Circe's Mountain

Luise Kaschnitz, Author, Marie L. Kaschnitz, Author, Lisel Mueller, Translator
Luise Kaschnitz, Author, Marie L. Kaschnitz, Author, Lisel Mueller, Translator Milkweed Editions $9.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-915943-46-3
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
A couple passes a fearful night in the belief that their adopted son is coming to kill them, and a man ignores a child's cry for help and can't forgive himself when the child is slain. During WW II, a girl misplaces a room key and this seemingly innocuous act leads to the murder of her foster parents at the hands of German soldiers, while elsewhere, a young woman jumps to freedom from a train bound for a concentration camp as g the train carries her older sister to her demise. Death is the most prominent protagonist in this posthumously translated short-story collection by Kaschnitz, a g post-WW II German writer who makes her American debut here. The relentlessly bleak perspective revealed in clear, simple prose is adeptly tinged with supernatural concerns in ``One Day in the Middle of June'': on a trip, a widow almost drowns herself in the sea but is mysteriously called back to life by the music of her daughter's flute, which wasn't brought to the beach that day; she returns home to discover that at the moment of her near-suicide a stranger reported her death to her neighbors. But the parapsychological element is glibly effected in ``Silver Almonds,'' in which g a woman's silver wedding anniversary is blessed by none less than the pope. (June)
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