Can you help me find this surreal novel?
September 7, 2010 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me find this surreal novel? Years ago, I saw an excerpt from it. All I remember is a scene where there was a worm in a cage, and its droppings would fall onto some kind of musical instrument, creating strange music. I think this story was written in Eastern Europe, in the beginning of the 20th century. Thanks!
posted by pantufla to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not Eastern European or early 20th century, but it sounds like you might be thinking of The Conversions by Harry Mathews.
posted by neroli at 8:26 AM on September 7, 2010

Best answer: Could it be Roussel's Impressions of Africa or Impressions d'Afrique? Description of the worm here.
posted by iconomy at 8:31 AM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]

Another description of the worm from the book: "...worm, which raises segments of its body in sequences to allow single drops of heavy water to fall through holes drilled in the bottom of an aquarium onto the strings of a zither below, playing czardas and other Hungarian dances"
posted by iconomy at 8:33 AM on September 7, 2010

Response by poster: Oh man, you guys are amazing. I've been thinking about this for 16 years. Yes, it is the Roussel book. I can't wait to read it. The Mathews one looks good too. Thanks!
posted by pantufla at 8:37 AM on September 7, 2010

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