In an unnamed European village, in the middle of a civil war, one man digs while another watches over him. Gradually, they begin to talk.
Over the course of the afternoon, as the snow falls and truck-loads of villagers are corralled in the next field, we discover why they are there - not just who they are and how specific, sinister events in their country have led them to be separated by a deepening grave, but why the history of civilization is inseparable from the history of mass violence.
Beautifully written, with a poet's eye for detail coupled with a chilling narrative drive, Gerard Donovan's first novel has been compared with Franz Kafka and Bernhard Schlink. SCHOPENHAUER'S TELESCOPE is current in the best sense - not merely about Bosnia or Kosovo, but in attempting to make art out of brutal life.
Gerard Donovan was born in Ireland and now lives in New York. This is his first novel.