Written when he was only twenty-five, before embarking on the masterpieces that would make him an integral figure in twentieth-century letters, Psalm 44 shows Kiš at his most lyrical and unguarded, demonstrating that even in "the place of dragons . . . covered with the shadow of death," there can still be poetry. Featuring characters based on actual inmates and wardersincluding the abominable Dr. MengelePsalm 44 is a baring of many of the themes, patterns, and preoccupations Kiš would return to in future, albeit never with the same starkness or immediacy.