“Beyond the vertigo of contemplating a gem of pure cruelty, Jason Hrivnak is a writer without equal. A striking style, of the meticulously-crafted word… And all superbly translated by Claro, translator of the impossible, who renders into French this subtle language full of traps.
“The almost clinical language in which these hallucinatory states are described… at the same time holds a subterranean current… the idea that there is, despite all, a space of purity, or in any case incorruptibility, of the human soul. It’s this delicate seed that the demon aims to suppress, to annihilate, to reduce utterly to ashes. And that, yet, is omnipresent.”
“Dinn’s powers are immense, and when he enumerates them in the ear of Thomas, his ‘apprentice demon’, the most blasé of readers cannot repress a shiver… Jason Hrivnak, who, with The Plight House, made a masterful entry into the literature of malaise, now gives us this new Song added to hell, this poetical call to damnation.”
Le chant de la mutilation, the French translation of Mutilation Song, is now available in paperback and ebook formats from Éditions de l’Ogre, Paris-based specialists in the “literature of unreality”. The translation is by Claro.
“There was once the bildungsroman, the novel of formation, as illustrated by Dickens, Fielding, but also Flaubert, and Vallès, to cite only the most foundational and innovative. Would Jason Hrivnak invent another genre: the novel of deformation? This is what we are invited to discover… with the publication of Mutilation Song.”
“The demon’s harsh and horrifying lectures… create a curious portrait of the struggle against the sorts of internal forces (depression, anxiety) that would like nothing more than to snap their bearers in half… A pretty brutal experience—and one of the most psychologically disturbing and effective horror novels of the year.”
Jason Hrivnak’s second novel Mutilation Song is now available from award-winning publisher ChiZine Publications, in both trade paperback and ebook formats.
“Lyrical and hallucinatory, Jason Hrivnak’s Mutilation Song is a sensual atrocity, like The Screwtape Letters for demonomaniacs. Imagine the unholy daisy-chain of C.S. Lewis, J.G. Ballard, and Bret Easton Ellis and you have Mutilation Song.”
“The succession of tests unwinds with clinical frigidity, which contrasts with their content and gives the impression of participating in a game, the stakes of which, however, surpass the dimension of simple play… La Maison des Épreuves is in reality a cry of love and despair, that extracts a sickly beauty from childhood anguishes in order to attempt to exorcise them, a guide for navigation between life and death, a set of directions for tolerating the pain of existence.”
— Ingannmic, “La maison des epreuves — Jason Hrivnak”
MCR: “A book that blew your mind?”
DC: “La Maison des Épreuves by Jason Hrivnak. A nightmarish book recently published by Éditions de l’Ogre, a cross between a survival manual and a kind of search for redemption. It’s the “literary UFO” of the current publishing season.”
“I didn’t expect to find such content and it’s a delight! We have the possibility of participating in the novel, what happiness. I’m astonished to have found what I was able to read into it. The same reflections and choices are waiting for you.”
“Jason Hrivnak’s book, La Maison des Épreuves, is one of those collections of stories that open a door hidden in the shadow of our imagination. The door that we avoid, on pain of feeling the heart beat too fast… Book of sorrow and consolation, La Maison des Épreuves, as its name indicates, is meant to test, to show, and to illuminate at the same time that it plunges us into the abyss.”
Tara Lennart of BooKalicious (“le booktube de la littérature indépendante”) has posted a video review of La maison des épreuves on her Booktube channel. An audio file of Tara reading the novel’s opening passage is also available on SoundCloud.
“It’s therefore a novel about the saving power of the imagination… an imagination that constitutes an abyss into which you must throw yourself in order to survive… Every paragraph is like the pitch for a tale that Kafka or Burroughs could have written, a dream forever mutating into nightmare.”
“La maison des épreuves is a book that obliges readers to leave their passivity, a sometimes disturbing book with a complicated construction. That being said, Jason Hrivnak’s first novel has something obsessive about it… One musn’t just read La maison des épreuves, one must take total possession of it.
— Anaïs Orieul, “10 livres à lire absolument en attendant le printemps”
“We’re plunged without cease into situations that are unsound, discomfiting, designed, we understand in the end, to put a name to pain, to put a name to that which should not be… Expect to have plenty of dreams at night in which Hrivnak’s words rock you to sleep…”
— Elizabeth Lord, “La Maison des épreuves de Jason Hrivnak: un beau cauchemar”