The Hunger Angel by Herta Müller

By Herta Müller

A masterful new novel from the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize, hailed for depicting the "landscape of the dispossessed" with "the focus of poetry and the frankness of prose" (Nobel Prize Committee)

It used to be an icy morning in January 1945 whilst the patrol got here for seventeen-year-old Leo Auberg to deport him to a camp within the Soviet Union. Leo may spend the following 5 years in a coke processing plant, shoveling coal, lugging bricks, blending mortar, and struggling with the relentless calculus of starvation that ruled the exertions colony: one shovel load of coal is worthy one gram of bread.

In her new novel, Nobel laureate Herta Müller calls upon her detailed blend of poetic depth and dispassionate precision to conjure the distorted international of the exertions camp in all its actual and ethical absurdity. She has given Leo the language to specific the inexpressible, as starvation sharpens his senses into an acuity that's either hallucinatory and profound. In scene after disorienting scene, the main traditional items accrue smooth poignancy as they collect new purpose—a gramophone field serves as a suitcase, a handkerchief turns into a talisman, a big piece of casing pipe features as a lovers' trysting position. the center is diminished to a pump, the breath mechanized to the rhythm of a swinging shovel, and coal, sand, and snow have a will in their personal. starvation turns into an insatiable angel who haunts the camp, but in addition a bare-knuckled sparring companion, supplying blows that continue Leo feeling the rawest connection to life.

Müller has distilled Leo's fight into phrases of breathtaking depth that take us on a trip a long way past the Gulag and into the depths of 1 man's soul.

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Leslie Bodi, Tauwetter in Wien (Frankfurt a/M, 1977), pp. 109-116. Wurzbach XI, 82; Novotny, Staatskanzler Kaunitz, pp. 117-118, 212. Erich Schmidt, Lessing: Geschichte seines Lebens und seiner Schriften, 2 Vols. (Berlin, 1909), II, 132, 154-155, 167. Schlichtegroll 1,146; Wurzbach, XI, 82; Hormayr, Lebensbilder, p. 31. On the importation of French household items and clothes from Paris, where Kaunitz kept a personal account, see HHStA, Sonstige Sammlungen: Grosse Korrespondenz, Fasz. 405, Starhemberg to Kaunitz, 26 March 1764.

His embassy, again interspersed with lengthy bouts of illness,34 bore no immediate diplomatic fruits. In the face of this, Kaunitz advocated a policy of caution, flexibility and patience - a policy which sacrificed no birds in the hand in pursuit of those in the bush, but one which nonetheless kept the previously stated priorities and long-range interest of the monarchy clear. Such a comprehensive agenda, clearly, was beyond the scope of a mere ambassador; it was the domain of the minister responsible for foreign affairs.

In short, not language or provenance, but quality was the deciding factor in his literary tastes. The fact that Kaunitz often used French as his language of choice has also frequently been offered as evidence for his putative francophilia. This, too, has been much misconceived. Kaunitz acquired fluent command of the French language and used it in much diplomatic and personal conversation and correspondence. He read many French books and was familiar with virtually the entire repertoire of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French stage.

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