Primavera 2032: un misterioso capobanda chiamato Triboulet arriva in elicottero a Roma, dove lo attende una compagnia carnevalesca con una legione di animali e bambini scalmanati. Grazie al caos gioioso scatenato dalle loro pazzie rituali, l’arrivo della compagnia si rivela un sollievo: il mondo è angosciato da carestie, pandemie e conflitti religiosi, che Triboulet cerca di neutralizzare con giochi e risate liberatorie. Nella Città Eterna la compagnia costruisce strani edifici; intanto, in tutto il mondo, alcuni luoghi sacri patiscono atti vandalici terribili ma affascinanti, e numerose voci affermano che Cristo è davvero ritornato. Questi vandalismi sono rivendicati da sètte islamiche radicali; tuttavia, i colpevoli non vengono identificati: sono stati i jihadisti, gli ecoterroristi, o intellettuali anarchici e atei? Autorità religiose e politiche sospettano la compagnia e il capobanda, la cui vera identità resta un enigma. È in gioco il futuro dell’umanità, e mentre a Natale si trovano in Israele, Triboulet e la sua chiassosa compagnia di burloni sono testimoni del passaggio cruciale del mondo verso una nuova realtà.
Camus notava che la “metafisica del peggio” si esprime nella letteratura della dannazione, e sosteneva che la via di uscita non era stata ancora trovata. Con il suo secondo romanzo, Hanshe dimostra di averlo fatto, e offre davvero qualcosa che non solo è promettente, ma anche sorprendente: un cammino verso una nuova realtà, verso una “fisica del meglio”. L’Abdicazione è una vera epopea ero(t)icomica.
Translated by Alessandra Puggelli
Available via the publisher or at stores in Italy.
A review by Alessio Riva in Corsoitalia.
“Originale comunque lo stile dell’autore, duro, ironico, ma al tempo stesso classico e aulico, sagace e mai banale, anzi ricco di accensioni gergali e poliglotte.”
Federico Gori’s original image for the Italian cover, rejected as too blasphemous…
Spring 2032: an enigmatic bandleader named Triboulet arrives by helicopter in Rome, where his troupe awaits with a legion of animals and unruly kids. When performing acrobatic feats and provoking states of joyous panic through their ritualistic music, the troupe’s arrival proves restorative, for the world is beset with famines, plagues, and religious conflicts, which Triboulet seeks to neutralize with freeing laughter. While they begin constructing strange edifices in the city, sacred sites around the world suffer terrible, often humorous forms of vandalism, provoking the ire of religious and political authorities, who grow suspicious of the troupe and leery of the increasing allure they exert over people.
Although radical Islamic sects claim responsibility for the attacks on Catholic and Jewish sites, no one is certain who is responsible-is it the Jihadists, anarcho-atheist intellectuals, or eco-terrorists? And who really is the masked Triboulet? The very future of the world is at stake, and while touring Jerusalem during Christmas, Triboulet and his merry troupe bear witness to the world’s pivotal crossing into a new reality.
Albert Camus noted that ‘the metaphysics of the worst’ expresses itself in a literature of damnation and argued that ‘we have still not yet found the exit’ from such literature. With his second novel, Hanshe has found the way out, offering in fact something not only promising, but astounding, a pathway that is into a new reality, into a ‘physics of the best.’ The Abdication is a true ero(t)icomic epic.
“Hanshe’s phantasmagoric and cunning prose eviscerates accreted mythologies while revealing the tragedy attendant on the death and births of gods. Its controversial premises will enrage and provoke many, but the quality and elegance of the writing will amaze all.” — Nicholas Birns, Theory After Theory
“The Abdication is a visionary novel of dangerous ideas, a theological thriller concerned with the absence of god and the question posed by the phrase: Dionysus versus the Crucified. It is as richly allusive as it is physically direct: a novel of revolt that can at times be revolting in its relentless push to break the mold of idealist thought. As well argued as it is intricately arcane, indeed dense with learning and lore, this book is both experimental and assured, a comedy of high seriousness and gospel of the flesh that our winded civilization has needed for 2,000 years. Ridendo dicere severum!” — Stuart Kendall, author of Georges Bataille
Ch. 1 in Slovakian (Kloaka)
The Acolytes depicts the yearning of the young artist for success, acceptance, fulfillment. In this dark, searing tale of hope becoming obsession, admiration festering into entrapment, excitement bending into curse, Gabriel begins as a naïve young man full of dedication to high art and to the transformative powers of the imagination. In Amos, the renegade of American letters and cult figure, Gabriel thinks he has found his guiding star, but Ivan, the charismatic yet sinister theater director exerts a strange, mesmeric power over the author and his entire coterie. Terence, the unobtrusive moral fulcrum of the novel, and a cast of others are unable to escape from the welter of exploitation to which their lack of self-knowledge condemns them. Replete with horrors that rise to the grandeur of myth, The Acolytes is a novel like no other.
The Acolytes “flies in the face of mainstream publishing with its eye on something bigger and vaster than the conventional marketplace. In mode its allegorical approach is so different than the types of Jonathan Franzen ‘family sagas’ that publishers pick up on nowadays. It’s quirky, weird, and mannered and many of the scenes have the strange power of dreams. They proceed according to their own logic, stately as yachts, moving irrevocably, like Time. Like John Cowper Powys, Hanshe has the talent for making other species come to life.” — Kevin Killian
“The connection between the aesthetic and the religious realm in the term ‘acolyte’ is important for Hanshe’s novel as it subtly links his story of masters and disciples in the thespian and literary arts to the contemporary crisis in the Church. In the acolyte’s realm the cults of art and religion converge. Hanshe’s novel also illuminates, in beautiful and also horrifying ways, the many-nuanced nature of “love.” In a deeply poetic subplot it shows the oneness of two beings in and with each other as an evocation of cosmic unity. The novel is a riveting, slightly surreal portrait of the bohemian underworld of New York and it exposes the sinister underside of the ever-beckoning dream of art. It shows with fascinating nuance the multi-faceted nature of artistic ambition, illuminating a range from lofty yearning to diabolical craving for power.” — Walter H. Sokel