Die in Klagenfurt geborene Frau hatte Psychologie studiert und promoviert. Verzeihen Sie mein Befremden. Denn in seiner Gegenwart werde ich still, weil die geringsten Worte: ja, gleich, so, und, aber, dann, ach! In der Regel kommt Malina erst, wenn Ivan fort ist. Malina greift nach meinem Whiskyglas.

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Save Story Save this story for later. It sounded so important and complete: Ma-li-na, stress on the final syllable. Stress on every syllable. So symmetrical and smoothly oblique. He said it in the way his shoes were shined. The way he held his expensive raincoat over one arm. This was an office setting, and he was in a position above me. The way he announced the existence of Ingeborg Bachmann suggested that he believed, consciously or not, that she belonged to the world of men; perhaps she even derived from it.

Anything is possible. Whether consciously or not, I put a claim on her, as someone to study, on account of her status as an honorary man. I immediately read the novel. The lines are open to interpretation, but from Longinus forward they are generally taken to indicate some profound loss of self in the desire for another. But no one knows where Sappho was going, since the final lines of the poem are lost. A strange combination, no?

Most women are stupid but bearable, possibly even agreeable; intelligent too, but rarely. No less than a woman can understand Thomas Bernhard. There are all sorts of references in it, to Schoenberg, to Vienna, to historical events, not all of which the reader will catch. The narrator disappears in an inevitable and disturbing manner. Who is she? An unknown woman, as she herself puts it, unnamed, and a writer. What is the situation? She spends a lot of time waiting for Ivan and smoking cigarettes, and writes letters at night that she shreds instead of mailing.

She narrates a fantastic tale about a princess who exists in a kind of premodern utopia. In the second chapter, she dreams of hellish scenes of wartime suffering and death, of fascism and empire and very bad fathers. She talks about a hobo in Paris who was given a shower that spiritually undid him. She was a brilliant student who completed a Ph. Even after she quit poetry for prose, she continued to be known primarily as a lyric poet. Repeatedly, she was asked in interviews to defend her decision to give up poetry.

She had a love affair with Paul Celan. Another with Max Frisch. In , she herself had moved to Rome, where she remained until the end of her life, which came somewhat suddenly, in , following an accident while she was smoking in bed.

But of course she manned the maps. No matter, Bachmann has launched a thousand dissertations, it seems, on feminist thought, and even books that interrogate the feminist thought inspired by her work. Why is this narrator so agitated? She operates in a field of signs, an entire sensory reality, that is male.

Her troubles are deeper than plain old patriarchy, though, and derive also from Nazism, and the ways in which fascism transforms from public to private menace, a postwar spectre of cruelty and destruction. She is steeped in a broad lexicon of existential issues that burn her like lit cigarettes. President, with half a Presidency, half an honor, half a recognition, half a hat, what would you even do with this half letter? Critics leapt on the film as lacking in nuance.

The narrator has promised Ivan she would write a beautiful book, but she ends up writing, as she tells him, a book about Hell. Enter your e-mail address Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Read More.


Ingeborg Bachmann

Mar 19, Mariel rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: muted beauty Recommended to Mariel by: an unbelievable lie I have lived in Ivan and die in Malina. Happy with Ivan. I never knew her when she was living in Ivan. Her Hungarian boyfriend who sends avalanches of stone cold epithets. Strangers, for the last time.


Malina by Ingeborg Bachmann review – a singular woman adrift

Save Story Save this story for later. It sounded so important and complete: Ma-li-na, stress on the final syllable. Stress on every syllable. So symmetrical and smoothly oblique.

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