In 1979, Josef Winkler appeared on the literary horizon as if from nowhere, collecting numerous honors and the praise of the most prominent critical voices in Germany and Austria. Throughout the 1980s, he chronicled the malevolence, dissipation, and unregenerate Nazism endemic to Austrian village life in an increasingly trenchant and hallucinatory series of novels.
At the decade’s end, fearing the silence that always lurks over the writer’s shoulder, he abandoned the Hell of Austria for Rome: not to flee, but to come closer to the darkness. There, he passes his days and nights among the junkies, rent boys, gypsies, and transsexuals who congregate around Station Termini and Piazza dei Cinquecento, as well as in the graveyards and churches, where his blasphemous reveries render the most hallowed rituals obscene.
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