Katschen & The Book of Joseph
In kaleidoscopic fragments, Hoffmann refracts Jewish popular lore and folk wisdom through a postmodernist prism, brightening his prose with snatches of verse, songs, diary excerpts, letters, ominous dreams, lush erotic passages and Yiddish sayings. "The Book of Joseph" tells the tragic story of a widowed Jewish tailor and his son in 1930s Berlin. "Katschen" gives an astounding child's-eye view of a boy orphaned in the new state of Israel. The novellas radiate the original poetry of Hoffmann's atomized hypnotic language, which Rosmarie Waldrop has called "utterly enchanting—it's like nothing else."