Austria

Die Ursache

6.5
Ar Tomasu Bernhardu es tiekos visai neregulāri - laiku pa laikam es pievēršos kārtējai viņa grāmatai, un vēl ne reizes nav atgadījies tā, ka kaut viena no tām mani sevišķi aizrautu. Kaut kādā mērā tas varētu būt mazohisms - kālab es lasu autoru, kurš mani neinteresē? Laikam jau atbilde ir vienkārša - jo viņa grāmatas mājo manā Kindle, un situācijās, kad slinkums tur ielādēt kaut ko jaunu, sāku lasīt kaut ko jau priekšā esošu.
2018-12-08 21:09:47
book, 1975

Der grüne Kakadu

7.5
Zaļais kakadu diez vai ir ierindojams Šniclera ievērojamāko dramatisko darbu vidū, bet ja jau man sanāca to lasīt - tad sanāca. Un bieži vien ir tā, ka mazāk nozīmīgie ievērojamu rakstnieku darbi sevī satur kādus pārsteigumus - gan tālab, ka tie ir mazāk pretenciozi, gan tālab, ka tu vari rakstnieku iepazīt no citas puses. Nezinu, cik lielā mērā to var attiecināt uz šo lugu, bet kādas 40 minūtes izklaides tā man sarūpēja (lasāmā materiāla tur patiešām nav sevišķi daudz, varbūt minūšu pat bija vēl mazāk).
2017-11-08 18:41:37
book, 1989

Casanovas Heimfahrt

8
Kazanovas mājupbraukšana itin prognozējami stāsta par to, kā slavenais pavedējs atgriežas savā jaunības dienu pilsētā Venēcijā. Vai precīzāk, tajā Kazanova plāno atgriezties Venēcijā.
2017-10-24 14:22:25
book, 1918

Der Weg ins Freie

7.5
Austriešu rakstnieks Artūrs Šniclers vislabāk ir zināms ar diviem saviem darbiem: romānu "Rondo" un garstāstu "Sapņu novele". Pirmo iespējams skatīt kā teātra iestudējumu Latvijā: Rondo kļuva par vienu no veiksmīgākajām izrādēm Ģertrūdes ielas teātrī kā mākslinieciski, tā domājams arī komerciāli, kamēr "Sapņu noveli" tu noteikti labāk zināsi filmas veidā - Stenlijs Kubriks to pārvērta par "Eyes Wide Shut". Cik man zināms, "Ceļš uz brīvību" citās formās kā vien grāmatā neko ievērojamu nav sasniedzis.
2017-05-27 06:30:11
book, 1908

Drei Erzählungen

7
Tomasu Bernhardu iepazīt izlēmu pēc tam, kad par viņu labus vārdus biju izlasījis Agotas Kristofas biogrāfijā. Kā teikt - kaut kādā veidā taču ir jāuzzina par nākamajām grāmatām, ko lasīt, un paļaušanās uz labu rakstnieku viedokli parasti nav tas sliktākais variants. Tiesa, nezinu, cik veiksmīgi man sanāca izvēlēties, ko tieši no viņa darbiem lasīt, jo trīs stāstu krājums, par kuru nav īsti skaidrs, kad un kā tas ir izdots papīra formā, nav pats tipiskākais veids, kā sākt pazīšanos ar kādu autoru (parasti labprātāk tomēr lasu vispirms autora pašu ievērojamāko grāmatu un tikai sākot padziļinātu izpēti, mēdzu pievērsties kam mazāk populāram).
2016-04-21 04:31:32
book, 1973

Amour

8.5
Mihaela Hanekes filma "Mīlestība" ir pamanījusies saņemt tik daudz dažādu apbalvojumu prestižos konkursos, ka to uzskaitīšanai man nepietiktu laika. Tālab neuzskaitīšu. Taču neskaitāmie tās saņemtie slavas vārdi man neatstāja izvēli - šī filma bija jāskatās.
2013-03-08 07:30:06
film, 2012

Reigen

7
"Reigen" jeb "Riņķa dancis" ir luga, kura padarīja Artūru Šnicleru skandalozi slavenu, jo tās saturs tam laikam tiešām bija diezgan bezkaunīgs. Tā sastāv no desmit ainām, katrā no kurām piedalās divi personāži, kuriem vai nu nupat ir bijis sekss, vai tūlīt būs. Un katrā nākamajā ainā piedalās viens no iepriekšējās ainas personāžiem, tādējādi veidojot tādu kā horizontālu riņķa danci, kurā piedalās visdažādākie personāži sākot ar ielasmeitu un karavīru, un beidzot ar grāfu un precētu sievieti. Skaidrs, ka ar šo lugu Šniclers ne tikai vēlējās provocēt savus laikabiedrus, bet arī parādīt cilvēku dubulto morāli un liekulību. Vienīgā vaina, ko es šajā lugā saskatīju - man nebija nepieciešams to izlasīt līdz galam, lai "get the point". Tādā ziņā, ka ideja, protams, ir lieliska, bet lasīt vienu un to pašu atkal un atkal ir apnicīgi, un droši vien līdzīgi apnicīgi varētu būt skatīties tās iestudējumu teātrī. Svaiga doma (it īpaši - 1900.gadam), bet ne vairāk. Lai gan - piemēram, Freids esot par šo Šniclera darbu bijis sajūsmā un apgalvojis, ka tam izdevies secināt vienā lugā to pašu, kam Freidam bijuši nepieciešami ilgi gadi.
2011-02-03 07:39:11
book, 1900

Novellen

3.5
Kā var izlasīt šīs grāmatas anotācijā, Jākobs Juliuss Dāvids esot viens no nepelnītāki aizmirstajiem austriešu rakstniekiem. Varbūt tā patiešām ir, bet manis pēc viņš varētu arī joprojām palikt aizmirstībā. Pēdējos 20 gados viņu esot sākuši reanimēt un šis 19.gadsimta austriešu ebrejs tiekot pamazām iznests saulītē. Nez, vai mani uzskatīs par antisemītu, ja teikšu, ka tas ir aplams solis (manās acīs)? Es vienmēr esmu apgalvojis, ka no visām man zināmajām tautām austriešiem ir visaugstākais garlaicīgu un nevajadzīgi pretenciozu rakstnieku procents, bet Jakobs Juliuss Dāvids sit pušu visus iepriekš lasītos. Kaut ko tik garlaicīgu es patiešām nekad, nekad, nekad iepriekš neesmu lasījis. Un nav svarīgi, vai attiecīgajai šī krājuma novelei ir paredzēts kāds sižeta aizmetnis vai nav, viss tiek nogremdēts milzīgā bezjēdzīgā vārdu plūsmā, kas tevi atkal un atkal dauza pa galvu, līdz tu sāc sāpēs kliegt un lūgties, kaut tā beidzot būtu cauri. Es vismaz tā darīju. Un tikai dzelzs griba mani piespieda to vismaz kaut kādā veidā sagremot līdz galam, tiesa, nesaglabājot šīs grāmatas saturu manas galvas cietajā diskā, tikai izpumpējot to cauri RAM un pa taisno atkritumos. Kaut kādus vācu valodas vārdus es varbūt pateicoties šai grāmatai atsvaidzināju, bet kopumā - vienkārši biedējoši bezjēdzīga laika nosišana. Protams, pilnīgi iespējams, ka te ir kaut kāda nopietnā māksla, kas manam trulajam prātam nav saprotama, bet man nav īsti vēlmes mēģināt aizrakties līdz šī autora ģēnija būtībai. Daudz vieglāk ir pateikt: "Afftar wipej jadu!" un nelikties vairs ne zinis.
2010-09-07 09:27:09
book, 0

Die Lehre der Sainte-Victoire

5
Diez vai var iedomāties ideālākus apstākļus, lai lasītu kādu garlaicīgu austriešu grāmatu, nekā tādus, kad tu atrodies slimnīcā. Iespēju, ko tu vari darīt, nav daudz. Ir paņemts līdzi dators, bet tajā nav nevienas filmas. Ja arī būtu, tu tās tāpat nevarētu skatīties, jo palātā neesi viens. Nav Interneta - tātad filmas iegūt arī nevar (neatkarīgi no tā, ka tās nevar skatīties). Un vienīgā spēle ir "Sims 3". Tu gan pamēģini to palaist, bet jau pēc 10 minūtēm esi nogarlaikojies
2010-06-08 15:56:55
book, 1980

Revanche

7
Noskatījos ceturto no piecām šogad Oskara nominācijā "Labākā filma svešvalodā" izceltajām filmām - Austrijas kino lenti "Revanšs". Savā ziņā šī filma man pamatīgi atgādināja "The Edge of Heaven", tikai ne tik labu. Filmas galvenais varonis ir pirms kāda laika no cietuma iznācis vīrietis Alekss, kas veic šādus tādus darbus vienā Vīnes bordelī. Tāpat šajā bordelī strādā jauna sieviete no Ukrainas vārdā Tamāra, kas vienlaikus ir Aleksa mīļotā sieviete. Kā jau tas ar nelegāliem imigrantiem ir normāli, Tamārai īsti citas karjeras iespējas nav pieejamas, un līdz ar to Alekss diezgan mierīgi samierinās ar to, kā viņiem nākas dzīvot. Tomēr īsti gandarīts ar šādu dzīvi viņš dabiskā kārtā nav, un tālab viņš izlemj pievērsties tai lietai, ko viņš darīt kaut cik pieprot - proti, aplaupīt banku. Tamāra gan nav par šo domu sevišķā sajūsmā, jo nojauš, ka tas varētu slikti beigties, bet Alekss nav pierunājams. Viss jau būtu labi, aplaupīšana patiešām izdodas veiksmīga (te jāpiezīmē, ka šī nav tāda filma, kurā laupīšana tiek realizēta kaut kā sevišķi "stilīgi" - drīzāk tā sanāk vairāk vai mazāk sadzīviska, bez sevišķas piešprices, un arī, protams, ne tāda kā iekš "Raising Arizona"), taču tās nobeigums gan tik labs nav. Proti, kamēr Alekss aplaupa banku, Tamāru, kas viņu netālu gaida mašīnā, ievēro policists un aizrāda par nepareizi izvēlotu pārkinga vietu, turklāt viņam arī rodas aizdomas par šīs sievietes nelegālo statusu valstī. Jā, un beigās sanāk tā, ka Aleksa un Tamāras bēgšanas laikā šis policists, mēģinot sašaut mašīnas riteni, nošauj Tamāru.
2009-07-02 13:01:32
film, 2008

The Voices of Marrakesh

7
Pirmā nopietnā problēma, kas man radās, rakstot par šo grāmatu, ir strikais noteikums par darbu piesaistei konkrētai valstij, kādu ieviesu savā lapā jautās pirmsākumos pirms 4-5 gadiem. Kuras valsts literatūrai būtu pieskaitāma Eliasa Kanetti daiļrade? Dzimis viņš bija Bulgārijā, pēc tautības - ebrejs, turklāt pēc izcelsmes - Spānijas ebrejs, uzaudzis Austrijā, tad dzīvojis Šveicē, tad - Vācijā, pēc tam atkal 15 gadus līdz Austrijas anšlusam - Vīnē, no kurienes viņš aizbrauca uz Angliju un nodzīvoja tajā līdz pat apmēram 1970.gadam, taču arvien vairāk laika viņš pavadīja Šveicē, uz kuru kaut kad pārcēlās pavisam un Šveicē viņš arī nomira 1994.gadā. Jā, un 1981.gadā viņam piešķīra Nobela prēmiju literatūrā, pieskaitot viņu Lielbritānijas literatūrai. Taču rakstīja Kanetti vācu valodā. Īsi sakot, es viņu pieskaitīju Austrijai, lai gan pēc idejas tikpat labi derētu arī Šveice, Vācija, Lielbritānija un pat Bulgārija. Vēl viena piebilde - izrādās viņam visu mūžu bija arī Turcijas pilsonība, līdz ar to Kanetti varētu saukt arī par turku rakstnieku.
2009-02-05 17:26:10
book, 1968

The Counterfeiters

7
"Viltotāji" ir viena no tām filmām, par kurām dod Oskarus, proti, filma par Holokaustu. Šķiet, ka nav otras tik pateicīgas tēmas, lai filma tiktu pie kādas zeltītās statuetes, turklāt der pieminēt, ka tas nebūt negarantē, ka šī filma saņems vēl jekbo, izņemot Oskaru. Tā arī "Viltotāji", kas gan tikuši atzīti par gada labāko filmu svešvalodā atbilstoši ASV Kinoakadēmijas viedoklim, šepat Eiropā ar grandioziem panākumiem lepoties nevar. Jā, filma tika nominēta Berlīnes kinofestivālā "Zelta lācim", bet tā to neieguva, turklāt nominantu sarakstā tomēr ir 22 vietas, kas nebūt nav maz. Arī Vācu kino balvās no septiņām nominācijām filma tika tikai pie vienas uzvaras (par labāko otrā plāna vīriešu lomu), tas arī viss. Bet Oskars, protams, kabatā.
2008-04-29 17:10:29
film, 2007

The Trial

8.7
"Procesu" biju jau lasījis iepriekš, manuprāt, apmēram 2000.gadā, varbūt 2001., bet šī ir viena no tām grāmatām, kuras ir vērts pārlasīt. Kā Lienčai izteicās kāda bijusī klasesbiedrene, tas esot murgs, ne grāmata. Bet pati atzina, ka ko gan viņa - diplomēta skolotāja - var zināt. Es arī gribu piekrist, ka diplomēti skolotāji lielākoties nezina un nesaprot, ne tik cik melns aiz naga. Sveicieni jums, mani dārgie pedagogi!
2008-01-17 17:06:09
book, 1925

Filiale der Hoelle auf Erde

7.5
Protams, ka tikai pārnācis mājās no bibliotēkas, es ievēroju, ka šī grāmata nav nekāda daiļliteratūra, bet Jozefa Rota dienasgrāmatu, vēstuļu un avīžu publikāciju apkopojums. Zināmā mērā to var nosaukt par vilšanos, no otras puses - autora personība un aprakstāmā situācija to padara par pietiekami interesantu lasāmvielu. Proti, te aprakstītas Rota attiecības ar nacistisko Vāciju, no kuras viņš paspēja aiztīties pirms Hitlera nākšanas pie varas, ar Austriju, kuru Hitlers pievienoja Reiham, un no kuras Rots arī paspēja tikt laukā sveiks, kā arī ar Rietumvalstīm, kuras varbūt arī nekļuva nacistiskas, bet patiesībā bija vairāk nekā ignorantas. Ja man būtu jāizloba pamatdomas no Rota darbiem, tās būtu sekojošas: 1) naids pret ebrejiem neradās gluži no tukšas vietas - tam bija ilga vēsture kā no vāciešu, tā no ebreju puses; 2) ne tikai attieksme pret ebrejiem darīja Vāciju par ļaunuma impēriju; 3) vēršoties pret Dāvida zvaigzni Hitlers pastarpināti vērsās pret kristiešu krustu, kas lielā mērā arī bija viņa nopietnākais ienaidnieks; 4) Austrija bija īstā demokrātiskā vācu zeme, kuru Hitlers pakļāva tās līderu vājuma un bezprincipiāluma dēļ; 5) nacisti un komunisti pirmie izgudroja tādu emigrāciju, kuras pārstāvjiem bija liegtas iespējas būt populāriem savā dzimtenē (runa ir par rakstnikiem), līdz ar to nogriežot viņiem iespēju normāli eksistēt un atņemot viņiem lasītājus). Vispār Rots patiešām bija diezgan pravietisks rakstnieks, kas gan kļūdījās, paredzēdams Hitleram ievērojami drīzāku galu, nekā tas bija patiesībā, bet kas ļoti labi izprata Hitlera plānus un ieceres. Simpātisks rakstnieks, ar vienīgo izteikto mīnusu - simpātijas pret monarhiju, konservatīvisms. Bet lasīt interesanti, gandrīz it kā tā būtu "īsta grāmata".
book, 0

Der Stille Ozean

4.5
(valoda: vācu). Nezinu, vai Gerhards Rots ir radinieks tam vēl vienam austriešu rakstniekam Rotam, kura romānu lasīju pirms neilga laika, bet ja ir, tad jāatzīst, ka salīdzinoši ar savu priekšteci viņš man šķiet gaužām neinteresants. Viņa romāns ir vēstījums par kādu vīru vārdā Ascher (gandrīz kā tas reperis - Usher), kas aizbraucis uz kaut kādu lauku miestu cerībā paglābties no kaut kādiem mēsliem. Vēlāk gan izrādās, ka nemaz tik lieli tie mēsli nav - vienkārši Ascher ir ārsts, kuram gadījies kaut kādu pacientu nobendēt vai kaut kas tamlīdzīgs un tagad viņu vajā "slikta reputācija". Toties viss tas ciemats ir kaut kāds krīpfests. Pirmkārt, liela romāna daļa stāsta par medībām un medniekiem, kas nodarbojas ar suņu atšaušanu (gross). Tas pat mani gandrīz piespieda pārtraukt šī darba lasīšanu. Pēcāk, kad vēl klāt parādās kaut kāds sajucis prātā tips, kas pēc zaudēta tiesas procesa izlemj nošaut visus savus pretiniekus, grāmata kļūst vēl dzīvespriecīgāka. Un tas viss - ar augstu miegainības devu, kas austriešu rakstniekiem pēc maniem novērojumiem ir vēl raksturīgāka nekā viņu Vācijas brāļiem.
book, 1980

Das Spinnennetz

6.5
Ja es būtu čaklāks, rakstītu vāciski, taču šobrīd manī čakluma pūlēties rakstīt gari un sarežģīti svešās mēlēs nav itin nemaz, nezinu, kāpēc, bet nav. Jozefa Rota vārds man nav diez ko labi zināms, lai neteiktu, ka par tāda eksistenci uzzināju vienlaicīgi ar konkrētās grāmatas paņemšanu bibliotēkā. Taču izrādījās, ka J.R. nav gluži tādas kategorijas rakstnieks, kā biju gaidījis. Pirmkārt, Jozefs Rots ir zīmīgs ar to, ka viņš ļoti savlaicīgi saskatīja to, par ko Vācijā pēc 1. P.k. varēja pāraugt nacionālisms, jau savā debijas romānā (par kuru patlaban arī rakstu) aprakstot hitlerveida ļaužu nākšanu pie varas. Viņa galvenais varonis Teo ir 30 gadus vecs vācietis, kas strādā par privātskolotāju bagātas ģimenes ebreju zēnam. Pats Teo ir piedalījies pasaules karā, neko dižu tur nav sasniedzis, bet ļoti cieš no tā, cik vācieši tagad ir pazemoti (vai pareizāk - ka viņam pašam neklājas diez ko labi). Slepeni viņš iekāro sava skolnieka māti, taču saprot, ka viņš neko sasniegt nevar. Nejauši viņam sanāk iepazīties ar bijušās monarhiskās Vācijas princi, ar kuru viņam (ja pareizi sapratu) pat gadās stāties homoseksuālos sakaros. Taču galvenais ir tas, ka viņš tiek pieņemts slepenā nacionālistu organizācijā, kas viņam solās maksāt lielu naudu, līdz ar to viņš aiziet pateikt savam darba devējam, ka viņš pie ebreja vairs nestrādās. Izrādās gan, ka viņa darba devējs ir arī šo nacionāļu finansiāls atbalstītājs, bet tas jau nekas. Vispār tajā nacistiskajā grupējumā dažādu ebreju noteikti netrūkst, tai skaitā viens tips vārdā Benjamins ir tāds, kura darbību Teo ļoti apskauž, plus tur piedalās viens ebrejs-antisemīts žurnālists vārdā Pisks. Organizācija nodarbojas ar visādu kreisēji noskaņotu cilvēku uzmeklēšanu un likvidēšanu, ar ko Teo reizēm arī nākas nodarboties, tai skaitā viņam nākas nogalināt vienu savu draugu, taču domājot par karjeru ne tikai to vien cilvēks ir spējīgs izdarīt. Beigās tiek uztaisīts apvērsums un naciķi nāk pie varas. Hip, hip hurrā! Jozefs Rots, protams, pats bija ebrejs un no nacionāļiem ne bez pamata baidījās, taču viņam "paveicās" - viņš paspēja nomirt 1939. gadā Parīzē, pirms nacistu karaspēka ienākšanas. Kā tāda grāmata neko interesanta man nešķita, tā vairāk ir sava laikmeta aculieciniece, zīmīgs dokuments, bet noteikti ne saistoša literatūra.
book, 1923

Abschied von Sidonie

7
Erich Hackl ist ein ganz grausamer Schriftsteller, seine Werke (wenigstens die zwei, die ich gelesen habe), handeln nur von der Nazizeit und erhalten ganz viel grausames. "Abschied von Sidonie" ist wenigstens in einem Aspekt relativ ungewoehlich - Sidonie ist ein Zigeunermaedchen und keine Juedin. Ich weiss nicht so richtig, warum man ganz selten von den Zigeunern, die durch das nazi-Regime ermordert wurden, spricht, aber hier tut Erich Hackl es. Sidonie wird von ihrer Mutter neben einem Krankenhaus verlassen in 1933 und sie wird bei einer Deutscher (Oesterreichischer) Familie erzogen, sie hat kein gutes Kopf, aber ist ein freundliches un braves Maedchen, dass viele im Dorf moegen, obwohl sie ziemlich dunkel in Haut ist. Dennoch, wenn das zweite Weltkrieg losgeht und auch Oesterreich daran teil nehmen muss, muss Sidonie ihre Fosterfamilie (ok, ich weiss, dass es "foster parents" nur in Englisch gibt, es ist mir aber egal) und so gibt es Abschied von Sidonie und nur spaeter lernen ihre "Eltern" kennen, dass ihr Leben in Auschwitz beendet hat.
book, 1989

Verstoerung

5
There`s this pattern that`s usually true for me: if a book in German is boring, it`s written by a real German. If it isn`t boring it`s either written by a Swiss writer or the writer has some Jewish blood. And if it is more than simply boring - the writer must come for Austria. Thomas Bernhard is considered a genius. Still I think that this book is unreadable. Apparantely the story goes like this - a fellow goes together with his father to visit some of the fathers patients (the father is a doctor) and stories about those patients are told. Still everything doesn`t flow at all but it just rots. The only part of the story I can remember from this book at the moment is the one about a man who had a huge collection of living birds and then he died and his brothers killed all the birds so they can stuff them. It took me several weeks to read these less than 200 pages and I fell asleep many times in the process.
book, 1967

Der kurze Brief zum langen Abschied

6.5
I would like to compare this book to Jack Kerouac`s "On The Road". With the precision that it`s written in German and therefore contains several typical German elements. It`s also quite in the same writing style as "The Goalie`s fear before the penalty shot" (which I read some months ago) - Handke offers the reader a journey with the hero through America of the 1960`s. It`s the age of the hippies, of the Stones, of Canned Heat and of looking for love in the strangest places. I would probably still choose Kerouac over Handke`s approach. This is the kind of literature where when you write about sex or something like that, you don`t need eroticism, it`s just written in the way - "so it is and I don`t care".
book, 1972

Jenseits von Schuld und Sühne

5
This book is a collection of essays by a Jew that has survived the Holocaust. I doubt that there is a necessity to explain anything in more detail. But a one-liner always looks bad so I`ll try and do my best to express my own attitude. And what is it going to be? I am not particulary interested in essays, and I have read too much on the Holocaust. It sometimes seems to me that every second book in the world revolves around this subject. Ok, I admit that people like Jean Amery probably have little else to write about, I can completely understand him etc., etc. I understand him for refusing to write in German for a long time, I support him changing his name so he wouldn`t sound German, I support even his attitude towards the responsibility for your parents sins. But I still can`t like it. And I have no idea about the purpose of this book. It`s certainly ot entertainment, which is bad for it is what I seek. It`s not saying anything new - like everyone knows enough (or too much) has been said on this subject already. It`s not even dealing with his own enemies. To put it this way: I understand why Amery wrote this book. I don`t understand why I should read it. Maybe I shouldn`t, that would be a good way out for sure. I guess it would be a good idea for the Goethe library to add some tags on the covers of the books stating "Holocaust thematics", just as they do for crime stories. It would save me from reading a lot of the same. Not that I liked other subjects of the German literature that much better anyhow.
book, 1966

Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter

5
Once again Austrians dissapoint me. The title of the book promised that it would be a football-story, something I would find it quite easy to enjoy. Yet it proved to be misleading. Bloch is a fellow who was a football goalie once but who is a monteur nowadays and who gets sacked from his work. So he just goes arround, doing nothing in particular, nobody really cares about him anymore. He tries to make contact to people he used to know but they don`t have interest for Bloch anymore. So he strangles a woman without any reason, goes to a town near the border where nobody needs him as well. The main morale of the novel is found at the end of the book when Bloch watches a game of football and the trick for a goalie to be successful is shown - you have to remain calm and make the striker shoot the ball into your hands when he`s taking a penalty shot. Peter Handke didn`t hit the goal with me, I would rather say that he shoots like Oleg Blagonadezhdin (a Latvian playe most notorious for hitting pigeons more often than hitting the goal).
book, 1970

Traumnovelle

7.5
I was through with something like a quarter of this book when I suddenly realised that I knew what was going to happen next. And it wasn`t because the story was so predictable. It was just that I knew of the story. It goes like this - a doctor is called to a hospital but ends up with a prostitute mainly because he has some trouble with his wife (both of them admit to have had way too much interest in other people). Then he meets a friend of his whom he hasn`t seen in quite a while who happens to be playing the piano in some secret events where he needs to wear an eyepatch. So Friedolin (that`s the hero) asks the friend to let him go to the place of the secret meetings. I was on a tram where I was reading the book when it occured to me that this was a trivial story and that I had seen this on film. Then I came to the conclusion that Tom Cruise was involved in the film as Friedolin (only with a different name ). "Eyes wide shut" is the title "Traumnovelle" is nowadays known for. The book itself doesn`t tale place in America as you`d probably guess but in the Vienna on the edge of 19-20th centuries. The story itself is quite similar to what Stanley Kubrick made in the film. Even the parts with the sexual orgies are there. I won`t say this is the greatest story I`ve ever read but it was quite interesting for sure.
book, 1926

Die Unbekannte Groesse

5.5
It`s one of those boring books in German. By the way, I`ve noticed that most Austrian writers are even worse than classical Germans themselves. With the exception of Kafka surely. God, what makes people like Broch waste paper to write about characters I have very little interest for? So, he writes about a man who`s a mathematician and a physicist. That`s cool. But the way he writes! It just drives me mad! Broch seems to be the German Joyce yet I can`t find anything experimental in his work it`s basically just depressingly uninspiring. The most interesting thing about this book wasn`t its contents for sure. When I was on the tram on my way home from work two days ago I intended to go on with reading "The Unknown Value" but I found it missing from my bag. "I`ve forgotten it on my table at work," was the first reaction. Despite that I checked at home whether the book was there (although I had read it on the way to work the very same day therefore it couldn`t be at home by definition). Yesterday when I came to work first thing I wanted to do was to put the book in the bag so I won`t forget it once again. But I couldn`t find it anywhere. Now that got me worried. I never like losing books from libraries and this seemed to be just the case. Luckily a colleague of mine with whom I also study together claimed to have noticed a book in German on a table in the University a day ago. So we went to our English class and after the class I went to the doorkeeper to ask whether anybody had brought in my lost book. But before I could ask him I already noticed the book on his table. How huge was my relief!
book, 1933

Dramas

6
The book contains three dramatic works by the famous German writer Herman Broch (ok, I`m not so sure that he was that famous indeed but his name seems familiar to me - and that`s something). Note: after consulting Wikipedia (I`ve been mentioning this source of information quite often lately but only because it`s very informative and not because They would pay me for it, although I`d feel happy if they would) I know that Broch comes from a Jewish family and that he`s considered an Austrian writer. He`s mostly known for his novel "The Death of Virgil" which I`ll probably read later to be more educated than I am now. Yet I can`t say that after reading some of his plays I`ve become particulary interested in Broch`s writing. Out of the three plays published in the book I got from my library - "Die Entsuehnung", "Aus der Luft gegriffen oder Die Geschaefte des Baron Laborde" and "Es bleibt alles by Alten" I found only one that really worked for me. The first play - a tragical piece about a factory is - is too sad, boring and has too many characters for me to really get it on paper (rating 4.0). The second is a comedy and it`s fine - I always like to read something about con-artists and villains (8.0). The last play is also a comedy and it`s nothing really - nor good, nor bad, passable and not more (5.5). Maybe it wasn`t the best start of learning to know Hermann Broch.
book, 0

Lust

3
The author has obtained a Nobel prize. I coudn`t achieve reading this book until the end, giving up on it at the half of it. Basically it`s a psychological porn story with some witty remarks in it. Not interesting to me, as a matter of fact. If you`d count how often the word "dick" arises in this book, you`d get a very big number. Sadly I can`t rate it to that number.
book, 1989

The Story of Nothing

6
What`s weird about German literature (ok, this one is Austrian, but there`s not that much of a difference between the writers from those two countries) - it`s that most of the books that I don`t like fall into two categories - they are either too boring and too trivial or they don`t make no sense at all. This one by Peter Glaser is one of the latter. There`s five stories in the book and not a single one of them makes much sense to me. It`s probably because they are meant to show that there is no sense to life whatsoever but they aren`t particulary amazingly written as well. In "The Story of Nothing" a man is looking for his missing aunt. "Nobody" is about a man and his wife that have different parted libraries - there`s one good thing in it that the man buys books for his cat to sleep in the book boxes but after that books end up in the cats house and the cat ain`t happy anymore. "The three body problem" is about a paper factory worker, his lover and his roommate. "Roomcare" is about a woman that cleans rooms for two men - and is a lover for both of them. "After a long summer" - I don`t know what`s it about, probably the summer of 2001 - just before September 11. I can`t this rate very low - I guess I probably did get the point that there is no point, but it`s not entertaining for sure.
book, 2002

Die Hochzeit von Auschwitz

7
This is one hell of a scary book. First, because it is real - there`s no fiction which makes it even scarier. A book about KZ is not the most pleasant thing in the world. Not that I expected it to be. Basically it`s just a love story. But a weird one indeed. He`s a leftist fighter from Austria in the Spanish war, she`s a local radicalist. They fall in love, but have to flee from the country after Franco has won the war. They decide to go to Germany, which is a stupid choice, of course. He ends up in a concentration camp, she and her child stay outside. They can get married in the camp, which is a totally strange thing - for that camp is Auschwitz, and the wedding took place only as a PR shit. Anyway, he organises something similar to rebellion and dies as a hero. She finds a new man. That`s it. The narration of the book is quite interesting - as pieces of memories by different people who were with them - relatives and pals. In the end though it`s not too clear for the pieces ar not titled - you never know who tells what. The book is dark and depressive but not too hard to read. If I hadn`t read a lot of books on this subject already, it might have had an even better impression on me.
book, 2002

Die groessere Hoffnung

7.5
Let`s be honest - you don`t know who I.Aichinger was and neither did I - until I read this book. Except for the fact that her book is a part of my German project and of my female-writers project as well. Ok, enough of that already, let`s focus on the story. There are 10 stories which make up this book, all of them are about a young half-jewish girl (at the age of 15 I guess) in the madness of WW2 somewhere at the cape of good hope, that`s the reason for the title - the bigger hope. But there`s not too much hope - since nazis rule the land. There are no facts, no figures, you can`t even tell how close of how far the end of the war was, if you`re not particulary well informed you don`t know what the situation there was like (and I`m not particulary well informed), but there`s one totally strange thing about this book I can`t find an explanation for - it`s easy to read. I must admit - the subject of the book is heavy, the description - unreal, something that you could even call cosmic, but it`s still easy to read. And it makes me wonder, how can a book of this content be easy to read, even if the main hero is killed by a hand granade at the end of the book.
book, 1948

The Confusions of Young Toerless

8
Strange that this author was not on my "best of German writers" list. He`s Austrian, of course, but that doesn`t change that much. "The Confusions" lies somewhere in the middle between "David Copperfield" and Proust`s work. We have a school of tyranny but it`s not the kind of tyranny Mr. Dickens wrote about. It`s somewhat even darker, although the teachers don`t punish the students, it`s the students themselves who punish themselves. Toerless goes to this school and he starts to admire a guy named Beidenberg (something like that cool guy in "David Copperfield"), but he doesn`t know his attitude to everything when Basini is involved. The latter is a weak character who has stolen money from Beidenberg and is sexually and not only tortured by Beidenberg and another strange guy Reiting. Toerless doesn`t really know what his position is, he tries to understand Kant and imaginary numbers, but the only thing he learns to understand is that the world is not that easy to explain. Reitling is the primitive character, for whom torturing is nothing except for physical pleasure, while Beidenberg is more profound - and therefore he`s even worse. He`s a vicious thinker, and that`s a tough thing. Quote: "Das Sterben ist nur eine Folge unserer Art zu leben. Wir leben von einem Gedanken zum andern, von einem Gefuehl zum naechsten. Denn unsere Gedanken und Gefuehle fliessen nicht ruhig wie ein Strom, sondern sie "fallen uns ein", fallen in uns hinein wie Steine.(..) Wenn du aufmerkst, kannst du den Augenblick spueren, wo alles schwarz ist. Dieser Augenblick ist, - einmal erfasst, fuer uns geradezu der Tod." A very impressive book, certainly quite above my expectations.
book, 1906

Plays 1

6
Our excursion in the German literature continues. We enter one of the weird rooms. Its entitled `Thomas Bernhard` - and provides us enough material to break our heads. Four plays can be found in this collection of works. "A party for Boris" is the most unpredictable one - out of the 16 characters 15 have no legs. Most of the time one of them - The Good One talks a strange monologue which is directed towards Boris - her husband and her servant that has legs unlike everybody else. "The ignorant and the lunatic" is the most boring of those plays - there`s absolutely nothing going on but a doctor telling lots of stuff about diseases. "The hunting society" is about a wife of a dying general and a writer playing cards and discussing the life. Last but not least there`s "The power of the habit" is about a circus director named Caribaldi who forces four of his artists to practise a musical quintent for two decades, never achieving a perfect performance, and always complaining. What`s weird about these plays - it`s the language. I`m not really sure even - is it poetry or prose. It`s something in the style of Samuel Beckett, only less intriguing. On the other hand, maybe it`s elss intriguinging because I already have read Beckett - I`m not really sure for how much time absurd plays can attract ones interest.
book, 1988

Short Stories

4
You gotta be crazy even calling this thing to be short stories. These aren`t even stories - simply some works that Kafka had started to write but never managed to complete. Some of them are but a few sentences long, and don`t show no sign of Kafkas genius, just like you could expect such stories to be. One of the longest stories which seems to be at least something has even a fragment that says "a few pages missing" and that isn`t a joke from Kafka, simply the texts are missing. Great! Then why don`t I rate these stories lower than Britney Spears rates Michael Boltons imaginary stepbrother Ricky? Because there`s one story that lives up to Kafkas fame and is interesting to read, partly even hilarious and absolutely unconventional. It`s about some school teacher who claims to have discovered a gigantic mole, and about another guy trying to drag the worlds attention towards the discoverer of this phenomena. Of course, nobody ever cares about this mole thing, but at least those two guys start a conflict because they have different opinions towards the mole that even they themselves don`t try to catch or to prove seriously its existence. You can read this one story but the rest isn`t worth even looking at it. That guy whom Kafka asked to burn his works would have done a good job if he had burned those stupid unfinished stories.
book, 0

The Castle

8
With this we end our introduction into the mysterious world of Franz Kafka. K. is a land surveyor that was asked to work in a castle. Because of some strange reasons he isn`t let into the territory of the castle, for there`s burrecracy surrounding it. And you can`t even be sure that K. really is a surveyor, for there`s no proof in the book that he is indeed planning to get on with his work and his whole purpose seems kinda strange. A woman named Frieda who was the lover of an important clerk changes the clerk for K. But it only leads to bigger problems for K., who doesn`t really know what he wants, if there even is such a thing. He sinks lower and lower in the society around the castle, but it doesn`t really bother him, all he wants is to talk to some highly positioned clerks, but he doesn`t have much success at that. He has a strange friend who`s family is treated like unhuman in the village for the guys sister refused to go and become a fuck buddy for some important guy. And in the end nothing comes out of all K. troubles, everything ends like nothing had ever started. The book is similar to the "Process" and not definetely worse than the most highly acclaimed Kafkas novel.
book, 1926

America

7.5
Do you know why Kafka is considered to be so cool? Because he never finished a novel. And despite that there are three novels of his that are put on the golden shelf of the 20th century literature. And America is one of those novels. It certainly lacks an ending but it`s not really that clear - did Mr. Kafka indeed plan ever to write one? We get to hear the story of a young boy Carl going to the States after he has impregnated a servant of his parents. Actually I chose the wrong word - she was rather impregnated through him, `cos the boy had no interest in her and she used him as a living dildo or something like that. Anyhow he met his uncle in the States who was a rich and influential fellow (and not an evil uncle, who would have predicted that!) but because of a silly misunderstanding he has to leave his uncle and start a life of his own. He teams up with two tramps - an Irishman and a French guy. He finds a job at the hotel as the elevator boy, but because of his so called friends whom he was trying to escape he has to leave the job and become a servant for a crazy fat singer that earns her money by sex. In the end Carl joins a strange theatre and goes on a train to start his work, but that`s where the story ends. And I don`t mind that, because it`s how life goes - could you really make a complete story about your life that would end with your death?
book, 1927

Ein Hungerkuenstler

9
Let`s analyse each story separately (although they are quite close to each other in terms of style). The Sentence - a mystery about a man, who has a friend in Russia, and his half-crazed father. I didn`t really understand what it was supposed to mean. The Transformation - one morning a guy named Gregor awakes as a giant bug. Very dark and depressive. In der Strafkolnie - a devil-posessed officer shows to a traveler the meanest device for death penalty ever seen that is used for no apparent reason. Dreadful images appear in front of my eyes. A Starvation Artist - about man who`s starvation is a form of art. Disgusting at times, thrilling all the time. That Kafka was not a very happy person indeed. All those stories are quite amazing (although I didn`t get the meaning of the first one). An all time classic.
book, 1922

Jirschi oder Die Flucht ins Pianino

5.5
First, let me put it out clear, why I decided to take this book from a public library - the title about escaping into a piano seemed to promise a bizarre tale not making very much sense - and it`s what I like in books. Later it proved though that there`s nothing strange about the book - it`s written by an old Austrian female writer and tells a story of a man who leaves his native Czechoslovakia because of the comming of the communist regime. Is it innovative? You gotta be kidding me - there`s that fictional writer who hears the story of Jirzi`s life and writes it down in the most casual manner one has ever experienced. Does it keep ones attention? At least partly, for the book is certainly good written but there are no big revelations comming up. What about the piano? Jirzi`s family owned a piano fabric once and he himself was keen on playing piano and did it in all his wanderings around the globe - slaughtering rabbits in Australia, cleaning a hospital in the States, living in a monastery in the USA, learning to become a priest in Rome, being a priest in Texas, retiring in Austria and finally visiting his homeland after the fall of the communism. And to give my final word - it`s one of those books that you read and later don`t remember a single thing about them.
book, 1997