Categories
Aichinger, Ilse

The Bound Man

My friends, a confession: I am a sucker. Little stray kittens and musty books and vegetably steamed dumplings…. these things were basically made for me. And stories like this belong on the list of things for which I’m a true sucker, and by “like this” I don’t necessarily mean Austrian (though I don’t mean “decidedly not Austrian” either). And I don’t necessarily mean the sort of story that plucks your arteries and uses them to serenade you corrido-style. Although, again, I don’t have anything against that either.

But there’s something about a perfectly wrought piece of existential blues that never fails to set me on fire, and it doesn’t matter how heavy the hands that deal the metaphorical blow, I just lie down and prostrate myself to it, or dip myself in candy and find the nearest wrapper, sucker-like.

And of course, if the story’s painfully good (haha) on top of that, I’m a total lost cause. Wrap up warmly and enjoy it.

(and PS: I read german poorly, and there’s not much Aichinger available in English translation, so if you have some, consider yourself lucky, or even better, generous (when you wrap it up and send it to me as a holiday gift))

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Categories
Hesse, Hermann

Youth, Beautiful Youth

Returning soon with a much-awaited all-new MBSP. Leaving you with a mightylong one to hold you till (the longest yet in one sitting, I think).

For Dream, remembered always, and loved even longer.

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Categories
Brentano, Clemens

The Picnic of Mores the Cat

Today’s is another story by an author of whom I know very little, which I’ve plucked from a collection of Big Guns German fiction including Thomas Mann‘s Death in Venice, Kafka‘s Metamorphosis, Hoffmansthall, Hermann Broch, ad krautium, serious big-league uberplayers, which only deepens the rift in my brow over the fact that I don’t know much about Brentano. The biographical paragraph accompanying the story doesn’t reveal much, but does inform The Reader that “His was a restless, thoroughly unhappy life. Married to a hysterical woman, he divorced her, thus thwarting his subsequent ambition to become a priest.”

Which makes me think that whomever was responsible for penning these blurbs must’ve taken a gripe with Brentano, had unsettled family debt, or was the progeny of the next husband of this hysterical woman, or had had a very bad day. And it also makes Yourstruly a full-blooded Brentano sympathizer.

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Categories
Borchert, Wolfgang

Do Stay, Giraffe

Okay, adventure seekers, listen up! For reasons that need not be enumerated here, I should warn you that tonight’s story was recorded in a hushed whisper, late at night, and I didn’t dare play it back to sample the condign commission of my own bedtime story. In other words, it was read quietly and is being posted blindly.

I want you to know, in short, that what you are about to hear I have not heard. Which means that you (and I mean every last one of you) are basically the first person to hear this. Unless you’re here because someone’s told you to come here to listen to Wolfgang Borchert. And if you’ve got friends giving you tips like that, well wow, hold tight to them, or introduce them to me. And if you’re my friend reading this, I didn’t mean that: I would never swap you for some stranger just because that person knows Borchert. Honest.

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