Die Wand [The Wall] (Marlen Haushofer)

Die Wand [The Wall] is a novel by Marlen Haushofer.

A woman travels to a hunting lodge with her cousin Luise and her cousin’s husband Hugo. They plan to spend a nice weekend there. But on the first evening, Luise and Hugo head into town. When they aren’t back the next day, the woman heads out to see where they have gotten to. But before she gets into town, she hits an invisible wall that seems to surround her. Seeing no life on the other side of the wall, she believes that it is the result of some chemical warfare and starts to wait for the victors to find her. As time passes and nobody shows up, she begins to make a life for herself, all alone at the cabin apart from a dog, a cat and a cow.

Die Wand is a very calm novel where nothing much happens. But nevertheless it draws you in and doesn’t let you go easily.

While reading the book, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had read it before. I really don’t know why this is – I can’t remember actually reading the book before (and if I read it so long ago that I can’t remember reading it, why would I remember certain details). I dunno.

Anyway, whether read or re-read, it was really good, and that even though, as I said, it doesn’t have much of a plot and is basically just an enumeration of duties and work, with the occasional (sometimes pretty feminist) observation.

Haushofer manages to transport not only the woman’s loneliness, but also the sense of impending doom that threads through the story – which is also one of the strong parts that keeps you reading and interested. Plus, it really reinforced my wish to get a pet.

I didn’t think that I would like this book as much as I did. But I can only recommend it.

8 thoughts on “Die Wand [The Wall] (Marlen Haushofer)

  1. Hab’s mit 14 gelesen, die Sprache war schön. Aber ich hab mich bis zum Ende gefragt, warum da jetzt diese Wand eigentlich da ist und wofür sie ein Symbol ist und überhaupt… Und irgendwie ist recht wenig passiert. Und die feministischen Sachen sind mir nicht aufgefallen. … Hm, vielleicht lese ich es noch mal.

    • Wofür die Wand da ist, war mir eigentlich völlig schnurz. Es geht ja darum, was passiert, wenn jemand so völlig abgeschnitten ist vom Rest der Welt, egal wodurch. Aber es stimmt, dass sehr wenig passiert ist. :)
      Die feministischen Sachen waren auch eher nur Momente.

  2. … by the way I really liked the tweet by the girl who dressed as the black cat.

    I think she did the right thing by not playing along and telling people to treat her with dignity.
    I am usually too slow to answer such challenges. In my head it’s like: “Wait, what? I’ve certainly heard it wrong… No, wait. He thinks he was joking. Oh. .. Does he seriously expect me to like what he said?… F**k, now the moment is awkward.” At least I don’t smile and giggle because someone thinks he is fun.

    When I am quick enough to answer I usually feel bad about being rude (isn’t that totally f**ed up?). Or I have this glorious repartee that comes to my mind only a few hours too late.

  3. Pingback: Die Wand [The Wall] (2012) « Stuff

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