Dream story by Arthur schnitzler

Schnitzler lived in turn of the century Austria He was good friends with Freud and was also a doctor like his friend he is probably best known for his play la ronde that caused a storm of controversy in its day and wasn’t performed to after he did .The book is a slim Novella just under a 100 pages long ,it follows a married couple in vienna over two days .The couple Albertine and Fridoline ,the story start when Albertine admits to her Husband an attraction to a young solider on the couples previous years holiday ,this leads to a swapping of sexual fantasy and a wanting to carry them out ,so over the space of two-day the couple experience the seedier side of vienna’s nightlife and the man y fetishes and kinks they can experience because of the time .This isn’t as good as they thought .

Albertine was the first to find the courage  to make a frank confession ;and with a trembling voice she asked Fridolin  if he remembered a young man the previous summer on the Danish coast who had been sitting with two officers at the table next to them on evening ,and who had promptly on receiving a telegram during the meal ,had promptly taken a hast leave of his two friends .

fridolean nodded ,what about him ? he asked .#

Albertine confesses to fridolean.

As you’d expect for a friend of Freud and a writer in the time of Viennese decadence this book is full on at times maybe not as shocking as in its day it can still open your eyes and holds a glass up toi a free society before the rise of hitler and post first world war ,the book was adapted in to a film by Stanley Kubrick ,a bit like the peirne books it took just over an evening to read and was clearly written and nicely translated by J M Q Davis ,the book maybe highlights the danger of indulging too much in your fantasy ,also how marriages work .

winstons score –

manga rabbit they are like rabbit in one way and fantasy like manga in another way .

man booker 2010 longlist my feelings

To be truthful I m reading less and less modern british fiction these days so my thumb is a bit of the pulse but have a few ideas and here they are have read a couple and have a couple on tbr pile .so here are my views  on who may be on the longlist tomorrow .Well see what Andrew Motion and his fellow judges pick

Iain McEwan – Solar  .

David Mitchell  -The thousand autumns of Jacob DE Zoet

Peter Carey – Parrot and Olivier in America

Christoph Tsiolkas  – the slap

Peter Temple – truth

Andrea Levy – long song

Mike Thomas – pocket notebook

Damon Galgut – In a strange room

Mick Jackson – widows tales

Martin Amis – the pregnant widow

Jaspreet Singh – chef

Neel Mukherjee – A life apart

Tom McCarthy – c

Jon McGregor – Even the dogs

Johanna Moran – the wives of Henry Oakes

Jonathan Coe -the terrible privacy of Maxwell sim

There they are I ve read 2 and have the three in my t.b.r pile ,

there are other choices here at

farmlane books

savidge reads

lizzy’s literary life

Don Quioxte -week 1 sonnets ,books ,riding ,a inn and a large farm

So we ‘re under way and the journey begins  the first 92 pages cover a lot of ground a brief intro ,some wonderful sonnets about the hero and knights in general ,then we finally meet Don his book laden house book about knights .Then he sets forth and rides and ends up at an inn .Wants to be made a knight by the innkeeper ,who refuses but relents in the end ,back home people worried but to no avail he enlists his neighbour sancho Panza a farmer to be his squire .the meet some people already on the road to the adventures .

Well so far ,so good we got a feel of Don Quixote a sort of 16th century billy liar ,the book reads as thou it was written yesterday ,the footnotes enlighten the text so much ,and things like explaining the meaning of blanco is dual so both used in translation .The mean of Panza is belly or paunch thus leading to the image in my mind .

Also Rachel of catalan cooking is hopefully going to give us some great recipes from spain at the time of Don Quixote




Stone in a landslide by Maria Barbal

This is Peirene no 2 and considered a catalan classic ,Maria Barbal is a teacher at secondary school ,she grew up in the Pallars region of spain stones in a landslide was her debut novel and the first to be translated into english by Laura McGloughlin and Paul Mitchell .She has since published numerous novel and plays,she is a member of the catalan writer association .

The book centers on the life of Conxa ,she live in the Pyrenees in a small village and  the book starts as she is on a journey from her village to another to work for an aunt .Her amazement is a the differences for her home village to this new village even thou the distance is very short .

They liked everything ; the chorizo and the black pudding ,the cuts of ham .They liked the bacon .Its much tastier than the stuff down their ,they would say .I enjoyed seeing how they kept helping themselves to more and the way they used there knives .

early on in new village .

Now Conxa live is hard and not much hope but then suddenly she has a glimmer a young Beau appears in the shape of Jaume a nice young man ,but this is the 30’s in spain and wart is looming even thou where Conxa lives it seems very distant Jaume thou decides to fight against Franco and goes to war thus changing Conxa’s life for ever .

Jaume wasn’t around much those days .He had been made a justice of the peace and said that now was the time to bring water to Sarri de Dalt .He had joined the republican left ,which was the party of the Gerneralitat Government .he had explained all this to me .

The war is looming .

The book  sums up a hard life but without ever drifting in to misery ,Conxa is a survivor and just gets on with it .The portrait of village life is great .It remind me of the stories I heard from people when I worked in a day centre in rural Northumberland ,the same tales of differences between villages ,tough living people the same as Conxa’s ,the scenery of pallers area is baron and tough working land and the village life revolves around the seasons ,the place is caught out of time from the modern world ,until the arrival of the war which at first seems very distant but in the ends has a larger impact on people’s lives .The book is a real page turn and wonderfully translated ,this is a prefect rainy afternoon book or one for those long summer train rides .


Spanish mountain goat seems to perfectly sum up Conxa hardy ,stoic , a born survivor

sorry for absence this week

I haven’t blogged much this week ,due to work and my wife being in hospital for 3 days and home yesterday my mind just wasn’t here ,I ll return tomorrow with a review of stones in  the landslide and on monday with first Don Quixote post .

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