From “A Crazy Trolley to Nowhere and Back Again: Gert Jonke’s The System of Vienna”:
With books that you planned to read this year still sitting on your shelf unread, and countless other recommendations swimming in your head, why should you even consider making room on your reading queue for a one originally published ten years ago in German and containing pieces dating back to 1970? But there is plenty fresh about Gert Jonke’s The System of Vienna: From Heaven Street to Earth Mound Square. Like the bulk of his work, this novel is musical, innovative, and difficult, not in a dusty academic way, but as a delightful puzzle, as a well-constructed argument, as a challenging game of chess. Thanks to Dalkey Archive Press, readers may now become acquainted with Gert Jonke’s work. Prior to Dalkey’s releases, Jonke’s books were unavailable in English. Having already published his Geometric Regional Novel and Homage to Czerny: Studies in Virtuoso Technique, with this new edition of The System of Vienna, Dalkey has distinguished itself as the American purveyor of the work of one of Austria’s most important writers.