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Posted December 9, 2008
Following WW II in Vienna distinguished Dr. Strauch sends his underling to a remote village Weng that the renowned surgeon assumes is a dump filled with peasants. He tells his employee to look into the mental state of his brother, a famous painter who abruptly left civilization in Vienna to rusticate.----------------- Pretending to be a law student, the young man befriends the painter and begins sending to his employer correspondence involving the mental health of the artist. However, the newcomer becomes somewhat frightened by the painter¿s paranoid temper fits and schizoid discussions as if he is talking to himself. He also reports the village is filled with scandal as he realizes his landlady sleeps with the village knacker while her spouse resides in jail on a murder conviction in which his wife testified against him. As the writings of the ¿spy¿ turn unreasonable bordering on the insane, a traveling troupe arrives with a show of deformity that he sends in graphic detail to the surgeon. After spending four weeks in Weng, the outsider seems on the verge of a breakdown that is if he has not already gone over the edge.----------------------- Mindful of Camus¿ The Stranger, this translation by Michael Hofmann of a 1963 classic is a terrific look at a person falling apart over the course of four weeks. Readers will observe the mental collapse of the unnamed outsider from his increasingly irrational writings that he dutifully sends to his employer. Fans who want something different will want to read the late Thomas Bernhard¿s compelling and profound existential look at a man seemingly falling apart as he fails to adapt to this alien environs.------------------- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 25, 2013
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