Posts tagged Ilse Aichinger
No one reads Ilse Aichinger (b. 1921, Vienna). She and her husband, the poet, Günter Eich (now deceased), were honoured members of the exclusive and prestigious postwar literati constellation, Gruppe 47—Wolfgang Hildesheimer (another author no one reads) was also a member; see here for an extensive roster.
Ilse Aichinger’s short stories—with their haunting imagery, deft escalations of strangeness, chilling humour, poetic concision and lyricism—will leave you stirred. “The Bound Man”, “Story in a Mirror”, “Speech Under the Gallows”, and “Where I Live” are excellent stories to read through first; the former three are her most highly acclaimed.
Sources in English (Amazon US links):
- Herod’s Children - her groundbreaking (and only) novel.
- The Bound Man and Other Stories - her must-have collection of short stories.
- Selected Poetry and Prose of Ilse Aichinger - a worthy compilation, but start with the previous.
Unfortunately, her books, in English translation, are out-of-print, making them difficult and (usually) costly to acquire. With that said, her writing has been included in many anthologies; here’s a listing, courtesy of IBL (be wary of shoddy translations):
- Best Short Shorts (1958)
- Great German Short Stories (1960)
- Modern German Stories (1961)
- Slaying of the Dragon, the (1984)
- Art of the Tale, the (1986)
- Evidence of Fire: An Anthology of Twentieth Century German Poetry (1989)
- Contemporary German Fiction (1996)
- Contemporary Jewish Writing in Austria (1999)
- Nightshade: 20th Century Ghost Stories (1999)
- Escaping Expectations (2001)
- Dedalus Book of Austrian Fantasy 1890-2000, the (2003)
Note: For the really keen, a Google search of Aichinger’s “The Bound Man” might be worthwhile. ;-]