Severin's Journey into the Dark

by: Paul Leppin

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Severin's Journey into the Dark (A Prague Ghost Story) by Paul Leppin / ISBN 9788090125728 / paperback from Twisted Spoon Press

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Leppin once wrote: “Prague remains my deepest experience. Its conflicts, its mystery, its ratcatcher’s beauty have ever provided my poetic efforts with new inspiration and meaning.” It is this city of darkened walls and strange decay that forms the backdrop of Severin’s erotic adventures and fateful encounters as he enters a world of femmes fatales, Russian anarchists, dabblers in in the occult, and denizens of decadent salons. First published in 1914, Leppin seeks to unlock the mysterious erotic nature of his native city buried deep in the subconscious of its inhabitants. His depiction of this world, in a Prague straddling the border between the ancient and the modern, has brought Severin’s Journey into the Dark deserved international acclaim. As Max Brod so aptly remarked: "Leppin was the truly chosen bard of the painfully disappearing old Prague..."

"Leppin (1878-1945), a civil servant revulsed by bourgeois life who reactively plunged into decadence, reads like the missing link between Baudelaire and the scalding satirical artist George Grosz." ―Roy Olson, Booklist

Paul Leppin was born in Prague on November 27, 1878. Beginning with the appearance of his first novel, The Doors of Life, in 1901, his poetry, prose, and criticism appeared regularly in Prague and Germany over the next thirty years. Leppin was also one of the few German writers to have close contacts with the Czech literary community, and his contribution to the city's literature and culture was recognized both in 1934, when he was awarded chiller Memorial Prize, and in 1938, when he received the Czechoslovak Ministry of Culture Award. He died in Prague of syphilis on April 10, 1945.

Edited by Alex Balgiu and Monica de la Torre