With its eye-popping red panel, bold black and white frame, the bravura display of Continuum’s German Library is blandishment to my book collector’s compulsion. Its finite 100 volumes, of many writers I wish to explore, goad me on to further temptation.
This afternoon with the Ingeborg Bachmann half of this edition, part of my calling this year to read her short stories and novels. Four Bachmann selections: Sightseeing in an Old City, a passage written for, but not incorporated into her novel Malina; the gelid Among Murderers and Madmen, which I read three times, more aghast each time; the hypnotic Word for Word, and ending with The Good God of Manhattan, a beguiling and evasive drama, given magnificence by its passages of moving and beautiful language.
“Then there’s just so little time in the world. Because even when everything else has been discovered and formulated, the glaze of your mellow eyes and the blond steppe of hair on your skin will remain incomprehensible. When everything is known, done, and destroyed again, I’ll still be seduced in the labyrinth of our eyes. And the sob in your breath will affect me as never before.”