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Through a teenager's love for an older woman, later convicted for her past as a concentration camp guard, The Reader dramatised the painful ambivalence towards Germany's wartime generation felt by its postwar progeny.
Schlink's latest volume of stories, Flights of Love, together with Martin Chalmers's richly varied Austrian anthology, Beneath Black Stars, suggest that the legacy of the Third Reich still haunts German-language literature.
Yet while Schlink's stories betray a shallow glibness, the Austrian selection proves more challenging and worthwhile. What connects Schlink's seven pieces is less the love of the title than the guilt, shame and mistrust that afflict would-be lovers.
In "Girl With a Lizard", a boy's curiosity about a mysterious painting in his father's possession leads him to question his wartime role. While the father insisted that the painting was a gift from Jews whom he had helped, the son fears that selling the heirloom would expose his father as a thief.
Schlink extends his range, with moderate success, to relations between east and west, or between men and women.
Yet these stories tend towards the banal and the schematic, as in "Sugar Peas", the cautionary tale of an architect's triple life with wife and mistresses, which gets a cursory feminist twist.
The protagonists are rich and successful middle-aged German men, whose underlying complacency, for all their mid-life crises, tends to disarm any intended ironies.
More troubling than limp twists and flabby plotlines is the ill-judged flippancy of "The Circumcision". Andi, a German living in New York, resolves to be circumcised to save his ailing relationship with a Jewish woman, Sarah.
As he puts it: Sarah's improbable response to Andi's traits is to say: With superior art and tact, The Emigrants and Austerlitz foreground not the guilt or redemption of the "perpetrators", but the lives of those they persecuted and a Germany impoverished by their loss. Both Schlink and Sebald were born in"beneath black stars", in the imagery of Heimito von Doderer's tale of collusion and defiance in Nazi-ruled Vienna.
That constellation dogs other writers in Chalmers's anthology, who dispute the claim that Austria was the Nazis' first victim. In contrast to The Reader 's faith in "bourgeois culture", this volume expresses a profound mistrust of language - "my most intimate confidante, the sweet German language", in Elfriede Jelinek's words - through a wealth of experimental prose.
As Chalmers points out, postwar Austria has produced a plethora of exceptional writers, from Thomas Bernhard and Peter Handke to Ingeborg Bachmann and Jelinek - who drew belated attention here through Michael Haneke's film of her disquieting erotic novel, The Piano Teacher Tilting at national mythologies has been an obsession, whether they be myths of postwar absolution, an imperial past of "balls and waltzes", or an idyllic Alpine homeland - beautifully parodied in Margit Schreiner's "The Kargeralm Shepherd", in which a rustic falls in "tragic love" with a sheep.
This parodic stance has helped put many Austrian writers at odds with the state. For Jelinek, Austria is a "nation of criminals". Just as Bernhard refused to allow his plays to be performed in the country after his death, Jelinek has barred hers from the Austrian stage for as long as the Freedom party - of which Haider is de facto leader - shares power.
Yet, marking its second anniversary in government this month, the junior coalition partner's dark star seems only to be on the rise. Particularly outstanding are Alfred Kolleritsch's sinister allegory "A Platonic Meal", with its fascist take on gastronomy, and Peter Henisch's "Brutal Curiosity", in which a son ponders his dying father's role as a wartime photographer.- The Importance of Flight in Song of Solomon Flight is a major theme in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon.
“Flight echoes throughout the story as a reward, as a hoped-for skill, as an escape, and as proof of intrinsic worth; however, by the end this is not so clear a proposition”(Lubiano 96). Percy Bysshe Shelley World Literature Analysis - Essay Percy Bysshe Shelley World Literature Analysis Although he stands accused of sentimentality, wild impulse, and lyrical flights of.
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