Liebestod: Opera Buffa with Leib Goldkorn


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Product Description

Liebestad returns readers to Leslie Epstein’s most compelling literary character, “that apostle of imagination and surprise, Leib Goldkorn, whose final years as a randy centenarian in New York City end in one of the most memorable swan songs in recent fiction. On his return to New York with his new family in tow, Leib sets about arranging for the production of Rubezahl, the only opera his true father ever wrote. For this event, the greatest stars of the Metropolitan Opera, including its most famed diva, gather on stage for the opening night. Unfortunately, the much-heralded premiere turns into a fiasco of unimaginable proportions. In this literary opera buffa, Leib Goldkorn once more employs his art and his love of music to stand against what are otherwise all-powerful forces of violence, irrationality, and nihilism. And in Liebestod, which must be one of the most memorable swan songs in all of modern fiction, he not only succeeds in this task but “illuminates the mystery of our common humanity and mortality.” 299p.

Editorial Reviews

Holocaust survivor Leib Goldkorn is about to celebrate his 104th birthday. He is also about to stick his head in his oven and turn on the gas. A series of events at this juncture take him back to his native Iglau, Moravia (present-day Czech Republic); provide him with a new paternity; give him a new career; fill his pockets; and furnish him with a family. He returns to New York with all of the above. However, all is not as it seems. His newfound family and work, a new love interest, and the crazy adventures that ensue are a bit over-the-top for a mere mortal. Epstein (King of the Jews) gives this bawdy centenarian a fittingly bizarre send-off. VERDICT As ";;;;;;;;theater of the absurd,";;;;;;;; this book is a gem. It will appeal to general readers and those who enjoy going beyond the bounds.—Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence

[Page 92]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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