December 1, 2023


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Walter Morse’s novel Zamonia, “The Island of a Thousand Lighthouses”

Walter Morse’s novel Zamonia, “The Island of a Thousand Lighthouses”

sThe crossing itself is harrowing, and the following days on the island of Eidernorn provide the strange experiences of the poet Hildegunst von Methenmetz – from the expensive and disgusting “wine of the dunes” to the specially crooked houses in the harbor row to the golf-like national sport. “Kraakenfieken” – and the islanders seem to be hiding a big secret from the spa guest. These obstacles only serve to encourage Methenmetz’s thirst for research. The “Island of a Thousand Lighthouses,” as it is also called on Aidernorn, has just 111 waymarkers, but as the spa guest knows, each one is inhabited by a genius.

Methenmetz will visit some of them during his stay in Edernorn. Each tower has its own shape: they resemble volcanoes, artificial monuments, clock towers or even Lindwurmfest, the cone-shaped rock formation from which the city of Methenmetz descends. One of the first towers he visited struck him architecturally as “a haphazard mixture of primitive Gothic brick, crisp Baroque and confectionary style.” In short: “The builders paid attention to the details and colorful decorations to such an extent that the eye cannot find anything to catch it when looking at it.” “The look wanders into the details”) He thought visitors had something different about the tower: “This attention to detail! This craftsmanship! Lovely! And this blatant desire to entertain the viewer through fun, what’s wrong with it?”

The grinding is unmistakable

Author and illustrator Walter Moyers added another volume to his widely acclaimed account of the continent of Zamonia in 1999 with The Thirteen and a Half Lives of Captain Blue Bear. A footnote in the slim book “Christmas at the Lindwurmfeste,” published in 2018, prepared Moors’ readers for the new novel, which then took a full five years to complete. Methenmetz wrote the letter that forms the basis of The Christmas Book “on the Zamoniec island of Eidernorn in the North Sea in order to recover from his traumatic experiences in the catacombs of Buchheim,” says Moers, who here acts as a “translator” from Zamoniec, and promises: “More on this In the epistolary novel “The Island of a Thousand Lighthouses.”

Walter Moyers:

Walter Moyers: “The Island of a Thousand Lighthouses.” a novel.

Photo: Penguin Publishing House

It has now been published. It follows directly from “Christmas” by also choosing the form of an epistolary novel. Again, the letters are addressed to the friend Hamad Ben Kebitzer, already known from the “City of Dreams Books,” except here a whole series of letters follow one another, each written hours or days apart, which makes the power of the epistolary novel, allowing readers to participate in The narrator’s cognitive gain plays a role here.

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