When a person goes, what remains of it? What was his life? What determines his life – luck, fate, a higher power? He could even draw, make? If he acted otherwise, other people would know, everything would happen exactly? Such questions everyone goes. answer universally valid it can not, a writer not.
Like what Paul, Juliane, Felix and Max has led to settle on the night train to Rome in the same compartment? Nothing has the four young people connected so far. That all their past escape, is too thin band. Juliane has not yet got over that her little brother a few years ago by her to death came (coincidence? Fault?). Paul is divorced. Felix wants to pursue the footsteps of his mother’s life history in South Tyrol. Max followed his dream to realize himself as a painter.
If it was a coincidence because at that time, it is later the accident that it brings together two decades again? Whatever is behind it, “remain” the construction of the novel is a rather forced acting tour de force of its creator, born in Linz in 1970 author Judith W. Taschler.
In four strands we ever read a dialogue that Felix , Max, Paul and Juliane leads, namely in May (Felix), June (Paul), September (Max) and December (Juliane) of the year 2015. Each main character familiar in their previous life, family and relationship histories and their current a wide sweep and detailed situation a partner. These discussions are not simply presented in four chapters, but is divided in eight rounds same pattern: Paul – Juliane – Felix – Max but missing in the last lap Felix’s part, because he is in the meantime succumbed to his fatal illness
another complication enters through Tashkent Jewelers decision to consistently reproduce only the dialogue share of each protagonist and completely hide the his partner. So in fact we read four monologues (or I-stories). That there ever is dialogue situations, reveals itself by the fact that the speakers often speak to their audience directly, pick up “another beer” or suggest their questions. (The latter sounds to my taste often terribly unnatural: “… His hand was under my blouse, my tongue when he wanted to take off my shirt in his mouth, as it was the first time remained ….?”)
the idiosyncratic dismemberment of the structure and the curtailment of perspective come at a price. One is busy reading with several puzzles: What characters are the four narrators, what problems and concerns they move, what are their ways of life linked? Added to this is now: With whom they chat where, for what purpose and why with this person? Established at the end perhaps surprisingly, that it is not just a quartet but, extended to the other party to a relationship octet about? The puzzle is superfluous – the silent listener simply function as microphones that strained formal structure adds the statement added nothing of substance
What is told.? Juliane is now married to Paul. Following the tradition of his socially prominent origin, he works as a lawyer at the Vienna office of the family. Juliane has risen in their happy marriage and family life with two children. For this, she has her musical passion can never achieve as a cellist.
By chance Juliane met in a gallery of minors acquaintances Max (now arrivierter painter) and Felix (advertising photographer) again. Juliane between Felix and kindled a stormy affair. When Felix withdraws abruptly believes Juliane, he had just used. The real reason for his behavior she learns just by Paul, her husband.
Felix has cancer. He knows he will die soon. And he also learns what his illness has triggered. Underlying this is a chain of culpable behavior, moral failure, fatality – or blind coincidences? -., Which is read in parts like an incredible crime
In the thirty-one conversation chapters of this unusual, multi-faceted novel is about friendship, loyalty, love, family, home and belonging as (always vulnerable) foundations of human existence , With Felix’s fate ask the big questions about the last phase of life of a terminally ill: How accompanied to a dying person, such as “remains” one with him how to let go
Too bad that this book thematically and structurally? is so artificial.