Since he can remember, Peter Henisch maintains a nice taste. He makes himself comfortable at the window and looks out at the world, let the eyes wander, linger here and there, following clues and persons studying at the same time – almost on a meta-level observatorischen – the interaction between the seen and his thoughts and feelings. As a mature, linguistically sensitive writer, he summarizes all this in a merrily flowing conversational tone, and you can not be satisfied as a reader, to rejoice and wonder what was so over drives everything.
In the new book by the Austrian writer , journalist and musician (born in Vienna in 1943) his gaze is primarily through two windows of the Vienna upstairs apartment where he lived with his parents after the war. While the kitchen window prosaic shows the court with carpet-beating pole and waste buckets, the other window into the city, where people cavort, trade and change take place and all lures at the end of the sea.
content is about personal – his own career, parents, uncle Willi and the two Grandma’s (the “well-read” already protagonist of the Henisch’s novel “A very small woman” was) – and general information from everyday life, culture (of films to anchor blocks ) and politics. What makes the reading as entertaining and the atmosphere so human and warm, (besides the friendly conversational tone of narration) that the author did not even try to want to announce historic or other truths. He feels comfortable with having to submit to any concept.
Apparently purely associative ( “And now I can not think of the night when …”) he lined impressions and anecdotes comes from the sticks on sticks and sometimes distrusted even his own memory ( “That must have been in 1952 – or was it 1951 ? “).
from time to time he plauscht from the conversational out in him has funneled 2015 an ambitious young journalist. equipped with microphone and headphones, and well prepared, they interviewed him several times – and know in advance so much about him that their insistent demands ( “But was not Old Surehand … that you in bookshelf of your father have discovered?) go “on his nerves. Even Mrs. S., “the head of the Café around the corner,” said that he had learned from the newspapers enough to the known author to correct him about the facts of his life ( “But somewhere I read that you a cat – or was that a cat – have been named Murr “)
in addition to the gift of careful observation Peter Henisch draw -?.. the boys as adults – a fertile imagination and a tendency to dream of , He can not only play in the people down there in the street, but even “totally into the fur of the cat move” which crouches beside him and yet is quite absent, fixed relative to the roof on the activities of the birds. And if advisable, he distances himself ironically of himself: “Or am I the little boy [himself] call … dear Paul?” To Mrs. S., who has also read “A very small woman” and now do not like to separate the narrator (Paul Spielmann) the author (Peter Henisch) encouraged him.
As a dominant theme sneak multitudes of cats the author’s favorite animals, by the book. They are the epitome of the seemingly aimless, bored Herumstromerns and resting in itself, pleasurable dozing; while all their senses are tense, just not to miss anything. In the apartments and in the wild they encounter in many incarnations, in all colors and patterns, and the profiliertesten are honored by a name
Among the most significant people who started – sorry. The narrator – portrayed heard his father Walter. He was only 1.52 meters tall, but versatile and talented an optimist. He was a war correspondent for the Army, later the press and art photographer. Technical skills he has the apartments prepared and used for the presentation of his pictures. That among them were nude photos, made for some visitors for amazement.
Some of the photographs showed Peters beloved mom, and she was at least as handsome as all the ladies who took pictures father “artistic”. Peter remembers her beauty behind a screened-basin in the kitchen, where she painted fingernails, hair plucking, makeup lips beyond the contour, commutes everyday woollens against more fashionable. But even with four or five years ago felt the boy that in mommy’s heart a gentle sadness is that they like slow driving in a stream down
In the opposite house all looks very different.. As the caretaker lives with her family, talking about only in hushed mode. dilapidated with her unemployed, the alcohol man has the “haggard” woman “not be easy”. Her daughter is Friedi Peters first confidante. The two-matched children get along well, “without words”. They talk by sign language from window to window. Later, they meet secretly and show each other “what makes us different.” With Frauensachen Friedi knows his stuff. Peters mom, with high heels and nylon stockings, she taxed directly as “sophisticated”, a “fine lady”.
In addition, the parents Henisch protect her only child sleepy. he is not on the rough street – “the street boys do not speak according to the scriptures and throw stones.” The more accurate viewing the play of children ( “the barefoot most”) on the mounds, the wagon-man “shreds, Bana (bones)” calls, the musicians, whom he down throws a couple wrapped in newspaper dime. The women wear headscarves, the men hats; some war invalids on crutches, others wear dark glasses, because they are blind (and not to protect yourself from the sun).
As he grows up in the circle of adults who seem hardly perceive it, Peter is self-sufficient, thoughtful and precocious. He takes belonged words on, thinks about the “peculiar emphasis on”, such as “Jew” or “Nazi” and approaches the hidden behind stories about the sound of those early words to. it can investigate all this alone, he feels as a gift for his later work. “Where we come from, where we are going, why it has come to what is left of it?”
The rippling as casually and unfathomable sequence short episodes, memories and impressions give a wonderful patchwork of pale pointed splashes of color but also convey interesting insights on contemporary history, about the political situation of the divided into four zones city of Vienna, the delicate sense of identity of its inhabitants, to the much more delicate of Austria, which with the State Treaty of 15 May 1955 between the Allied occupying powers and the Austrian government is a sovereign, democratic state again. Comparative flashlights on our present circumstances a broader perspective as well as the remote italic passages in which Henisch reported subsequent trips to New Orleans, Prague, Paris, Istanbul and Isfahan. “Not then was so much fear in the air.”
“Suchbild with cat” is a subtly narrated document that very personal impressions from the security of a Viennese childhood with the social, political and cultural realities of the post-war period and connects views of the present. Certainly it is particularly appeal to the generation that has experienced those years themselves and their memories may be colored by now nostalgically beautiful than the reality was – the cover with sepia tint relies on these enticing effect. A Verharmloser is the The “Fenstergucker”-a sculpture on the pulpit of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna (Der Wikipedia article
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