THE BOOK OF FRANZA and REQUIEM FOR FANNY GOLDMAN by Ingeborg Bachmann

THE BOOK OF FRANZA and REQUIEM FOR FANNY GOLDMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Book Of Franza and Requiem For Fanny Goldman ($26.95; Oct; 256 pp.; 0-8101-1204-3). These two short novels, intended as further volumes in the cycle that started with her highly praised Malina (1990), were actually begun in the 1960s and then left unfinished when Bachman, one of Austria’s most prominent postwar writers, died in 1973. The more substantial Franza capsulizes the history of women’s oppression by men (an injustice that Bachmann had elsewhere explicitly equated with fascism) into the story of an abused wife whose escape from her brutal husband culminates in a transformative journey to the Egyptian desert. The more fragmentary Requiem allegorizes the same theme in the plight of a Jewish actress (the eponymous Fanny) victimized by the manipulative young playwright who, by writing a novel about her, effectively appropriates her life for his own purposes. Richly suggestive if somewhat inchoate work from a gifted, and underrated, writer.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8101-1204-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Northwestern Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1999




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