Blaugast: A Novel of Decline by Paul Leppin / ISBN 9788086264233 / paperback with flaps from Twisted Spoon Press
(Love that back cover!)
Blaugast is a tale of ruin. A bored clerk, Klaudius Blaugast, pursues his desires down a path spiraling into complete degradation. Homeless and destitute, having lost everything to the evil prostitute Wanda, he seeks redemption in a Prague that has become sybaritic and uncaring ― a city in which he has become an outcast among the outcasts. Flashbacks to incidents in his past, hallucinatory revelations of the meaning of events long forgotten, point to the seeds of his eventual downfall.
"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.