Kindlifresser, an unfinished novella by Benno Von Archimboldi about the legendary “Child-Eater of Bern.”
Given up by the great author after page fifty due to a “geometrical uncertainty,” according to Archimboldi’s own faint marginalia. What the “uncertainty” was and why it prevented the completion of this compellingly horrifying fairy tale remain mysteries.
[The plot seems to revolve around a burgher who acts as a sort of detective in Bern—an unlucky man who, through various turns of fate, not only befriends the Child-Eater but marries him off to his own young daughter. It's not clear, as of page fifty, if the daughter will survive. The most engaging passage concerns the Child-Eater's small fortune, which his father or uncle (it's never clear) earned selling horses to rebels during the religious wars. The Child-Eater, who speaks very little and is not present in most scenes in the book, treats money both fetishistically and possessively, rarely allowing himself to spend even a pfennig. It's hinted that his obsession with the retention of his modest wealth started when he was a child and stole a sausage, and was made by his father or uncle to swallow the coin he could have borrowed to buy it, had he only asked.]