Monday, 28 October 2013

GLM III: Please link to your reviews and contributions here

This is the place for all GLM contributes to share what they have written.  Of course, if you don't have a blog, simply leave your reviews in a comment below.  We don't want anyone to feel left out.

a) For works penned by ladies. In the name field, please link using the following format: Your name (Author - Title). The example relates to one of Lizzy's GLM II reviews.

b) For works penned by gents. In the name field, please link using the following format: Your name (Author - Title). The example relates to one of Caroline's GLM II reviews.

c) Please link your miscellaneous posts (pictures, lists, interviews, etc) here. Pick your own format - it's a miscellany after all!


  1. Oops, I entered my book incorrectly on Mr Linky, it doesn't show the book (The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann). But if you click on my name, it takes you to the review.

  2. I really messed this up for you. Could you delete 18, 19, and 20 above for me?

  3. I've added a review (Bachelors by Stifter) but as I don't have a blog I've linked it to my goodreads review. This should display without having to log in to goodreads. Let me know if there are any issues though.

    1. The link works perfectly, Jonathan. Thanks for joining us.

  4. What an idiot! I've added the Young Törless review to the ladies' section. Can you move it to the gents' section? Sorry for the trouble.

  5. Hopefully, my link to my comments about Demian by Hermann Hesse will appear! Wish me luck! Judith

  6. I don't have a blog or an account with anything similar to Goodreads, so I'm posting here if I understood your instructions correctly. I'm posting in two parts due to the character limit.

    I wrote about Thomas Bernhard's Concrete. I used the Suhrkamp Taschenbuch edition from 1982. All quotations are my translation from the German.

    “I imagined needing no one, I still imagine that today. I needed no one and thus had no one. But naturally we need someone, otherwise we become like I've inevitably become: laborious, insufferable, sick, in the deepest sense of the word”(42).

    Rudolph, alone in his home in Peiskam, a rural district in Upper Austria, a matter of hours after the departure of his chastising sister, has yet to begin his academic work on his favorite composer, Mendelssohn Bartholdy. A decade-long project in the making, it is hindered by Rudolph's sarcoidosis, compulsive living habits and obsessive reflections concerning a corrupt and intellectually bankrupt Austrian society, one which serves as justification for his self-imposed exile. As the first-person narrative (introduced by an unknown intermediary who begins and ends the novel with “Rudolph writes”) of Thomas Bernhard's “Concrete” progresses (and regresses), it is revealed that Rudolph's resentment is not only motivated by those who have supposedly wronged him, but also by his inability to adjust to a social milieu that has long since moved on without him. He claims that he can enjoy his isolation and do without society, yet this assertion is refuted by his constant dependence on the actions and opinions of others.
    The example of this behavioral contradiction that the reader first encounters is Rudolph's relationship with his sister. Unable to write the elusive first sentence of his work due to loneliness, a feeling he otherwise adamantly claims to love, he invites his sister to the Peiskam estate inherited from their wealthy parents in order to overcome this obstacle. In spite of this invitation, he devotes a significant portion of his narration to decrying his sister's vices, which include her dishonest real estate transactions, her derisive comments concerning his hermetic lifestyle, her boastfulness after donating to charity and her need to be the center of attention at any social gathering. He depicts his sister as representative of a society that has no respect for the intellectual mind, writing that “people are there, to track down the intellect and eliminate it, they sense, a mind is ready for an intellectual endeavor, and as a result, travel to nip this intellectual endeavor in the bud. And if it's not my sister, the miserable, the vicious, the devious, so is it another of her nature”(14). It is only later in the book, when he decides to travel to the Spanish island of Palma in the hope of beginning his work in a new setting, that he downplays his sister's negative qualities. As an example, he gives her credit for her suggestion that he spend some time away from Peiskam. Although Rudolph may be correct to a degree regarding her vices, his supposed hatred for her appears dubious, instead seemingly more grounded in the need to have multiple scapegoats to account for his fallen status among his contemporaries.

  7. Thanks for that Dorfer2013. If you'd like, I'll happily post your complete review as a guest post on my blog ... Just email me at lizzysiddal at yahoo dot com.

  8. I have reviewed Vertigo by Sebald and entered it in the miscellaneous section although all literature suggests that Mr Sebald was a gent. I won't attempt to clean it up as I would only make things worse.

  9. It's still November 30th here in Australia, so I've scraped in with one more review!

  10. Caroline & Lizzy: Thanks for hosting this, it's been an interesting experience as it's forced me to read a book that I've had on my TBR list for years (Young Törless), gave me an excuse to read another book by the magnificent Stifter (Bachelors), made me realise that there are female German-language writers and made me realise that I have a 'thing' for Austrian writers. Thanks.

  11. Thank you for joining us, Jonathan. See you again next year?