The Razor’s Edge


A collection of linked short stories that hopscotches between time and space to explore the haunting hunger that reaches beyond the physical and into the spiritual—for love, for understanding and for truth.

‘Unwillingly, I’ve become part of the story. Questions lie when reconstructing incomplete facts, half-truths, enigmas. What remains is incompletion, interruption. Only the dead know what happened.’

In The Razor’s Edge, Karl Jirgens presents a collection of interlinked fictions that inhabit halfway worlds between past and present, dream and actuality, science and divination. Ordinary daily activities and events lead to unexpected slides into lucid dreams and flirtations with the edge of madness. Drawing on literature and pop culture (from Cinderella and Hamlet to Vladimir Mayakovsky and Anthony Bourdain) as well as the history of twentieth-century genocides (including the Holocaust and the Gulag), these complex, magic realist stories suggest that what seems separate is really interconnected, that the distinction between past, present and future is illusion, and that we might all die of the truth if the truth were truly known.


Karl Jirgens

Karl Jirgens is the author of several books, including the short story collections Strappado (Coach House Press, 1985) and A Measure of Time (Mercury Press, 1995), as well as the editor of a number of works of literary criticism. From 1979 to 2016, he edited and published Rampike, an international journal of art, writing and theory. He is also a grandmaster of the Korean martial art of TaeKwonDo (8th degree black belt). He lives in Windsor, Ontario.
Chapter Contributors Pages Year Price
The prelude "Cinderella Pecadilla."
14 $1.40
The short story "Watch, Watching."
8 $0.80
The short story "The Freshness of a Dream."
20 $2.00
The short story "Understanding the Sounds You Hear."
15 $1.50
The short story "Hungry Ghosts."
17 $1.70
The short story "Layer Cake: Mayakovsky’s Brain."
16 $1.60
The short story "The Razor’s Edge."
17 $1.70
The short story "Don’t Try to Find Us: Foucault’s Pendulum."
17 $1.70
The postlude "The Sound of Smoke."
12 $1.20