is a tale of ruin. A bored clerk, Klaudius Blaugast, pursues his desires down a path spiraling into complete degradation. Homeless and destitute, having lost everything at the hands of the evil prostitute Wanda, he seeks redemption in a Prague that has become sybaritic and uncaring — a city in which he has become an outcast. Flashbacks to his past, hallucinatory revelations of the meaning of events long forgotten, point to the seeds of his eventual downfall.
Leppin’s ﬁnal novel, which he never saw published (the manuscript languished for decades after his death in the archives in Prague), Blaugast is an indictment of the despotic and vulgar, an exploration of the sadistic tendencies found among the “moral” and “respectable.” Max Brod’s depiction of Leppin as “a poet of eternal disillusionment, at once a servant of the Devil and an adorer of the Madonna” nowhere rings more true than here.