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brutt, or The Sighing Gardens
by Friederike Mayrocker
translated by Roslyn Theobald
Northwestern University Press, 2007
Paper: 978-0-8101-1966-6
Library of Congress Classification PT2625.A95B7813 2008
Dewey Decimal Classification 833.914

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ABOUT THIS BOOK


brütt, or The Sighing Gardens is the hallucinatory tale of an obsessive writer’s love affair late in life as told through the daily journal entries of the writer—a montage of relentless observation interspersed with found materials from newspaper articles, literature, and private correspondence. The process of aging and the process of writing are two persistent and carefully intertwined themes, though it is apparent that plot and theme are subordinate to the linguistic experiments that Friederike Mayröcker performs as she explores them. Mayröcker is known for crossing the boundaries of literary forms and in her prose work she creates a hypnotic, slurred narrative stream that is formally seamless while simultaneously overstepping all the bounds of grammar and style.  She is always pushing to expose the limits of language and explore its experimental potential, seeking a re-ordering of the world through the re-ordering of words. Her multilayered texts are reminiscent of the traditions of Surrealism and Dadaism and display influences from the works of Beckett, Hölderlin, Freud, and Barthes. Yet, much of Mayrocker’s writing simply has no corollary and the experience of reading Roslyn Theobald’s brilliant translation grants the English-speaking audience an unforgettable encounter with this completely original work. 



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