Pilgermann

Pilgermann is a Jewish man in medieval Germany who has been castrated for an affair with the tax collector s wife Throughout the ordeal of his punishment, he hears a voice telling him to travel to Jerusalem As he makes his way there, he is taken hostage by pirates, bought by a Turkish merchant, and caught in the Crusades Hoban tells a complex story through the meditativPilgermann is a Jewish man in medieval Germany who has been castrated for an affair with the tax collector s wife Throughout the ordeal of his punishment, he hears a voice telling him to travel to Jerusalem As he makes his way there, he is taken hostage by pirates, bought by a Turkish merchant, and caught in the Crusades Hoban tells a complex story through the meditative mind of a man caught in extreme circumstances.
Pilgermann Pilgermann is a Jewish man in medieval Germany who has been castrated for an affair with the tax collector s wife Throughout the ordeal of his punishment he hears a voice telling him to travel to Jer

  • Title: Pilgermann
  • Author: Russell Hoban
  • ISBN: 9780671459680
  • Page: 167
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Pilgermann”

    1. Sometimes you just have an affinity for an author and it seems that they can do no wrong in your eyes; that's how it is with me and Russell Hoban. I've read four of his novels so far, and while they've all been amazing works in their own way, Pilgermann might be my favorite. A less "difficult" read than Riddley Walker, but certainly no less allusive and filled with meaning. A re-read will be necessary for me to feel like I've extracted anywhere near enough value out of the words to be worthy of [...]

    2. I'd like to say that I understood everything that Russell Hoban was saying in this macabre life/death story about a Jewish pilgrim travelling to Jerusalem via Antioch in the last decade of the eleventh century but no, I'm afraid some of it was just too complex. However it was an amazing reading experience and I understood enough to admire the originality of this allegorical tale and to appreciate how creatively Hoban examines such thorny issues as antisemitism, death, infinity, and the nature of [...]

    3. Pilgermann, long dead – a spirit consisting of waves and particles – contemplates the vicissitudes of being…“As far as I could see, the will of God was simply that everything possible would indeed be possible. Within that limitation the choice was ours, the reckoning His. And He was in us, one couldn’t get away from Him, that was the Fire of it, that was the Garden of it, at the centre of every soul and contiguous with infinity. The possibilities of choice were beyond all calculation a [...]

    4. Okay, Russell. You win.You baited me with your genius writing and then used that genius to write about maggoty corpses, icky sex, and icky maggoty corpse sex until I just couldn't stand it anymore. I made it to about page 70. Well played, my friend. Well played, indeed.

    5. This is my favourite novel. Russell Hoban has better known books (like "Riddley Walker") but this is the best one I have read. His prose is poetic, and patterned throughout the novel. The story is told by the titular Pilgermann, a soul or ghost or collection of memories flitting about through time. He tells the story of his life, while occasionally taking time aside to visit the dream of a Pope or a painting. He was a Jew, who after sleeping with a married woman is ambushed by Christians and cas [...]

    6. Pilgermann is the iconoclastic story of a German Jew at the time of the first crusade in 1096. Dramatically castrated on the way home after cuckolding the local tax-collector with his wife Sophia (meaning Wisdom), he sets out on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. On the way he is accompanied by various spirits of the dead, including the beheaded corpse of the tax collector, the man who castrated him, the sow that ate his severed genitalia, a bear shot full of arrows, and the skeletal manifestation of de [...]

    7. I’m a huge fan of Russell Hoban but I couldn’t finish this one. It’s way, way out there. It was published in the early 80s but feels like something that could have been written twenty years prior in a haze of either spiritual or pharmaceutical intoxication, or both. The author describes it as a kind of sequel to his brilliant ‘Riddley Walker’, but I found it hard to make too many comparisons between the two.The plot, if it can be said to exist, follows a jew named Pilgermann who is thr [...]

    8. I seem to have lost this book, so I'm marking it unfinished. To tell the truth, although I love Russell Hoban's work and wouldn't want to discourage anyone from reading his other books, I was having a hard time with it. If I do find it again, I'll skip over the wodge of medieval Jewish theology I was stuck on and try to pick up the story later. Yes, it is very weird even by Hoban standards. The verbal equivalent of a Hieronymous Bosch painting.

    9. i mean. on the one hand it's got some very moving meditations on death and patterns, and occasionally has an almost endearing loony bosch-ian quality. on the other hand, the, uh, the ick factor. Our Hero gets his dick cut off and eaten by a pig during a pogrom in the first, like, 10 pages and it gets worse from there; the decision to reread means weighing things like bembel rudzuk's whole deal and pilgermann's inner narrative and the very dark-comedy meeting with christ against things like just [...]

    10. This is one of the strangest of Hoban's novels (and that is no mean feat!) The story of Pilgermann's life (the latter part of it) and death is told by his enduring presence as waves and particles, with Pilgermann the Owl as an intermediate state of some sort Set in the years 1096-1098, a time of great conflict in Europe and the near East between Christians and Muslims, Pilgermann who is a Jew, is in the midst of it all, suffering a personal tragedy, creating an artistic/spiritual masterpiece, an [...]

    11. In my opinion, Russell Hoban should have had the Nobel Prize for Literature on the basis of this book and "Riddley Walker" alone. The brilliance of Hoban's imagination and writing aside, it is the profound humanity in his books which stays with one, long after reading and re-reading.Like "Riddley Walker," this is a novel about one man's experience in a world where violence, war and death are on all sides, and life is so fragile that every moment has to be lived to the full.Like "Riddley Walker," [...]

    12. Absolutely wonderful so far -- an amazing exploration of the inspired insanity that religious thought can be. An illustration of what an inventive and intelligent mind can build from just a couple of misconceptions.Carries on with the idea of creating mythologies that Riddley Walker explored, but from an historical perspective -- sort of like a worked-out example from history.And the prose is so beautiful I'm thinking I *have* to get some of this guy's poetry!

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