Ungefähre Landschaft / Unformed Landscape

Ungefähre Landschaftby Peter Stamm; Michael Hofmann, translator

192 Seiten
Verlag: FISCHER Taschenbuch (5. Nov 2010)
ISBN-10: 3596188245
ISBN-13: 978-3596188246

(English translation and links below)

Ein kleines norwegisches Dorf nördlich des Polarkreises. An diesem Rand der Welt lebt Kathrine. Sie ist achtundzwanzig, hat aus erster Ehe ein Kind und unterbricht nur selten das Einerlei ihrer Tage. Sie lernt Thomas kennen und heiratet ihn. Er ist das, was man eine gute Partie nennt, er gibt ihr Halt. »Sein Leben war ein Strich durch die ungefähre Landschaft ihres Lebens.« Doch dann macht Kathrine eine Entdeckung, die sie tief verletzt.

»Ungefähre Landschaft« ist der zweite Roman des Autors von »Agnes« und »Sieben Jahre«. Das Porträt einer jungen Frau, erzählt mit schwebender Leichtigkeit.

Über den Autor

Peter StammPeter Stamm, * 1963, studierte nach einer kaufmännischen Lehre einige Semester Anglistik, Psychologie und Psychopathologie. Längere Aufenthalte in Paris, New York, Berlin und London. Lebt in Winterthur. Seit 1990 freier Autor und Journalist. Mehrere Hörspiele für Radio DRS1, DRS2, Radio Bremen, den WDR und den Südwest Rundfunk. Theaterstücke und Beiträge für verschiedene Bücher. Sein erster Roman «Agnes» erschien 1998 im Arche Verlag, Zürich und Hamburg. Im selben Verlag erschienen 1999 die Kurzgeschichtensammlung «Blitzeis», 2001 der Roman «Ungefähre Landschaft» und 2003 Erzählungen unter dem Titel «In fremden Gärten». 2006 erschien im S. Fischer Verlag sein Roman «An einem Tag wie diesem», 2008 die Erzählsammlung «Wir Fliegen» und 2009 der Roman «Sieben Jahre» und 2011 die Erzählsammlung “Seerücken”. Lesereisen unter anderem nach China, Mexiko, Russland, Georgien und in den Iran.

In English

168 pages
Publisher: Other Press (April 17, 2006)
ISBN-10: 159051226X
ISBN-13: 978-1590512265

Unformed Landscape begins in a small village on a fjord in the Finnmark, on the northeastern coast of Norway, where the borders between Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia lie covered in snow and darkness, where the real borders are between day and night, summer and winter, and between people. Here, a sensitive young woman like Kathrine finds few outlets for her desires. Half Norwegian, half Sami (an indigenous people), Kathrine works for the customs office inspecting the fishing boats arriving regularly in the harbor. She is in her late 20s, has a son from an early marriage, and has drifted into a second loveless marriage to a man whose cold and dominating conventionality forms a bold stroke through the unformed landscape of her life. After she makes a discovery about her husband that deeply wounds her, Kathrine cuts loose from her moorings and her confusion and sets off in search of herself.

Her journey begins aboard a ship headed south, taking her below the Arctic Circle for the first time in her life. Kathrine makes her way to France and has the bittersweet experience of a love affair that flares and dies quickly, her starved senses rewarded by the shimmering beauty of Paris. Through a series of poignant encounters, Kathrine is led to the richer life she was meant to have and is brave enough to claim.

Using simple words strung together in a melodic alphabet, Peter Stamm introduces us, through a series of intimate sketches, to the heart of an unforgettable woman. Her story speaks eloquently about solitude, the fragility of love, lost illusions, and self-discovery.

About the author

Stamm has received a number of literature prizes, including the Ehrengabe des Kantons Zürich (1998), the Rauriser Literaturpreis (1999), the Rheingau Literatur Preis (2000), the Ehrengabe der Stadt Zürich (2001), the Preis der Schweizerischen Schillerstiftung (2002), and the Carl-Heinrich-Ernst-Kunstpreis (2002).

His works include a number of radio dramas, plays, and contributions to various books. He is also the author of the novels Agnes, On a Day Like This, and Seven Years, and collections of short stories, all translated by Michael Hofmann.

Buy this book!

Ungefähre Landschaft / Unformed Landscape is available for immediate purchase via these links to Amazon.com and Amazon.de. When you make a purchase via this website, a percentage of the price goes right back into site maintenance and development. Thanks for the support!

One Comment

  1. My German-language book group in Berlin read and discussed this work for our first meeting in 2014. All 6 attendees agreed: in deceptively simple prose, Stamm makes a forceful call for living — specifically, to live as the writer/subject of your own life’s story rather than as an object of anyone else’s will. The book’s protagonist, Kathrine, 28 years old, is a twice-married mother merely moving through the routines of work, marriage, parenthood, and small-town living. But one day, driven by unthinkable revelations about her marriage, she undertakes a journey (both literal and metaphorical) into the possibilities of a life of her own control. Well-conceived characters, an easy-to-relate-to quest, and a persuasive message all convinced us readers that Stamm had produced a work of minor genius. We all heartily recommend it! (Special note to German learners: absolutely suitable for B2/C1-level comprehension and discussion.)

Comments are closed.