Soft City by Hariton Pushwagner; Cormorance by Nick Hayes - review by James Kidd

James Kidd

Reading Between the Lines

Soft City


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Hariton Pushwagner’s Soft City, completed in 1975 (he began work on it in 1969), attracted a cult following then vanished entirely until 2002. After a lengthy lawsuit (Pushwagner, whose real name is Terje Brofos, had signed away the rights to all of his works while living rough), Soft City was finally republished in Norway in 2008.

The book is a classic of its kind. What narrative there is in Soft City takes the form of a mirror image: wake, eat, commute, work, then repeat in reverse with some added television to ease the path to sleep. Pushwagner’s grand idea – the dehumanising effect of

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