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Tortured by the evidence of a dream that implicates his wife in the act of infidelity, Gilbert Silvester wakes up to the image of his still reposing partner’s black hair, “spread out on the pillow next to him, tentacles of a malevolent pitch-black jellyfish.”

A researcher and associate lecturer at a German university, Gilbert’s undistinguished career, low self-esteem and reputation as a “reactionary aesthete” metastasize into an existential crisis of the type not entirely uncommon to the philosophical northern European temperament. Packing a bag, he heads to the airport and catches a flight to Tokyo.

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