Constructs of Desire: Selections from Brigitte Kronauer

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1st Edition

240 x 160 mm. 352pp ... [In stock in Australia, for immediate delivery]

Brigitte Kronauer's work prompted a leading German literary critic to call her 'the greatest German [female] fiction writer of our time'. Yet this uniquely sophisticated and appealing European literary voice - 'so austere and intelligent, so northern German and reticent, so complex and unpretentious, so seductive and misleading' - has until now remained virtually unknown in the English-speaking world.

Kronauer's many novels, stories, and literary essays are impassioned yet unsentimental observations of human desires and the endeavour to experience reality beyond the constructs of the mind. She finds the mystical in the mundane as she explores the complexities of human relations, exposes human foibles, and celebrates our striving for love and redemption in a world devoid of romance. Although this 'nightingale, crossed with a cuckoo and a falcon', as another critic described her, is lyrical, romantic, nostalgic, and funny, she is also equipped with talons and 20/20 vision.

Kronauer's stories and novels have been praised for exuding a more sensuous presence than those of any other contemporary German author. Their ironic, musical, and colourful language catches us by surprise. Concurrently, they are 'ruled by the law of poetry - the inexorable and liberating logic of form. In complete sovereignty they follow creative whims, extinguishing reality in order to resurrect it again in all its magnificent details'. They lure us into the momentousness of 'zero-events', whisk us along in her protagonists' trajectories, and create humorously penetrating psychological portraits of Everyman and Everywoman. Above all they enquire into the ambiguities of perception and the depths of human existence.

Fortunately, her multi-layered novels lend themselves beautifully to the selective approach employed in this anthology, each individual passage balancing and interpreting the others. These selections also illustrate Kronauer's literary development from an associative, highly structured early prose to the more chronologically narrated novels that the author herself sees not as a return to traditional storytelling but rather as a step in a new direction.

The excerpts and stories in Constructs of Desire are annotated and preceded by critical introductions. They are supplemented by Kronauer's irreverent and ironic critical essays, her fictional and non-fictional reflections on the question, 'What is Literature?' The anthology concludes with an interview in which Kronauer considers the psychology of writing, the relationship of literature and reality, and the creation of her own imaginative literary universe.
^ Literary Criticism ^


SKU 9780838757093
Barcode # 9780838757093
Brand AUP
Artist / Author Jutta ITTNER (translator & editor)

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