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By Joshua Cohen

"Joshua Cohen has created a visionary novel that's terrifying and heartbreaking and humbling in its luminous brilliance. for my part, it firmly locations the writer at the related point as Kafka."—Michael Disend, writer of Stomping the Goyim

"The concept that there are a number of heavens, correct ones and flawed ones, white ones and black ones, is driven to its fantastical limits by way of Brooklyn author Joshua Cohen in his dream-world novel of the afterlife. . . . Heaven is a demanding yet worthwhile learn on thematic and formal levels."—The Brooklyn Rail

"A breathless flight of managed delirium, an exquisitely blasphemous journey of an afterlife the place earth's dominion, in all its terror and glory, trumps the amazing and overturns the realm to come back. . . . It's a courageous booklet that are supposed to earn its younger writer the reader's profound and enduring admiration."—Steve Stern, writer of The Frozen Rabbi

When a ten-year-old Jewish boy is exploded on a Jerusalem highway by means of a ten-year-old Palestinian boy, he wakes up in a heaven not anyone in his culture ready him for, a heaven of others. Joshua Cohen's novel stands on the crossroads of a conflicted urban and wordplay that either celebrates and dismantles culture.

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Whereas hypotaxis privileges continuity, parataxis creates a discontinuous and juxtapositional effect. Sebald’s insertion of photographs, for instance, is part of his use of a paratactical rhetoric. Eric Santner’s essay “Paratactic Composition in Hölderlin’s ‘Hälfte des Lebens’ ” (1985), gives an interesting account of this effect, citing an earlier essay by Adorno and an interpretation by Michael Hamburger. Parataxis, Santner writes, enables the text of this poem to enact a process of resistance to the very narrative project to which the other poems in the collection appear to be dedicated.

Sebald’s position as a writer mirrors the disobedient reader’s and displays a similar sense of adventure for traveling into the unknown with hope for redemption and for embracing the unexpected and the unknown. Iser uses Laurence Sterne’s subversion of John Locke’s system of empiricism and his “association of ideas” in the subject as the basis of human knowledge in Tristram Shandy to show that human knowledge is essentially arbitrary, as Sebald also suggests through the single-voicedness of his texts.

Indeed, he established the British Centre for Literary Translation in 1989 in order to ensure that non-English literature reaches a wider audience now that English dominates global commerce. Sebald’s critical and academic work mostly concerns writers from Austria and Switzerland, whose works are not widely read because of their language. A sign of literary language being of profound importance for Sebald is evident in his particularly close collaboration with the translators of his books, Michael Hulse, Anthea Bell, and Michael Hamburger.

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