H. G. Adler, the Prague-born author and friend of Elias Canetti during their London days, is well worth rediscovering. Panorama, his debut novel, written between June and November 1948, consists of ten frequently satirical panoramic pictures telling the story of Josef Kramer's life, and is unmistakably an authorial projection. He describes the sheltered upbringing of a child in a town that soon becomes identifiable as Prague, and brings to life a Bohemian village by the name of Umlowitz, the Masonic institute in Dresden-Striesen, and the »tower rooms« of a mystical Czech photographer that is known to the locals as the »Culture House«. He also portrays the forced labour camps and the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Langenstein–Zwieberge, and, at the very end, Launceston Castle in England.
H. G. Adler's book, according to the epilogue by his son Jeremy, is "perhaps the last novel of the so-called Prague school. This affiliation becomes apparent -inadvertently and unintentionally-in the name of the hero, which is reminiscent of Josef K. in Kafka's The Trial."
"H.G. Adler's works ... survive as a magnificent achievement of courage, art, and the stubborn will to survive." Peter Demetz
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