Monday, October 7, 2013

"The Monster"

Talking about novels: this German-Hungarian author won the German book prize today, announces the German newscasts:  Terézia Mora

 The story seems to be about an IT worker who is married and deeply in love with his wife, who is struggling with a psychosis.  Strangely, he knows nothing and understands nothing about her deeper life and struggles.  After her suicide he begins a literal and figurative journey to find her background and understand her better, if only in retrospect.  On the bottom half of the page runs the dairy of his wife, which he reads as he travels along.  So there are two stories running parallel in time and on the page.

"The Ungeheuer", i.e. "The Monster" is the wife's psychosis.  The novel is to show the complete lack of foundation of modern life and said to be very timely for our days. "Bodenlosigkeit" is the German word they use.  Which would mean:  the lack of ground under your feet.

Hm.  If someone gives it to me, I will read it.

A negative reviewer on Amazon found the whole idea preposterous.  How could the husband know nothing of his wife's mental illness and depression.  We could say that this is slightly unrealistic or very much an artistic construct for the purposes of the novel.  It seems neither to me.  I think that many a man has hardly an idea, or even an interest in what is going on with his wife's inner life, or perhaps even his own.  In fact, this inner life may be the very monster he fears.  Talk to me about everything but not your feelings.  Or maybe we all feel like this somehow about our own inner life--always running and hiding from it, as from a charging bear (I could have said "charging bull", but I live in Canada.)

Goodness knows we don't want to know female or anybody's despair.  My husband does not even read my blog and it is not a despairing place, I think.-- No, no, I think the premise of "Das Ungeheuer" works.  I don't even know that any man can know what goes on with a woman, and vice versa.

It might take a woman to understand such a thing as this disconnect. I could be wrong.

Congratulations Terezia!

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