The Land Without Death
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From the publisher
Translated by Chris Godwin
Döblin’s extraordinary South American epic covers four centuries of European engagement with a world of the Other. Written in exile from the Nazis, it asks: did the Nazis really appear out of nowhere? The first volume is a vivid, tautly written triptych of 16th century events…….native Amazonian cultures unsettled by rumours of conquest: Conquistador bands ravaging the gold-rich realm of Cundinamarca: the struggle to convert Indians, in a colonial manner that is anything but Christian. The more expansive second volume tracks 250 years of the Jesuit enterprise in Brazil and Paraguay. Before returning to the South American jungle at the end, the third volume undertakes an accounting for the way Europe has developed since the Reformation. Conjured from their graves, Galileo, Copernicus, and Giordano Bruno are charged with starting humanity down a wrong path away from Nature, to the miseries of 20th century urban life, alienation, exploitation, and political turmoil. The Land Without Death is quite breathtaking in its scope, and exhilarating to read.