Novel Progenitor to Disco Elysium Receives Long-Awaited Translation

Sunrise, parabellum.

Disco Elysium has had a rough time over the last few months after several key members of the original creative team were ousted from ZA/UM, their own company, due to purportedly shady financial shenanigans back in October of 2022. Legal proceedings are ongoing, and it seems we may not know the truth of what really happened for some time, if ever. Needless to say, fans of the game are now wary of the quality of any future updates or entries in the series- a well warranted fear, given the questionable inclusion of a bizarre “Collage Mode” this past March.

“Capital has the ability to subsume all critiques into itself. Even those who would *critique* capital end up *reinforcing* it instead.”

So it’s nice to see, in some thematically uncharacteristic positive news, that English speaking fans have some new content from the original creative force behind the game to enjoy. Before creating Disco Elysium, Robert Kurvitz wrote a novel named “Sacred and Terrible Air”, also set in the world of Elysium. Only available in the original Estonian for the past 10 years after an official translation slated for 2020 never materialised, it has finally received an unofficial English translation via a few dedicated fans who decided to pool their resources and hire a professional translator and editor.

I’ve been waiting, baby. I’ve been here the whole time.

The result is a now typical Kurvitz affair- Three men struggling to make sense of a mysterious dissapearance in a depressing world on the brink of total entropic decay. The text itself doesn’t hold your hand- fans of the game will be glad of their foreknowledge of terms and locations referenced, as the book does little to explain in great detail, opting instead to describe unfamiliar terminology in a glossary, leaving the story free to explore the human side of living in a world coming apart at the seams. The “dreamlike, lyrical” prose of the original text has been maintained as much as possible, meaning Disco Elysium fans will feel right at home.

Having read around half of it so far, I can heartily recommend it to Disco veterans and superstar cops who aren’t adverse to a good old fashioned… “Book”? Is that what they’re called?

Author: Joebotnik

I am an interactive entertainment enthusiast.

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