Translated by Lucy Renner Jones
5 X 8 inches, 140pp. October 2011
ISBN : 9780857420169
Rs 395.00 (HB)
Annemarie Schwarzenbach—journalist, novelist, antifascist, archaeologist and traveller— has become a European cult figure for bohemian free spirits since the rediscovery of her works in the late 1980s. Lyric Novella is her story of a young man’s obsession for a Berlin variété actress. Despite having his future career mapped out for him in the diplomatic service, the young man begins to question all his family values under Sibylle’s spell. His family, future and social standing become irrelevant when set against his overriding compulsion to pick her up every night from the theatre so they can go for a drive.
Schwarzenbach’s clear, psychologically acute prose makes this novella an evocative narrative, with many intriguing parallels to her own life. In fact, she admitted after publication that her hero was a young woman, not a man, leaving little doubt that Lyric Novella is a literary tale of lesbian love during socially and politically turbulent times.
Annemarie Schwarzenbach (1908–42) was a writer, journalist and photographer, who worked periodically as an archaeologist. She is the author of the poem Aus Tétouan, Der Krater der Tiere, Das Wunder des Baumes.
Lucy Renner Jones is a freelance translator living in Berlin.