1/31/20

Alice Koller packed her belongings and a dog named Logos into her car and set out for Nantucket Island, where she pursued, nurtured, contemplated, and celebrated solitude to an extent no writer of our time has matched

Slikovni rezultat za Alice Koller, An Unknown Woman
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Alice Koller, An Unknown Woman, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1981. 

http://www.alicekoller.com/

"I walk: desk to couch, couch to table, table to fireside chair, chair to stove, stove to refrigerator, and there I lean, crying... Why am I here? There's no place else to be. What am I doing here? I don't really know. What am I trying to do here? To find some way to live."This is the true story of a courageous journey - a journey inward, undertaken alone, in the middle of winter, thirty miles out to sea. It is the story of Alice Koller, who went to Nantucket to find - Alice Koller. During the course of her extraordinarily brave and honest self-analysis, she found and discarded the deepest source of her profound unhappiness. Alone, she faced all that she had fled from throughout the thirty-seven years of her life. Alone. she discovered the beginnings of her own vision for a new life.

The intensely personal account of a philosopher's struggle to articulate the process of coming to understand oneself, "An Unknown Woman" speaks with startling intimacy to the unknown person within each of us.


Written in 1962-63 by a 37-year-old woman, this tortured, fumbling, sprawling therapeutic self-analysis may still--in its very openness and lack of pretension--speak directly to other persons (especially the young) mired in an identity crisis or general weltschmerz. In 1962 Alice Koller, unmarried, was a drifting Ph.D. in philosophy with no scholarly or career commitments. ""I just don't have a life. I'm just using up a number of days."" With her newly-acquired German shepherd pup Loges, she escapes to a remote cottage on wintry Nantucket--there to ""break rules"" about when to eat and sleep, to walk by the ocean and tentatively respond to the zany devotion of Loges. But her intent is to sift through the ashes of her life: ""I'm here to understand myself."" Weeping often, Keller reviews a steady march of failures: at acting school, she didn't measure up; the Ph.D. was a lengthy obstacle course with many downs; the men she loved (and still does) pulled away. She couldn't see the reality of situations in which she found herself; she couldn't hear what others were really saying; and worst of all, she couldn't feel her own purposes, or know what she wanted. Was there any core of self that could honestly want? At first Keller traces her vacancy--her need to see herself only as reflected in others--to an early struggle for her mother's love and approval, never given. Later she understands that she acted as if she had feelings, only to please others. On Christmas day, alone, she considers suicide. Then, looking calmly on the unimportance of living or dying, she attends an academic convention in New York, where she practices ""saying what I mean"" and accepts, finally, that the former lovers she meets there are gone forever. Back on Nantucket, she coolly appraises her losing relationships and turns inward to the spark of self. She finds two loves and delights--Loges and walking by the sea: a tiny beginning but truly coming, at last, from ""the self I have."" The protracted meditations are relieved only by Loges' antics; but the untutored groping for certainty within loneliness, depression, and fear may strike a chord in many. - Kirkus Reviews
"I open my eyes in a darkened room. Am I alive? Logos moves as I rear up on the bed to turn on the light. Two o’clock. Shielding my eyes, I see that I’m fully dressed. I wash my face and brush my teeth. I didn’t eat last night. Is it worth feeding this body? I make some hot cocoa, and find a bowl of tuna salad in the refrigerator. My first meal on Christmas Day, 1962. Or my last, ever.
I’ve crossed a bridge unlike any other. I’m no longer among the living but among those who are about to die. From this side I can look back at what it was to be alive. All those people whose approval I sought: none of them is here now. The half dozen people I’ve thought of as my friends: not here either. I’m looking my own death in the face, and there’s no one to stand here with me. Alone, dying, as I was alone living.
From this side, how can it matter what anyone else thinks? From this side, how can it matter what I look like? From this side, how can anything at all matter? Is now the time, then? Is it?”

AN UNKNOWN WOMAN by Alice Koller is one of those rare and timeless books that improves with repeated rereading. Written in straightforward, even stark, prose it contains, nonetheless, profound insights into the psychological and philosophical issues of self-identity and what it means to survive in a world that no longer makes any kind of sense.
Having reached an existential crisis at the end of her thirties, Alice Koller decides to remove herself, quite literally, from the workaday world and the tedium of the daily grind. Despite having a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University, she has spent many years working as a jobbing clerk and typist, flitting from one city to the next, her only aim to earn enough money to keep body and soul together.
More specifically, her quest to find the “perfect relationship” with a man has left her disillusioned with humanity and its vain hopes and empty promises of ever finding a meaningful and worthwhile life. - Paula Marvelly



“When a woman asks to be alone,” Jessamyn West wrote in Hide and Seek, “… alone, alone, truly alone … a woman feels wicked, unloving, defying God and man alike.” If this is true, then Alice Koller could be considered America’s wickedest woman. Since the day in October 1962 when she packed her few belongings and a German Shepherd puppy named Logos into her car and set out for Nantucket Island, she has pursued, nurtured, relished, contemplated, and celebrated solitude to an extent no writer of our time could match.
An Unknown Woman: A Journey to Self-Discovery is her account of the three months she spent in a rented summer house out by the shore, walking along the beach, reflecting on her life, and trying to achieve some understanding of the most fundamental questions any human can ask of herself: Who am I? What am I here for? What do I want from my life?
At the time she decided to take the few hundred dollars she had in the world and head someplace remote, isolated (and cheap), Koller had already been struggling to exist for almost twenty years. After finishing high school in Ohio, she accepted a chance to act and study as part of the acting company based at the Goodman Theater in Chicago. She soon grew disenchanted with acting, though, and began attending the University of Chicago. At a time when few women were going into graduate schools, she determined to carry on with her studies. Relying on countless low-paying clerical jobs, she eventually worked her way through to earning a Ph.D. in philosophy at Radcliffe (now merged into Harvard) in 1959, at the age of 34.
She quickly discovered, however, that her doctorate meant little in an academic world still overwhelmingly dominated by men. When she asked one of her professors for advice on getting a job, he dismissed her with a curt reply: “You’re too late,” which likely referred more to her age than the time in the academic year. And so, after thirteen years of study, she found herself taking the same kind of low-paid work as she had as an undergrad. To add to her woes, she’d watched her second long-term serious romantic relationship end with the man abruptly leaving to marry another woman.
“I don’t have a life,” she concludes, looking at herself in the mirror. “I don’t live anywhere. I perch.” “It has to stop,” she decides. “Can’t I just stop, right now, and try to figure out what I’m doing? What I should be doing?” And so, after a little hunting, she finds a house outside Siasconset on Nantucket Island she can afford to rent for at least three months (due to the off-season). She also decides she needs a dog “To warn me about strangers,” and buys a puppy she names Logos in tribute to the philosophy she has spent the last decade studying: “Logos: the rational principle of the universe, the Word, reasoned discourse.”
On her very first day in the house on Nantucket, her search for answers begins with a very practical question (albeit a question few men in the same situation would ever ask): “What will I look like now that no one I know will see me?” And yet her answer (“Color will matter”) starts Koller on her way. “It’s my first clear judgment, my judgment. A very tiny step I take. How will knowing that I trust my eye for color take me to knowing how I want to live my life? The chasm stretches beneath me.”
It would be easy to dismiss An Unknown Woman as the epitome of navel-gazing. A week into her stay, she writes:
Wanting. What have I wanted? No. What have I wanted? Not right yet. What have I wanted?
When I read this, I immediately thought of the Beyond the Fringe sketch parodying the recollections of Bertrand Russell and the absurdity of logic as a philosophical discipline. Russell recounts a visit to his fellow philosopher, G. E. Moore:
… there was Moore seated by the fire with a basket upon his knees.
“Moore,” I said, “do you have any apples in that basket?”
“No,” he replied, and smiled seraphically, as was his wont.
I decided to try a different logical tack. “Moore,” I said, “do you then have some apples in that basket?”
“No,” he replied, leaving me in a logical cleft stick from which I had but one way out.
“Moore,” I said, “do you then have apples in that basket?”
“Yes,” he replied. And from that day forth, we remained the very closest of friends.
All jesting aside, though, there is a great difference between playing with semantics about a basket of apples and digging into the root of your own identity. Koller calls the thinking she is doing “a kind of fighting”: “I’m defending, and laying siege, all at once.” “I’m even the prize,” she jokes, “But I’m also the only one who’d want it.”
Inevitably (perhaps), excavation of one’s identity reaches the strata of one’s family and childhood. In Koller’s case, it leads to the realization that what she has been pursuing for much of her life is the approval of a mother who gave her little attention and even less love growing up: “She’s been an obstacle to be gotten around in everything I do, everything I’ve ever done.”
From this discovery, she begins to assemble a sense of self owing to no one else’s choices but her own. She starts a list of moments in recent memory that have given her as much of a “sense of fullness” as sitting with Logos’ head in her lap, scratching behind his ears, and eliciting a low moan of satisfaction. In four hours, she comes up with thirty moments. And from this list, she develops an understanding of what she truly seeks from life: “What I’ll want to do will have to have this same quality of … what? Fitting me.”
And so she sets out for her new life. After three months, she is not broke, thanks to a bit of work she landed analyzing a technical report for some research firm in Connecticut, but close to it. She has no firm job prospect and will have to camp out once again in some friend’s house. “And yet I know some few things,” she concludes. “I love Logos. I must have him with me.” And “This ocean matters to me.” With these things and “the idea that other things may join with these,” she heads back to the mainland. “They are all the self I have. But they are mine.”
It would be pleasant to think that this new foundation enabled Koller to launch herself into great personal and professional success, but the truth is that it more likely condemned her to a life on the margins of society. She turned the journal she had kept on the island into a book, but it was rejected by thirty different publishers over the course of thirteen years, most often for being “too personal,” until it found a receptive editor at Holt, Rinehart and Winston. The book became something of a grass-roots best-seller, racking up sales of over 500,000 copies, mostly in its Bantam paperback edition, over the next five years.
In 1991, Koller followed up with The Stations of Solitude (1990), which reviewed her experience on Nantucket in light of her life and thoughts since leaving the island. She had a brief stint teaching at the University of California Santa Barbara, but no long-term teaching jobs. As Diane M. Quilty Litchfield put it in her Masters thesis on Koller’s work, “One Woman’s Construction of Self and Meaning: A qualitative study of the life of Alice Koller” (link), “Indeed, her employment was so sporadic that she often lived through the generosity of her friends or on welfare.” Or, as Koller herself wrote, “During … twenty-five years, I have moved sixteen times … I forage for my living where the food supply is.”
And yet, Koller resolutely embraces and champions her choice to pursue a life driven more by introspection than material comforts: “I essay to write my thinking. I am a philosopher studying my own mind. And when I look outward at the natural world, I essay to write my seeing and hearing and touching.”
In 2008, at the age of 83, Alice Koller bought her own domain name and set up her own website, alicekoller.com, on which she solicits “patrons” for a work in progress titled “Meditation on Being a Philosopher.” It appears that she’s been renewing her domain name registration annually since then. It’s up for renewal again in a few weeks, so I’ll have to check if she’s still keeping it going … a few months short of her 90th birthday.
Whether “Meditations” gets finished or not, Alice Koller has been our closest counterpart to Henry David Thoreau — indeed, has devoted more years to the principle that only an examined life truly matters than Thoreau drew breath. And for that, in my view, she deserves to be celebrated as an American original. - http://neglectedbooks.com/?p=3253 

Excerpt from Meditation On Being A Philosopher

1/30/20

Sigbjørn Obstfelder is usually credited as one of the earliest examples of modernism in Norwegian literature. His writings have often been described as the literary equivalent of Edvard Munch's paintings

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Sigbjørn Obstfelder, Priest's Diary, Trans. by James McFarlane, Norvik Press, 1987.

The spirit of the 1890s found its most uniquely characteristic expression in the work of this poet. Generally accepted as having been the young 'Scandinavian in Paris' whom Rilke used as a model for the eponymous hero of Malte Laurids Brigge, Obstfelder was singularly attuned to the period in which he lived. This, his last and in its conception most ambitious work was cruelly cut short by his tragic death in 1900 at the age of thirty-three, and in its incomplete form was published posthumously. It is the diary of a priest, a man sustained by the conviction that within the chaotic immediacy of life, there lies a coherent ordering principle waiting to be discovered.


It's a little odd and perhaps unfair to "rate" an unfinished work published posthumously in draft form--in translation, no less. Two stars for the book as it is (and forever will be), a third star as a way of giving Obstfelder the benefit of the doubt that, had he but world enough and time... The entries often read like phenomenological accounts of manic episodes interlarded with quaint or dated theological musings. Despite its extreme brevity, I found it repetitive and surprisingly difficult to read more than a few pages at a time. Compelling at points that were, unfortunately, few and far between.- Todd https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3576665-priest-s-diary


Slikovni rezultat za Sigbjørn Obstfelder, Poems from the Norwegian, Blackwell, 1920.

Sigbjørn Obstfelder, Poems from the Norwegian, Blackwell, 1920. 

read it here

Primarily known as a writer of poetry, Obstfelder's debut collection of poems from 1893, Digte (Poems), is usually credited as one of the earliest examples of modernism in Norwegian literature. Despite producing only a mere handful of works during his short lifespan, he is considered one of the most important figures in Norwegian literature of the late 19th century. Strongly influenced by the French poet Charles Baudelaire, his writings have often been described as the literary equivalent of Edvard Munch's paintings; indeed, the two were friends. Obstfelder was a source of inspiration for Rainer Maria Rilke's work The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. Obstfelder lived most of his life as a pauper, and never stayed in one place for very long. By all accounts he had an unstable mental health, and suffered several nervous breakdowns. He died from tuberculosis in Copenhagen in 1900.

1/28/20

Zalman Shnéour utilizes the influences of Dostoyevsky and Schopenhauer to depict a distinctly Jewish experience of uprooted modernity, and presents a lesser-known strand of Jewish decadent literature

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Zalman Shnéour, A Death: Notes of a Suicide, 
Trans. By Daniel Kennedy, Wakefield Press, 2019.

In a Yiddish take on Notes from Underground, a dark love affair develops in an unnamed Eastern European city between the young, impoverished, violently self-loathing teacher, Shloyme―and a hungry, spiteful and unsettlingly sensual revolver. Ostensibly purchased to protect Shloyme from the pogroms sweeping the empire, the weapon instead opens a portal to his innermost demons, and through it he begins his methodical mission to eradicate any remnants of life and humanity in him and pave the way for his self-destruction. A Death takes the form of a diary that follows the Jewish calendar.

Written in Yiddish in 1905 and published with immediate success in Warsaw in 1909, A Death utilizes the influences of Dostoyevsky and Schopenhauer to depict a distinctly Jewish experience of uprooted modernity, and presents a lesser-known strand of Jewish decadent literature. This translation of his inaugural novel is Schneour's first appearance in English since 1963. Its exploration of alienation, mental health, toxic masculinity and violence is remarkably contemporary.



Born in Shklow, Zalman Shneour (1887–1959) was one of the major figures of Jewish modernity, and was the most popular Yiddish writer between the World Wars. He wrote poetry, prose and plays in both Yiddish and Hebrew. Like many of his generation, his life was spent moving from city to city in search of literary community or escaping political turmoil: from Odessa to Warsaw to Vilne, and on to such Western cities as Bern, Geneva, Berlin, Paris, New York

1/16/20

Helmut Heißenbüttel - Non-literary everyday usage, newspaper reports, the language of politics and bureaucracy supplied Heissenbuttel with his raw material (his term) for collages of interlocking or interrupted quotation or for teasingly repetitive demonstrations of language growing circular or contradicting its

Slikovni rezultat za helmut heißenbüttel translated by


Helmut Heißenbüttel, Texts, Ts. by Michael Hamburger, M. Boyars, 1977.

German writers after 1945 had more reason than most to reflect on the corruptibility of language and the merits of silence.
Many animadverted briefly - and then settled down to more or less traditional forms of story-telling or poetry. Others, from the 1950s on, were more radical, exploring the possibility of fresh starts via language stripped and re- ordered. Their centre was Vienna but Helmut Heissenbuttel, born at the opposite end of German-speaking lands in Wilhelmshaven, was equally radical and more independent of groupings. Moreover his fascination with the limits and the resources of language never flagged over almost four decades. Although his own literary practice and his thinking about literature were never other than measured and reflective, he became, as the years passed, a living reminder of those distant, heady days of linguistic experience.
Heissenbuttel was born in 1921, served in the Second World War until seriously wounded (he lost an arm) in 1942 and then studied - first in Dresden and Leipzig, after the war in Hamburg - Architecture, Art History and German, a combination that may well be reflected in his tireless interest in typography, layout and in concrete modes of writing.
In 1957, already author of two volumes of experimental texts (Kombinationen, 1954, and Topographien, 1956) and a recipient of a literary award from Hamburg, he became editor of the "Radio-Essay", a department of South German Radio in Stuttgart. For over 20 years, until 1981, he was at the centre of a creative enterprise that was a distinguishing feature of German writing in the 1950s and 1960s - the radio play was a form that engaged a surprisingly large number of Germany's leading writers.
The radio play was a natural medium for a writer interested in the distance between language and the visible, material world. In the modern, post- realist world language was no longer able, in Heissenbuttel's view, to reflect or penetrate a reality beyond itself, no longer anchored by systems of thought and literary practice. What was needed was "a new and radical nominalism . . . that takes words as objects, structuring words to form a new reality, not figuratively standing for something, but like a second reality".
In practice, Heissenbuttel was neither as prescriptive nor as divorced from reality as he might sound. He rejected even the word experiment - it suggested too clear a sense of purpose - preferring Ausprobieren ("trying things out"). In much the same spirit, he published his poems and other pieces from 1960 onwards in Textbucher, thus avoiding any kind of genre definition. His refocusing on language as language might seem impoverishing - he quotes more than once Paul van Ostaijen's claim that "the most beautiful poem about a fish is the word fish" - but he demonstrates with great virtuosity and in a variety of forms how far a return to linguistic basics can enrich the range both of poetry and of short prose.

Even a poem like the following, creating visual order out of a trivial occasion, makes something memorable out of one man, one bench, one hand, one dried biscuit - and crumbs:
I Mann auf I Bank
I Zwieback in I Hand
I Hand
in I Hand und
I Mann und
1 Zwieback und
Hand
in Hand und
auf I Bank
I Zwieback
I Zwieback Hand und
Krumel
Non-literary everyday usage, newspaper reports, the language of politics and bureaucracy supplied Heissenbuttel with his raw material (his term) for collages of interlocking or interrupted quotation or for teasingly repetitive demonstrations of language growing circular or contradicting itself. The results could be taxing (the quotations were always unattributed) and yet language, however rearranged, pointed back time and again, often wittily, sometimes menacingly, to the users of language.
Heissenbuttel was most at home in short forms. He attempted, however, one full-scale work, the novel D'Alemberts Ende ("D'Alembert's End", 1970), in which nine people in one day exhibit the linguistic habits, the colloquialisms, the jargon of their class and their profession in exchanges which flatten out plot and character in a tortuous display of language in use. That novel has been more acknowledged than admired; indeed Heissenbuttel himself, perhaps inevitably, has enjoyed much esteem (he was awarded the Buchner Prize in 1969) but little popularity. Yet his dominant presence in the field of linguistic "trying things out" has been recognised by generations of young, would-be innovative poets right into the 1990s.
"Everything is possible, everything can still be said" - thus Heissenbuttel in 1965. It was his motto for decades, fascinatingly exemplified, and others have adopted it. - Philip Brady

“The Dilemma of Being High and Dry”
by Helmut Heissenbüttel

a man’s high and dry and doesn’t give up hope of spotting land that’s the dilemma he’s in but he doesn’t like his cousin the water-colorist does namely color the water

the fact that he’s high and dry is a problem of a more general nature and as long as he won’t give up this prejudice he’ll tend to hallucinate banks in place of slopes sea in place of sand being all wet in place of being all dry wherever he looks he sees waterlevels and lightand-shadowreflections and wherever he listens he hears gulls creaming and sirens

he’s developed a liking for occupations like barge captain pilot sluice keeper coast guard lighthouse man and a dislike for sayings like water has no bounds keep above water on my plans made his mouth water a scoundrel of the first water

although he detest nothing more than apologies it happens now and then that looking backwards or forwards he slips up and argues in a sort of apologetic way how it has happened to him and others too namely to live in a world that you don’t see as it is but through who knows what imaginings

a somewhat complacent man in his midforties who sometimes has a depressing effect on people around him with a tendency towards portliness not unfriendly but very much reserved squinting what would he see anyway certainly not the open sea maybe coastscapes breakers piers canaland-bridgetorritory it’s got to be the watercolorist had said water back there at the end of the shor road the house which would when really be there

—Translated from the German by Rosmarie Waldrop

_______
English language copyright ©1977 by Rosmarie Waldrop. Reprinted froom Diana’s Bimonthly, ed. by Tom Ahern, Vol V, No. 3 (1977).



Stanisława Przybyszewskais recognized as a major twentieth-century playwright on the basis of her trilogy about the French Revolution. Very difficult to understand for people with little background, absolutely mind-blowing for those who have studied the era.

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Stanisława Przybyszewska, The Danton Case; Thermidor: Two Plays, Trans. by Bolesław Taborski, Northwestern University Press, 1989. 

Stanislawa Przybyszewski is recognized as a major twentieth-century playwright on the basis of her trilogy about the French Revolution, of which The Danton Case and Thermidor are the principal parts. The Danton Case depicts the battle for power between two exceptional individuals: the corrupt sentimental idealist, Danton, and the incorruptible genius of the Revolution, Robespierre. Thermidor shows the final playing out of this drama, as Robespierre, left alone with the heroic absolutist Saint-Just, foresees the ruin of himself and his cause, and in his despair predicts that hatred, war, and capitalism will steal the Revolution and corrupt nineteenth-century man.

Brilliant, obsessive and painfully overlooked as a playwright, Stanislawa Przybyszewska was able to turn her life time fascination with the Revolution into a compelling if highly idiosyncratic recounting of 1794. Very difficult to understand for people with little background, absolutely mind-blowing for those who have studied the era. She writes as if she were talking to Committee of Public Safety. Although both plays leave a bit to be desired in the way of historical accuracy and her Robespierrism gets on your nerves, few authors are able to so successfully live in the lives and times of their characters and so keenly convey the historical ambiance and psychological nuances. Nervy, haunting and brilliant, Stanislawa's highly personal telling sheds light on our own troubled century as much as Robespierre's. A must read for anyone interested in the failure of radical social change. - vause@pacbell.net
amazon.com

Stanislawa Przbyzewska (1901-1935) was the daughter of a well-known polish writer. Her father left her and her mother soon after she was born and for much of her life he had no contact with her. As he grew older, they became more close and she also started to write. She went to university in Cracow and stayed on there in some junior teaching position.
In her late twenties she saw a few of her works (plays and essays) published, not to much acclaim however, and by then she had begun to lose her grip on her life and on her sanity. Whether it was mental illness of instability, one or more unhappy love affairs or her progressively worsening morphine addiction (and probably all of the aforementioned together) she got weirder and weirder. The last years of her life she lived as a recluse in a small wooden shack on a courtyard within the maze of 18th-century universtiy buildings. She read and she wrote. Feverishly so. Mostly about the French Revolution, and why it had gone so spectacularly wrong: it began in 1789 with the hope for a better world, and it ended in 1799 in Napoleon's authoritarean government, passing throug the bloody terror and an appalling civil war.
As a pole Przbysewska had seen a revolution gone bad in her own country: Pilsudski made a new and free Poland after the first world war, but soon made himself the head of state and of the governement.
In Russia, next to Poland, it had gone even worse: the Bolshevik experiment had degenerated in Lenin's terror and Stalin's terror was getting up steam by the 1930s.
Przbysewska, living like an ascetic, strange, hallucinating hermit wrote and rewrote her plays. Her views on the French Revolution and particularly on the chief protagonists (Robespierre, St-Just, Danton, Desmoulins, Fabre) of its most exciting period (1793-1794) are still valid, fresh and refreshingly different. So what if she is way too far into Robespierre. Robespierre was as ascetic and uninterersted in material things as she was herself and that must have appealed to her: like him she only lived for her work. She is never dogmatic and never makes the characters into caricatures, as so many writers do: Danton the lust-for-life and larger-than-life big old brute with the golden heart and Robespierre the sneaky, utterly humourless, friendless fanatic.
Przbysewska's Robespierre is a complex charachter, who loses sight of humanity, even if he is a very humane and caring human being: he likes animals, children and "the People".
Robespierre loses sight of the fact, or deliberately shuts out the fact that the enemies of the people are people too, even if they are royalists, criminals, cooked stockbrokers, defeatists or dantonists. And so Robespierre, who by most accounts was an odd but fundamentally decent, shy and kind person becomes the personification of the Terror and of it's excesses.
Przbysewska puts them all on stage and lets them speak. She does so skillfully, believably and, in my view honestly. One may not always agree with her opinions or with her slant on the events or the charachters but it is clear her views were passionately held and very very sincere.
Not yet 35 she died, in 1935, alone in her shed. After her death it was found she had died of illness and hunger, in short, form neglect. Lots of people had offered to help her and to take her in, but she had stubbornly refused. The neglect of which she died was self-imposed.
She had starved herself to death, again, like some exalted medieval mystic. She deserved better, of course, and made life unnecessarily hard for herself. But maybe because of her weirdness, she had an uncanny feeling for her subjects and wrote about them magnificently. Highly recommended, especially for Fr. Rev. buffs and for those who enjoy reading good plays. - S. A. Kuipers amazon.com

There is something about the French Revolution that captures one with a sweet taste of disturbance.
My knowledge on the French Revolution was limited, untill I had the chance to read Przybyszewska's The Danton Case. Alienated and confined in the caverns of her mind, the playwright provides an insight into the unresolved tensions between Georges Danton and Maximilien Robespierre. The former a liberal, sentimental animal, the latter an incorruptible, cold mountain. Both, led to their deaths 5 years after the Fall of Bastille.
What strikes me about The Danton Case, is the boldness with which she enters the mentality of both the oppressor and the oppressed, revealing the animal and foolish nature of the mob and the cannibalistic logic of the dictator. Are we capable of wielding freedom, or are we debasing ourselves to voluntary servitude? Are we oppressed by the dictator or by ourselves?
Stanislawa Przybyszewska might not resolve the problems between Danton and Robespierre, but she definitely raises our social consciousness. It seems that we are all concerned with the wrong question: instead of asking ourselves how do we stop the dictator, we should be rather asking how do we allow the rise of the dictator in the first place.
I recommend this book to anyone who is eager to expand his or her knowledge on the French Revolution. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is capable of seeing the multiple facets of truth- the rise of Hitler after all, was not exactly condemned at first. - Maria Nicolaou goodreads.com

Stanisława Przybyszewska: The Maddest of All Female Robespierrists

The dimensions of the room are small: seven-and-a-half feet by fifteen. On the left wall is a single window, half the size of a normal window, which sheds a meagre light on the furniture: a wooden table and stool, a love seat, an ugly grey cabinet where the books are stored, a basin, a stove, and a narrow bed. Because the room is on the ground floor, it gets very cold in winter — and the winters in Danzig are merciless, the temperatures sometimes dropping to thirty below. So close to the earth, it is also damp. Sepulchral drafts drift up from beneath the floorboards. The typewriter rusts in its case. On one occasion, the orgy of dampness leads to the begetting of animal life in the form of mysterious, white wet worms so minuscule they are scarcely visible. Only after the stove is lit and the room heated dry do the worms perish, crackling into withered corpses, tiny crumpled membranes littering the once damp sheets of paper that had served as their ‘great metropolis’.
From the age of twenty-six until she died eight years later (of tuberculosis and malnutrition brought on by her addiction to morphine), the Polish writer Stanisława Przybyszewska lived in this room. Following her husband’s death from an overdose at the age of twenty-five, she had moved there from another, more spacious apartment on an upper floor of the same building. Her husband, Jan Panienski, had been a teacher at Danzig’s Polish Gymnasium, and the building where they had lived together — and where she would live and die alone — belonged to the school, which provided the ground-floor dwelling-space free of charge to the widowed Przybyszewska, less out of respect for her husband than out of respect for her father, Stanisław Przybyszewski, who had helped found the institution.
Stanisław Przybyszewski, though wholly unknown in English, was one of the most celebrated Polish writers of his day. A fin-de-siècle libertine and all-round poète maudit, Przybyszewski dabbled in Satanism, hobnobbed with Strindberg and Munch, and fathered at least half a dozen children by at least three different women, none of whom was his wife. Stanisława was the last of these children. Her mother, Aniela Pajak, was by all accounts a nurturing soul (her daughter would later call her a ‘genius at motherhood’) and a passably good painter in the impressionist style. She worshipped Przybyszewski and asked nothing of him, except that he legitimize their daughter. Which he refused to do.
In 1907, when Stanisława was five, her mother moved them away from their native Kraków to the Austrian Alps and then on to Paris, where Aniela integrated herself into the city’s large Polish émigré community, enrolled her daughter in a French-language school, and resumed her interrupted artistic career, exhibiting her paintings at the Salon des Indépendants. Then, quite suddenly, in 1911, Aniela grew ill and died of pneumonia, though not before making arrangements for her daughter to be looked after by family friends in Zürich. Stanisława remained with these friends until 1914, when she moved in with her aunt Helena Barlinska’s family in Vienna and, two years later, with the Great War raging, followed them back to Kraków.
Although Stanisława had had two brief encounters with her father in the course of her childhood, it was not until 1919, when she approached him after a lecture he gave in a Kraków concert hall, that she spoke with him at any length. The man who had refused to legitimize her and ignored her from the moment of her birth took a belated interest in his progeny — now a bright, beautiful, dark-eyed young woman who had read everything and who spoke Polish, German, French, and English with facility. To his new wife’s great displeasure (the free-loving Satanist had since become a staid Catholic), Przybyszewski began corresponding with Przybyszewska, assisted her financially, helped her husband secure his post at the Gymnasium in Danzig, and introduced her to the ‘mind-sharpening’ powers of morphine. For the next few years, until she grew disillusioned with his genius, Przybyszewska worshipped her father almost as ardently as her mother before her. Even after their falling out, he continued to cast a long shadow over her life. His abandonment of her as a child, his disappointment of her as an adult — together with the sudden early deaths of her mother and her husband — fortified Przybyszewska’s distrust of human relations and paved the way for the idiosyncrasy, the isolation, and the aversion to daily life about which she would become fanatical in the years to come. - Alex Andriesse
read more: The Incorruptible: Stanisława Przybyszewska
Slikovni rezultat za Daniel Gerould, A Life of Solitude: Stanislawa  Przybyszewska, a Biographical Study with  Selected Letters

Daniel Gerould, A Life of Solitude: Stanislawa 

Przybyszewska, a Biographical Study with 

Selected Letters, Northwestern University 

Press, 1989.

A Life of Solitude is a biography of Polish playwright Stanislawa Przybyszewska (1901-35). One of the finest plays about the French Revolution, The Danton Case, was written by this unknown Polish woman living in obscurity in the free city of Danzig. The illegitimate daughter of writer Stanislaw Przybyszewski, she became a writer against long odds and at the cost of her health, her sanity, and eventually her life. A Life of Solitude shows how she chose her vocation, examine her ideas about writing, and reveal her struggle with material existence. Tragically, she came to substitute creativity for life and clung to her sense of calling with a stubbornness that dulled the instinct for self-preservation and led to her death from morphine and malnutrition at


It is difficult to imagine an audience for these cranky letters, so obsessive that their recipients probably threw them away without a second thought. According to Kosicka, a translator, and Gerould, Kosicka's husband and a professor of theater at City University of New York, Przybyszewska (1901-1935), an illegitimate daughter of an acclaimed Polish writer, merits attention for the genius she evinces in her play about the French Revolution, The Danton Case. But because that work awaits publication and staging in English, the trials and tribulations of the Polish Przybyszewska's literary career--the chief subject of her epistles--elude appreciation. Determined to be "100% a writer," she isolated herself at age 24, moving into a tiny, poorly heated apartment which she rarely left, writing for eight to nine hours each night and sleeping during the day, and maintaining contact with others almost exclusively through correspondence (of which she kept copies). An addiction to morphine only deepened her peculiarities and her immoderate sense of self-importance. - Publishers Weekly

Stanislawa Przybyszewski (1901-35), the illegitimate daughter of the modernist writer Stanislaw
Przybyszewski, became famous in her own right only after her death. Today she is recognized as a major twentieth-century playwright on the basis of her trilogy about the French Revolution, of which The Danton Case and Thermidor are the principal parts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanisława_Przybyszewska

1/7/20

Aloysius Bertrand - a strange set of prose poems exploring the psychological terrain between Rembrandt’s refinement and Jacques Callot’s depictions of violence, between the elegant and the tenebrous

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Aloysius Bertrand, Gaspard de la Nuit, adapted by Donald Sidney-Fryer, Black Coat Press, 2004. [1842.]

Gaspard de la Nuit (originally published in 1842) combines the haunting Gothic imagery of ETA Hoffman with the colorful romantic verve of Victor Hugo. In it, you will meet Scarbo the vampire dwarf, Ondine, the faerie princess of the waters, and an unforgettable assortment of lepers, alchemists, beggars, swordsmen and ghosts. Gaspard de la Nuit inspired Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, the Surrealist Movement and composer Maurice Ravel, who wrote a suite of virtuoso piano pieces patterned after it. This new edition has been entirely retranslated by renowned poet and literary historian Donald Sidney-Fryer, the author of Songs and Sonnets Atlantean who has edited four collections of prose and poetry by Clark Ashton Smith. In his extensive introduction and afterword, Sidney-Fryer retraces the steps in Bertrand's life, casts a new light on his works and follows the elusive Gaspard from the Three Kings of Bethlehem to Casper the Friendly Ghost. This collection features a foreword by T.E.D. Klein and is illustrated by drawings from

Aloysius Bertrand's classic text of poetic and fantastic literature is presented in an entirely new translation by renowned poet Donald Sidney-Fryer. This edition also includes an extensive introduction, 18 illustrations by Bertrand himself, a foreword by T.E.D. Klein and a cover by celebrated artist Gahan Wilson.
Gaspard de la Nuit combines the haunting gothic imagery of Hoffman with the colorful romantic verve of Victor Hugo. In it, you will meet Scarbo the vampire dwarf, Ondine, the faerie princess of the waters, and an unforgettable assortment of lepers, alchemists, beggars, swordsmen and ghosts.
Gaspard de la Nuit inspired Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, the Surrealist Movement and composer Maurice Ravel, who wrote a suite of virtuoso piano pieces patterned after it.
Aloysius Bertrand's ground-breaking collection of prose ballads was published in 1842, a year after his death at 34.
This new edition has been entirely retranslated by renowned poet and literary historian Donald Sidney-Fryer, the author of Songs and Sonnets Atlantean who has edited four collections of prose and poetry by Clark Ashton Smith. In his extensive introduction and afterword, Sidney-Fryer retraces the steps in Bertrand's life, casts a new light on his works and follows the elusive Gaspard from the Three Kings of Bethlehem to Casper the Friendly Ghost.
This collection features a foreword by T.E.D. (Ceremonies) Klein and is illustrated by drawings from Bertand himself.

Aloysius Bertrand’s Gaspard de la Nuit, a strange set of prose poems exploring the psychological terrain between Rembrandt’s refinement and Jacques Callot’s depictions of violence, between the elegant and the tenebrous, which led Bertrand’s little book to have a powerful influence on subsequent French writers and artists, particularly Baudelaire and Ravel; - http://seraillon.blogspot.com/2019/12/best-of-2019-part-2-everything-else.html


By Valentina Gosetti






Richard Brickner - there are few novels that enter so penetratingly into the tensions between independence and relationship/marriage, or that so well dissect the psychological scars that can govern the direction of a life.

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Richard Brickner, After She Left, Henry Holt 

and Company, 1988.


Emily Weil, daughter of a prosperous Park Avenue family, tries to find her way in the adult world and face the challenges of raising her own family

Readers who enjoyed the witty dialogue and rollercoaster of emotions in Brickner's unforgettable novel Tickets will find a more subtle but no less intelligently told story here. The eponymous "she" is Emily Weil's mother, who left her stockbroker husband, two daughters and a comfortable Park Avenue apartment to aid Jewish refugees during WW IIand subsequently died in Shanghai. Although only 10 when her mother left, Emily's life has been haunted by her absence. Images of her mother pervade her consciousness, sending an ambivalent message of abandonment and selfless love. We meet Emily as a teenager during the 1940s and follow her over the next decade as she tests her ambition to be an actress during a stint in summer stock, then joins a publishing firm after college. There are boyfriends, one-time sexual encounters and, eventually, a short-lived marriage. As Tickets revolved around opera at the Met, the central image here is of the Broadway theater, the atmosphere of heightened reality where Emily feels most alive. Her determination not to be ordinary, not to waste her life, is her mother's legacy, she realizes ultimately. Brickner has a remarkable ability to convey a young woman's thoughts and impressions. His portrait of Emily, however, while interesting, is overpowered and somehow trivialized by the enigmatic presence of the mother she has lost. - Publishers Weekly


After She Left is a psychological portrait of Emily, an intense young woman striving to live her romantic ideals and avoid becoming a "typical superficial Park Avenue girl." Part of her struggle is to live up to a mother who deserted the family to help refugees and later died during World War II. These events have left Emily with a tremendous sense of loss. Despite constant immersion in Emily's psyche, the reader comes away feeling curiously disengaged and unsympathetic. Interesting reading, but the book is marred by abrupt transitions and occasionally heavy-handed psychological detail. - Cynthia Johnson Whealler

Brickner follows his opera-as-life-style Tickets (1981) with an artful re-creation of 50's New York in the person of one haute bourgeois, smart, screwed-up girl, Emily Weil, and her boundless capacity to see her own life as a theatrical second act to a one-act play. Daughter of a Park Avenue stockbroker and a mother who died in Shanghai in the 30's (trying to help out Jewish refugees from Hitler), Emily is glamour-infused, holding in her secret heart of hearts the terrible wound but aching mystery of her mother's death as well as a yearning for significance that's never really satisfied. No Marjorie Morningstar, though, Emily seeks in men an objectified changelessness, the kind of special zone only a Broadway play offered her in adolescence. Not surprisingly, no man measures up--not a genius young composer and pianist, not a college-friend librettist, and finally, most wrenchingly, not husband Steve Farkas, heir to his father's toy business who eventually throws it over to go to medical school. At which point Emily throws him over--the change in Steve's perception of himself being just too threatening. Though Brickner writes a few fine scenes (most concentrated into what resemble stage-dialogues)--Emily's disillusionment with an idiot actor in summer stock; her funny, sympathetic first appointment with a mensch of a psychiatrist--the central impression is of Emily's spoiled, self-pitying need. All reaction, she's a born audience of one--with promise in her soul never translated into action that's anything but whiny. Brickner seems to want us to identify with her passive self-destruction, too, her peevishness that people's lives are not as goldenly fixed as magical nights on a Broadway aide. He's made her (and the book), however, finally mostly a trial of our patience. - Kirkus Reviews

Searching for information on The Story of Harold, the cult classic by Terry Andrews (a.k.a George Selden Thompson), I stumbled upon only a single review from the time the book had been published - perhaps because few reviewers in 1974 were willing to touch a novel in which a famous children’s book writer also happens to be a suicidal, bisexual S&M adventurer. Writing in the New York Times, Richard Brickner generously commented that Andrews’ novel was “a work about almost everything important that happens between people,” which was enough to pique my curiosity about Brickner himself. Brickner had been a beloved creative writing teacher and had written a few novels of his own as well as a memoir of living as a paraplegic following a terrible accident at age 20. After She Left (1988) is a beautifully executed psychological novel, a subtle take on Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady transposed into 1970’s New York and to a young woman wrestling with the her mother’s having abandoned husband and child during the war only to perish in China helping Jewish refugees in Shanghai. I can think of few novels I’ve read – including James’ own – that enter so penetratingly into the tensions between independence and relationship/marriage, or that so well dissect the psychological scars that can govern the direction of a life. This is a fine, overlooked American work ripe for re-issue (I’m looking to you, NYRB). - http://seraillon.blogspot.com/2019/12/best-of-2019-part-2-everything-else.html

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Richard Brickner, Tickets, Simon & Schuster, 

1981.


The urban-affair novel seems to have replaced the suburban-marriage novel as fiction's latest idea of a flexible social barometer--and Brickner's new book is a good, if Limited, example of the genre. Alan Hoffman is 40 and unmarried, a writer for a New York newsweekly, and an addict of the most tony metropolitan entertainments: he attends three or four opera performances a week during the season (as many concerts, too), and his collection of ticket stubs, all saved, is legendary. Importunate, impatient, voluptuously egotistical and brusque, Alan has found in opera a stylization of what, in life, he finds least bearable--the sheer time it takes for life and love to conspire. Then, in the Met lobby one night, he meets a lawyer he once interviewed, and the lawyer's wife: Betsy Ring--who turns out to be Alan's complement, an Iphigenia in Limbo, bright and yet perfectly, gracefully confused, swinging from on high during the period of doubt marked by the upcoming publication of her first novel and the postponed beginning of her second. Their affair starts as a stutter, and Brickner sets down the physical shyness and hesitancy perfectly. And then, suddenly--pure opera--the lawyer husband dies of a coronary . . . which leaves the nervous lovers with even greater guilt and even greater edginess, all expressed in increasingly brittle dialogue: ""You were sounding so damn stingy. I decided to have had enough. And I had to tell you something that made me feel entitled to override you."" Brickner (Bringing Down the House, My Second Twenty Years) has invested real sensitivity into this etiolated tale, giving Alan, in particular, the swift to-and-fro of feelings that most novelists consciously reserve for their main female player But despite this (and the intelligence of the opera metaphor throughout), the novel never rises above its characters' well-educated neuroses, never becomes the full-fledged love story it seems to aspire to--and when the affair is ended by sudden death, the climactic liebestod is unaffecting and noticeably contrived. Clever, sensitive, and talented work, then, yet limited by the very special nature and tone of the classy-urban-affair genre. - Kirkus Reviews

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Malcolm de Chazal - the work has attained a near-legendary status and readers have discovered in Chazal’s brilliant aphorisms what the author himself described as a synthesizing of a “new view of life” ...everything on earth is sensuously connected to everything else and that we all belonged to the same mold, ‘plastic’ suggests art in all its forms

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Malcolm de Chazal, Sens-Plastique, Trans. by Irving Weiss, Green Integer, 2018.


The Mauritian writer Malcolm de Chazal’s great masterwork, Sens-Plastique, was published in France in 1948, with a preface by Jean Paulhan, a year after its publication in Mauritius. Since that time, the work has attained a near-legendary status and readers have discovered in Chazal’s brilliant aphorisms what the author himself described as a synthesizing of a “new view of life” requiring a unique title. “I finally settled on Sens-Plastique because apart from the fact that it seems to say that everything on earth is sensuously connected to everything else and that we all belonged to the same mold, ‘plastic’ suggests art in all its forms. I liked that because I consider my whole enterprise to be more of a picture than a book.” As W. H. Auden writes in the Foreword to the 1971 edition, “Sens-Plastique now been a companion of mine for nearly twenty years, and so far as I am concerned, Malcolm de Chazal (1902-1981) is much the most original and interesting French writer to emerge since the war.” The original was first published as Sens-Plastique (Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1948). 


In my log-rolling between Daphnis and Chloe and Paul et Virginie, I also stepped inadvertently onto Malcolm de Chazal. Though the author’s name had swum into my ken a few years ago via Ramón Gómez de la Serna, the Spanish writer whose “greguerías” were an aphoristic poetic form much like those that the radically more sensual and imaginative de Chazal uses in his lengthy Sens-Plastique, I’d not been aware at the time that de Chazal was from Mauritius. The link from Paul et Virginie, or perhaps the magic worked by this Indian Ocean island, seems clear in de Chazal’s statement that his work is derived “from the principle that man and nature are entirely continuous.” The book, a world unto itself, attracted the attention of Andre Bréton, W. H. Auden, François Ponge, Georges Bataille and a legion of other writers. Of the more than 2,000 strikingly poetic aphorisms collected here, a selection just of those referencing light and color (i.e. "Blue catches cold in blue-green and sneezes in gray") were they to be extracted and compiled together, would be of interest to any visual artist. -


"...Sens-Plastique alone is enough to make Chazal one of the great heretics of literature—a heretic above all because he refuses to accept the distinction between metaphoric and literal language. Likewise, he overrides any absolute distinction among the senses or between the human realm and that of animals, plants, and natural forces like wind and water: spiritual energies all."
by Barry Schwabsky

Paola Masino - Subject to Fascist censorship before its first publication in 1945, this novel offers a surrealist criticism of Fascism and the rigid notion of womanhood it promoted

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Paola Masino, Birth and Death of the 

Housewife, Marella Feltrin-Morris, SUNY 

Press, 2010.



First English translation of Paola Masino’s Nascita e morte della massaia, her most controversial novel that provoked Fascist censorship for its critical portrayal of marriage and motherhood.

Stepping out of her beloved trunk full of bread crumbs, dust, spider webs, books, and ragged funeral ornaments, the young protagonist of Paola Masino’s most controversial novel realizes that her fate is already sealed. She will have to conform to society’s expectations of a woman: her wild imagination will have to be controlled, her intelligence kept at bay. In short, she will have to become a Housewife. Subject to Fascist censorship before its first publication in 1945, Birth and Death of the Housewife offers a surrealist criticism of Fascism and the rigid notion of womanhood it promoted. In her depiction of a woman’s struggle to play a role that simply does not correspond to her desires, Masino expresses a frustration and a rebellious instinct rarely found among her contemporaries. Defying interpretations and standing alone among the heroines of twentieth-century Italian literature, Masino’s Housewife remains an uncomfortable, enigmatic figure whose impudent determination to challenge the bulwarks of traditional female roles reaches beyond historical boundaries and resonates powerfully with contemporary readers.

“The novel’s magisterial combination of forms—from the diary to the drama to the reading journal to the fable—indisputably earns Masino a place in the pantheon of great modernist masters.” — Review of Contemporary Fiction


“The book throbs with almost molecular visions of the world and its materiality, with wandering thoughts imbued with poetry and philosophy, with intimate irony where the body confronts its urges, with dramatised scenes displaying the social animal, with preposterous dialogues unveiling the absurdity of marriage. The book’s varied and biting range of situations allows nonsensical psychodramas and sublime ramblings to succeed each other without warning. […] In her formidably pertinent analysis of women’s issues, which avoids general ideas like the macho plague in order to explore the troubling backdrop of secret emotions animated and stirred by her neuralgic prose, Paola Masino doesn’t only denounce women’s enslavement to domesticity. Diverting the narration from its expected goals (the fable), she takes us in a painful and magical geography of madness that contaminates all the artifices of fiction.” — Claro, Le Monde des livres

“This depiction of a woman who vainly tries to fight against her unavoidable fate is breathtaking in its stylistic modernity.” — L’Obs

“Paola Masino is incredibly surprising and disturbing.” — Livres Hebdo

“A feminist amazingly modern novel” — Femme Actuelle

“This novel is remarkably inventive.” — Le Temps
Massimo Bontempelli, the modern inventor of “realismo magico,” one of the 20thcentury’s most recognized literary genres, made my 2018 “best of” list. I’d been unaware that his spouse, Paola Masino, had been an author of perhaps even greater daring (at age 16, Masino had approached Luigi Pirandello to ask him to produce a play she had written). Masino’s originality is in full display in her best-known work, Birth and Death of the Housewife (Nascita e morte della massaïa, 1945, first published in installments in 1941-42). This dense, lyrical, disturbing, stylistically inventive, even lacerating novel employs the narrative advertised by its title to engage in a borderline surrealistic dissection of the Fascist ideals of womanhood and the centrality of family. The novel opens with the housewife as a child, living inside of a trunk filled with books, bits of bread, spider webs and moss, desperately consumed with the idea that she is doomed to kill her own mother with heartbreak. The housewife emerges from her trunk, is presented to the world at a coming-out party, meets a dark-haired suitor who kisses her and disappears, then marries a distant cousin who plops her into a “wretched” life of idleness and management of servants. Linearity then takes a detour, as the housewife voyages through often nightmarish scenes of domesticity via diary entries, dreams, letters, a dramatic play set within the novel, all the while shifting between acquiescence and rebellion, a journey through a twilit landscape which at times resembles the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico, Masino’s colleague and friend, or the lugubrious, stark atmosphere of Jane Bowles’ Two Serious Ladies. Masino’s protagonist is a stunningly compelling character - disquieting, uncontainable, ferocious and sympathetic at once. “This story has no room for general ideas,” states the housewife. The particulars, one must admit, are quite enough. The novel is not easy to find, but well worth the trouble. - http://seraillon.blogspot.com/2019/12/best-of-2019-part-1-italian-story.html


A versatile intellectual and a remarkable figure in twentieth-century literary and artistic circles, Paola Masino (1908–1989) wrote novels, short stories, poems, librettos, and worked as a translator and as a journalist. Birth and Death of the Housewife is the first of her novels to be translated into English.

Liberating the Canon - an edited anthology capturing the contemporary emergence of radically innovative and non-conforming forms of literature in the UK and US

Liberating The Canon: An Anthology of Innovative Literature , Ed. by Isabel Waidner, Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2018. "If there were a...