbert Gál revives the forgotten art of the philo-poetic line with vicious wit and tremendous dexterity. Naked Thoughts—his fourth book to be translated into English—is at once incendiary and revelatory, surprising and instinctual, defiant and delicate, and dares to pursue and give expression to those fugitive inspirations of the mind whose very beauty relies on their performance of contention with the structures of meaning by which they are snared and signified. Weighing the balance between the intensity of emotion and patient contemplation, Naked Thoughts is a book that will satisfy voyeurs and arsonists.
In this miniature masterpiece, Róbert Gál conducts a noble experiment in uncategorizable prose. One long, unbroken paragraph, blending memoir, fiction, and philosophy, Agnomia takes the reader on a transcontinental journey from Lower Manhattan to the Little Quarter of Prague, but most of all it takes the reader on a tour of the writer’s mind. Meditations on tautology, sexuality, and art culminate in an attentive evocation of a concert given by the composer and saxophonist John Zorn. For readers of Thomas Bernhard, Georges Bataille, and E. M. Cioran, Agnomia is a book to relish.
On Wing, the first published work of fiction by the Slovak poet-philosopher Róbert Gál, is a constellation of hundreds of aphorisms, dreams, anecdotes, and inquiries, all written in a restless, searching, "improvisational" prose whose techniques reflect those of Bernhard, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard, not to mention the saxophonist and composer John Zorn, who makes a brief cameo as a character.
Called "the Czech Cioran" by Andrei Codrescu, Róbert Gál is one of the freshest voices to come from Prague over the past few years. This volume is a mix of aphorisms and philosophical fragments that explores the tenuousness of one's identity and existence.