4

I read this quite a while ago and the book was old even when I first encountered it. I probably read it in the 1970s, and it likely dated from the late 1930s, the 1940s, or perhaps the early 1950s.

It had an odd style, a little stilted, and was fairly long, especially for the time. I read it in hard cover form, and it was at least 500 pages.

The protagonist had lived and died in our times and then been reincarnated thousands of years later. I think he was a gift, perhaps for a wedding. It was written in the first person. I'm not sure he ever mentioned his name.

Much of the story details his reaction to the future, and then how his reincarnation challenges everyone's preconceptions. It was a slow read, but a fascinating book.

At one point there were children somehow swimming with the planets. I'm not sure if I would call it science fiction or fantasy.

That's as much as I recall right now. If I think of anything else, I'll update this post.

3

I'm reasonably sure this is Franz Werfel's Star of the Unborn.

This review contains some pertinent details

And, thus he begins his little adventure in "Chapter Two."

F. W. is a time traveler, in a way. He lived and apparently died sometime during the 20th century. He now finds himself approximately 100,000 years in the future. He has been resurrected as a wedding gift by B. H., who had been a friend of his some 100,000 years ago.

B. H. had gone to Tibet and studied and learned the basic tenets of reincarnation so thoroughly that he has been successfully reincarnated and retained memories of his reincarnations for 100, 000 years now. Admittedly his memories of the far past were getting a bit jumbled, but he still remembered F. W. and had used the highly developed science of the day to bring F. W. back to life for some undetermined time as a wedding gift. B. H. was not fully accepted as a true member of the present civilization at this time and had hoped to gain admittance by presenting this unusual wedding gift.

If you've read it before, you'll almost certainly recognise the bizarre 'stream of consciousness' style of writing used

"Since we are dealing with a kind of travelogue I feel the obligation to introduce the hero, or, more modestly, the central figure of the occurrences here set forth. This particular literary form has the unfortunate weakness that the eye that sees, the ear that hears, the spirit that comprehends, the voice that narrates, the 'I' that is involved in many adventures, constitutes the central point about which, in the most literal sense, everything revolves. This central point, candidly designated as F. W., is, unfortunately, I myself."

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