Monday, August 22, 2011

M. Goth | Review of Friederike Mayröcker's Fast ein Frühling des Markus

Review of Friederike Mayröcker's Fast ein Frühling des Markus
by M. Goth

Fast ein Frühling des Markus, Friederike Mayröcker. (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1976).

The love story of Markus and Hilda is not a love story, but rather an inner monologue alternating between the two partners. The fifteen chapters of the book are about equally divided between them. While listening to the two voices, each emerging from its own solitude, the reader is drawn into the magnetic field of inner tensions and passions. Visual and acoustic sensations crisscross with reminiscences, fragments of narration, statements and expressions of feelings and form a tight fabric of experiences. Secondary persons appear and add to the tensions. Names of districts of Berlin might localize things for a moment; nevertheless, everything remains in sort of a poetical suspense.

Mayröcker's prose is poetical insofar as it does not adopt an epic for of speech determined by logic and by the categories of time and place. It breaks the linear development of narrative syntax; it plays with simultaneities, associations, memories and perceptions. Past, present and future are abolished—or they are contained in an eternal present.

In short, her style allows free movement and interplay of subconscious energies and adds something airy and light to the teat. This very individual language, however, does not lead to pretentious boredom or questionable obscurity, but becomes an instrument of most subtle perception reaching the deepest levels of the psyche: "Tell me, do I strike your imagination only, and do all your other needs remain unstilled?" This suggestive question is the very last sentence of the book and might contain its purpose and its essence. [M. Goth, World Literature Today]

Copyright (c)1976 by M. Goth

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