Monday, April 11, 2011

Thoughts at the halfway point of Lineman Thiel and Other Tales

This short book contains three stories that the blurb on the back describes as being typical and influence by the German romantic movement.

That influence seems to be most clearly seen in the response of the characters towards nature with nature playing more than a backdrop role.

In the first story the iced over lake plays a crucial role in deciding the fate of the sailmaker and his wife. They are portrayed as earthy and greedy but sympathetically so compared to the grandmother who lives with them hoarding her coppers and silver in a box.

The idea of living for now and enjoying life is contrasted with the decision to wait. Ultimately both approaches are wrong.

Then the title story starts with poor lineman Thiel finding comfort from widowhood then a second marriage to a bullying wife in the woods in his hut next to the train track.

His life could carry on with his wife bullying him but you sense that as she turns her temper on the son the linesman had with his first wife the clock is ticking for their relationship.

A full review will follow on completion...

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