Peter Stephan Jungk translated from the German by Michael Hofmann


Publication Date: Jul 17, 2003

232 pp


List Price US $19.00
ISBN: 9781590511183

Giacopo Tigor, the unassuming hero of Peter Stephan Jungk’s novel, is a professor of mathematics, a proponent of Euclidian geometry reeling from a succession of intellectual defeats sustained at the hands of the advocates of chaos theory. Returning to his native city of Trieste for a conference, Tigor finds he is no longer able to face the banal constraints of the life he has made, and so he goes AWOL—first to Paris, where he fulfills a boyhood dream to work in the Odéon Theater as a stagehand. There he experiences a vision of Mount Ararat, holy mountain of the Armenian people, the landing point of Noah’s Ark. His vision drives him onward to the East, where his flight evolves into a quest: to find the remains of the Ark.

Tigor is an inspired marriage of the mysterious and the seemingly mundane, of gentleness and drama, order and chaos. This utterly singular work reimagines the novel form, and lingers in the reader’s mind long after it has been set aside.

Excerpt from Tigor

Tigor is an adventure novel, the minute details of which read real to the extremeóthey appear as though they had been seen, touched, smelled, and tasted by the author himself. The reading offers a sheer delight.” —Peter Handke

“This novel is spectacularly successful in making sense of the beguiling and the contrary, in investigating and accommodating the mess of the modern world.” —Times Literary Supplement

“It is encouraging, in what seems an increasingly anti-intellectual world, to find a novel which, while making no apology for its own cleverness, wears its learning so lightly. A fitting homage to Beckett, one feels.” —The Times of London

“Jungk has created a Quixote of deep and heartbreaking humanity, whose terrible end shows up not the emptiness of belief but the savagery of ignorance.” —The Independent

“Peter Stephan Jungk’s new book works two ways: as a fable of a postmodern type of intellectual and as a novel of the picaresque variety….Tigor must be reread for it to give up all its secrets, and the density of the fabric may seem heavy to some readers. But for those willing and able to suspend disbelief, Tigor has that lightness that marks it as a certain kind of masterpiece.” —Providence Journal