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American Literature

A Heaven of Others by Joshua Cohen

By Joshua Cohen

"Joshua Cohen has created a visionary novel that's terrifying and heartbreaking and humbling in its luminous brilliance. in my opinion, it firmly areas 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 fallacious ones, white ones and black ones, is driven to its fantastical limits through Brooklyn author Joshua Cohen in his dream-world novel of the afterlife. . . . Heaven is a hard 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 spectacular and overturns the realm to come back. . . . It's a courageous booklet that are meant 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 road via a ten-year-old Palestinian boy, he wakes up in a heaven nobody 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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Amavo la parola scaccomatto. Il che sembrava impensierire i miei cugini. Era piccola la casa, accanto a un cimitero romano. I suoi vetri tremavano per via di carri armati e caccia. Fu un professore di astronomia in pensione che m'insegnò a giocare. L'anno, probabilmente, il '44. Lo smalto dei pezzi che usavamo, quelli neri, era quasi del tutto scrostato. II Re bianco andò perduto, dovemmo sostituirlo. Mi hanno detto, ma non credo sia vero, che quell'estate vidi gente impiccata ai pali del telefono.

36 Paesaggio con grucce Così tante grucce. Ora persino la luce del giorno ne ha bisogno, persino il fumo che sale su. E le baracche una per cliente - che se ne vanno in fila indiana, con difficoltà, dicevo, con un dannato sforzo... e, dietro, gli alberi sul punto d'inciampare, e le formiche sulle grucce giocattolo, e il vento sulle grucce fantasma. Non riesco a trovare pace qui intorno: il pane sui suoi arti artificiali, una bambola su una sedia a rotelle, senza testa, e mia madre, proprio lei, che adopera i coltelli come grucce mentre s'accoscia per pisciare.

Un vento di galassie. Vette di iceberg all'orizzonte. Notte polare. Un transatlantico nella morsa del ghiaccio. Sul ponte ancora qualche luce accesa. Silenzio e freddo feroce. Window Washer And again the screech of the scaffold High up there where all our thoughts converge: Light-headed, hung By a leather strap, Twenty stories u p In the chill of late November Wiping the grime Off the pane, the many windows Which have no way of opening, Tinted windows mirroring the clouds That are like equestrian statues, Phantom liberators with sabers raised Before these dark offices, And their anonymous multitudes Bent over this day's Wondrously useless labor.

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