The Key to Reality and The Confession of a False Soul - Ilarie Voronca

Snuggly Books


The Key to Reality + The Confession of a False Soul, two short books (a novel and a collection of stories) by Ilarie Voronca, translated by Sue Boswell / published by Snuggly Books


Originally published in 1942, The Confession of a False Soul is one of avant-garde Romanian author Ilarie Voronca's most brilliant works of fiction. Telling the story of a young man who has a specialist replace his damaged soul with that of a soldier who has died in the war, this short surreal novel, at once haunting and beautiful, carries with it a powerful charm normally restricted to dreams. Written in a spare narrative style rich in poetic force and symbolism, The Confession of a False Soul transports the reader to a place between reality and illusion where love alone might be the only thing that is real.


"Everything I imagine exists. So what exists is greater than what I imagine." Originally published in 1944, The Key to Reality is one of the great surrealist short story collections. Featuring fifteen pieces of prose, including a selection of dream-like "notes", the present book introduces the reader to an office worker who has in his desk drawer, amongst other things, a horse and a tree; a story-teller who has a path running through his bedroom; a street vendor whose customers might be imaginary, as might be his wares. At once enchanting, visionary, and poignant, The Key to Reality is a masterpiece of narrative reflection that operates like a series of magic spells which, with great poetic beauty, transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

“Ilarie Voronca” was the pen name of Eduard Marcus (1903-1946), one of the greatest avant-garde writers of his time. A Jewish Romanian by birth, he published numerous texts in his home country before permanently establishing himself in France, where he produced volumes of poetry and prose in the French language, including L’Apprenti fantôme et Cinq poèmes de septembre (1938), La Clé des réalités (1944), and Souvenir de la planète Terre (1945).

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