The shrouded woman, a corpse reviewing her life as she views the mourners at her wake, perceives in the personal ties that made up her life a failure of all parties to benefit from the possibilities of true intimacy. Helga, the heroine of House of Mist, has a powerfully imaginative inner life entirely unappreciated by her husband until he finally learns to value her as more than a trophy.
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"I am a German poet, well known on German soil; and when they name the best names, they also mention mine," Heinrich Heine once wrote in memorable German verses. Today in Santiago, Chile, or Buenos Aires, in Caracas or Lima, when they name the best names, María Luia Bombal is never missing from the list.