Actually Mrs. Blum Wants to Meet the Milkman

Now that is one hell of a long title - just like them Germans like them to be. To be honest - it`s almost longer than the book. Peter Bichsel, you see, was a poet who died young (actually he didn`t die young, but that would sound more impressive). And he also wrote this compilation of 21 stories which have more to do with poetry than with prose. They are extremely short and rarely have a real story going on in them. There`s a one called "The Men" - it`s a tricky one about a woman sitting in a cafeteria. And there`s another one about a guy imagining a conversation with a girl selling flowers. And a good one about a granndad who died but wanted to tame lions. And then there`s the title story - this Mrs. Blum gets milk from the milkman every day but never sees him for he comes too early in the morning, still the milkman considers that he knows the woman for he knows how much milk she buys. The stories are made up from very short sentences, and they are rather bizarre images than anything else. I doubt that there`s a need to try to find what Bichsel wanted to tell, what were his ideas. It`s not that important really. I do like poets writing prose, and this is a good example for that. Books like this one don`t make you change your lifestyle, shave your head and go to Tibet; they are too unimportant, unpretentious for that. But does everything have to be immortal to be good? I don`t think so.
2004-11-03
7.5
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