Max Blecher was born in Botoşani, Romania, on September 8, 1909, into a middle-class Jewish family. His father owned a porcelain shop.
He spent his childhood and adolescence in Roman, where there was a sizable Jewish community, and was an active member of the Maccabi Zionist
association during his high-school years. After graduating, he left for Paris to study medicine, but soon became ill and was diagnosed
with bone tuberculosis, affecting his spine. He was 19. After spending six years in the sanatorium in Berck-sur-Mer, France, he subsequently was treated in
Leysin, Switzerland, then in the Romanian sanatoriums at Braşov and the Black Sea town of Tekirghiol before ultimately returning to Roman where,
confined to bed, he took to translating (Guillaume Apollinaire inter alios) and writing, contributing to André Breton's journal
Le surréalisme au service de la révolution
and carrying on a copious correspondence with, in addition to Breton, André Gide, Martin Heidegger, Ilarie Voronca, Léon-Paul Fargue, and Mihail Sebastian. His
first collection of poetry, Transparent Body was published in 1934, followed by the prose works-cum-novels Adventures in Immediate Irreality (1936) and
Scarred Hearts (1937). His final work of prose, The Illuminated Burrow, written in 1937-38, was published posthumously, first in an abridged edition in 1947,
and then in full in 1971. Often described as "hallucinatory" and "nightmarish," Blecher's writing is a kindred spirit to Surrealism and
a major contribution to the 20th-century European avant-garde. He died of his illness on May 31, 1938.
published by TSP
The Illuminated Burrow
& Other Writings