Author: Oscar A. H. Schmitz
Translator: W. C. Bamberger
Illustrator: Alfred Kubin
Publisher: Wakefield Press
Emma says… ‘Life seemed to stand still in the moment of unfettered discharge. The brimming intoxication suddenly flew out of their souls. Empty - fragile - the disillusioned ones stood there and in their suddenly frozen minds scarcely knew how to pull back the reins of the flown phantom that had presently seemed like life.’
Oscar A. H. Shmitz’s ‘Hashish’, first published in German in 1902, toys with narrative structure as much as it plays with the imagination. The reader is transported to a shadowy, hallucinogenic, slightly queasy and gruesomely thrilling realm of demonic union (naughty!), bored aristocrats (dangerous!), cannibalistic orgy (sexy!) and waking dreams (???) as the unnamed narrator chronicles a drug-addled night in Paris. Stories within stories accompany the narrator’s increasingly bizarre observations, pulling the reader further into the book’s parodically decadent depths.