I Burn Paris, Hardback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 309 pages, 4
  • Publisher: Twisted Spoon Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9788086264370

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I BURN PARIS is a 1928 science fiction novel by a Polish Futurist, which became a best seller in the early Soviet era. I have to admit that I picked it up as a curiosity, and was ready for a challenging reading experience but instead found myself rapidly pulled into a headlong action narrative. A madman releases a deadly plague into the water supply. The city of Paris is rapidly quarantined, and effectively besieged, and quickly breaks down into warring ethnic and political factions. Jasienski's prose, as translated here, is highly readable, shows the clear influence of early cinema and is packed with vivid and jarring images. One thinks of the Futurist and Dadaist visual artists of his era, George Grosz perhaps most of all. The city and the economic forces that drive it are depicted as an implacable machine. Characters are sacrificed to the logic of the plot with a ruthlessness that made me think of Stewart Home's anarchist satires, but they are never merely caricatures, whatever faction they represent. The action powers on, building relentlessly to an apocalyptic, revolutionary climax.For some years now, Twisted Spoon Press of Prague have been publishing superb English language translations of writing from the Czech republic and further afield. Their books are beautifully designed, but attractively priced. I BURN PARIS is perhaps their finest production yet, a smart little illustrated hardback in an angular jacket design that is both modern and in keeping with the period of the text. They are soon to follow this volume with THE LEGS OF IZOLDA MORGAN, a collection of Jasienski's earlier Futurist writings - I look forward to it.

Also by Bruno Jasienski