In this miniature masterpiece, Róbert Gál―whom Joshua Cohen has called “a phenomenon”―conducts a noble experiment in uncategorizable prose. One long, unbroken paragraph, blending memoir, fiction, and philosophy, Agnomia takes the reader on a transcontinental journey from Lower Manhattan to the Little Quarter of Prague, but most of all it takes the reader on a tour of the writer’s mind. Meditations on tautology, sexuality, and art culminate in an attentive evocation of a concert given by the composer and saxophonist John Zorn. For readers of Thomas Bernhard, Georges Bataille, and E. M. Cioran, Agnomia is a book to relish.
Róbert Gál was born in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 1968. After living in Brno, New York, Jerusalem, and Berlin, among other places, he now resides in Prague. In his books of aphorisms and fiction, he has shown himself to be one of the major Slovakian writers of the twenty-first century. His book of aphorisms On Wing was published by Dalkey Archive Press in 2015.
"In our millennium, a time of reduction and minimization, the aphorism has rightly returned. Its master is Róbert Gál." (The Forward)
"The Czech Cioran . . ." (Andrei Codrescu)
"Gál is a phenomenon unto himself: a purveyor of neurotic philosophy encapsulated in elliptical portents and epifragmentals, the content of which is at all odds with their length." (Joshua Cohen)
"Gál's aphorisms combine incisive question-raising and gently troubling images involving Time, God... and existential self-awareness." (Antioch Review)