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Last edited by Catherine Lenoble
November 6, 2014 | History

Mercury 2 editions

Cover of: Mercury | Anna Kavan
About the Book

This hitherto unpublished novel, an exciting literary discovery, is from Anna Kavan's most creative period. A work of sustained imaginative vision, it contains some of the novelists' best hallucinogenic writing.

The beautiful 'glass girl' Luz is pursued from one imaginary country to another by Luke, whose love for her becomes a pathological obsession. Luke is as bewitched, too, by the Indris, singing lemurs whose magical harmonies he encounters in a tropical forest of pellucid charms. The lemurs have no enemies in their jungle world 'where intelligence and affection were cherished, and destruction and cruelty had no place'.

Luke has chosen his wandering life of exile to escape his own shortcomings and failure in human relations. And he wants to protect Luz, estranged from her sadistic husband Chas. Luke himself reveals shades of latent sadism and becomes dependent on tablets that induce horror, shame and ecstatic excitement.

The narrative is projected like a series of dream sequences, enigma and illusion intertwined in the mound of Kafka. Yet, as in her novel Ice, Anna Kavan has fashioned a coruscating landscape of her own making - apocalyptic, compelling, unforgettable. (From the book jacket, first british edition published in 1994).


“All of a sudden, she remembers her lost happiness. For an infinitesimal fraction of time she again experiences that almost forgotten sense of security and belonging…the bliss of loving and being loved, transforming life into supreme happiness, such intense joy that the surrounding air vibrates and sparkles with gaiety. In a flash it’s all over. She’s back in her aloneness. No vibration, no sparkle, no happiness. Gaiety is unthinkable. Happiness is dead, finished, nothing… perhaps it never existed.”
added by Catherine Lenoble. ""She’s back in her aloneness.""


Library of Congress PR6009.D63 M47 1994
Dewey 823/.912

2 editions First published in 1994

Edition Read Locate Buy
Cover of: Mercury
2006, El Nadir Ediciones
in Spanish
Cover of: Mercury
1994, Peter Owen
in English


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November 6, 2014 Edited by Catherine Lenoble Edited without comment.
August 21, 2014 Edited by Catherine Lenoble add places
July 18, 2014 Edited by Catherine Lenoble Added new cover
July 18, 2014 Edited by Catherine Lenoble add publishing info + cover
December 9, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page