The Cyclist Conspiracy
Published by: Open Letter
Imprint: Open Letter
285 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 in
- Published: March 2012
"Some books grow old with years, some are rejuvenated, some remain the same. But extremely rare are those that manage to force reality to change and adapt to what is written in them. Some twenty years ago The Cyclist Conspiracy seemed like postmodern brick-a-brack. Today, it is a historical record that becomes more and more true with every new day."David Albahari
The Cyclist Conspiracy tells the tale of a secret Brotherhood who meet in dreams, gain esoteric knowledge from contemplation of the bicycle, and seek to move in and out of history, manipulating events; the Brothers are part of a conspiracy so vast and so secret that, in many cases, the conspirators themselves are unaware of their participation in it. Told through a series of 'historical documents'memoirs, illustrations, letters, philosophical treatises, blue prints, and mapsthe novel details the story of these interventions and the historical moments where the Brotherhood has made their influence felt, from the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand to a lost story of Sherlock Holmes.
Masterfully intertwining the threads of waking and dreams into the fabric of the present, the past, and the future, Svetislav Basara's Pynchon-esque The Cyclist Conspiracy is a bold, funny, and imaginative romp.
Svetislav Basara is a major figure of contemporary Serbian literature and the author of over two dozen novels and short story collections. In 2006 he receive the NIN Award, and served as the Serbian Ambassador to Cyprus from 2001 to 2005.
Randall A. Major teaches in the English Department at the University of Novi Sad, and is one of the editors and translators of the Serbian Prose in Translation series produced by Geopoetika Publishing in Belgrade.
"The Cyclist Conspiracy is a defiantly unique and adventurous creation whose roots cannot be so easily traced."Numéro Cinq
"Filled with mind-bending philosophical, psychological, and conspiracy theories, Basara manages to weave a tale that both confounds and delights."Foreward
"At once a rich philosophical tome and vision-altering spoof of the same, this 'meta-goulash' will interest readers of Jorge Luis Borges's Labyrinths and Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman."Publishers Weekly
"The Cyclist Conspiracy, Svetislav Basara's second novel to be translated into English (expertly by Randall A. Major), is a dizzying, vertiginous ride in which the real is constantly at loggerheads with the unreal."World Literature Today
"It's like The Da Vinci Code's older, more perspicacious sibling."The Barnes and Noble Review
"Such a slippery cult makes for a slippery account, but then that's much of the fun of The Cyclist Conspiracy. From involvement in the World War I-starting assassination of Franz Ferdinand to Stalinist connections as well as activity much farther afield (as in Indian Dharamsala), and including everything from letters from and about members to some of their more theoretical writing (on 'The Madness of Architecture', for example) Basara spins a nice shadowy, loony, centuries-spanning conspiracy."The Complete Review
"The Cyclist Conspiracy is a largely enjoyable, stimulating and thought provoking read. The Cyclist Conspiracy is more than the usual conspiracy thriller and it is well worth any effort that is required. Svetislav Basara definitely keeps you on your toes."Wild Rooster