Read In een Duits pension by Katherine Mansfield G. van der Heijden Anke Manschot Online

in-een-duits-pension

Rich, psychologically probing stories: "Germans at Meat," "The Baron," "The Modern Soul," "The Advanced Lady" and nine others....

Title : In een Duits pension
Author :
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ISBN : 9065510753
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 135 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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In een Duits pension Reviews

  • Ilse
    2019-04-18 08:49

    Short stories can be like photographs, catching people at some moment in their lives and trapping the memory for ever . There they are, smiling or frowning, looking sad, happy, serious, surprised ... And behind those smiles and those frowns lie all the experience of life, the fears and delights, the hopes and the dreams.― Katherine MansfieldLast year, I was enraptured by a collection of Katherine Mansfield’s short stories, Something Childish But Very Natural so while reading Willem Elsschot’s Villa des Roses, written around the same time and also set in a boarding house, Mansfield’s debut collection from 1911, In a German Pension popped up from some hidden corner of the mental bookshelf. For these pension stories, Mansfield took inspiration from her own stay as a ‘cure guest’ in Villa Pension Müller at a Bavarian spa of Bad Wörishofen in 1909, send off there by her mother to muffle her extramarital pregnancy which would end in a miscarriage. With demonic zest Mansfield’s sharp-witted and observant narrator, a young English woman, looks at the peculiarities and behaviour of the pension guests, many of them at the spa on account of their ‘nerves’, trenchantly depicting the gross and distasteful table manners of the German pensioners, picking teeth with a hairpin, overeating, cleaning ears with a napkin, talking about saliva, spitting cherry stones in public, repugnantly displaying the use of handkerchiefs. The narrator’s bantering commentary on the boarders’ preoccupancy with bodily functions and digestion and their unctuous attitudes is mirrored by the depreciatory and spiteful opinion which the German guests confide to the narrator vis-à-vis the odd manners of the English: “It is a great pity the English nation is so unmusical”. ‘I have never been to England’, interrupted Fräulein Sonia, ‘but I have many English acquaintances. They are so cold!’ She shivered. ‘Fish-blooded’, snapped Frau Godowska, ‘Without soul, without soul, without grace. But you cannot equal their dress materials.' ‘England is merely an island of beef flesh swimming in a warm gulf sea of gravy’. “She was like a young tree whose branches had never been touched by the ruthless hand of man. Such delicacy! Of course it is difficult for you English to understand when you are always exposing your legs on cricket fields, and breeding dogs in your back gardens. The pity of it! Youth should be like a wild rose. For myself, I do not understand how your women ever get married at all.” After all, one ought not forget WWI is hovering over some of these stories, and Mansfield astutely bares the stereotyping in the hearts and minds of her coevals, speaking their minds openly, some lines alluding to the oncoming conflict: “I suppose you are frightened of an invasion too, eh? Oh, that’s good. I’ve been reading all about your English play in a newspaper. Did you see it?”“Yes.” I sat upright. “I assure you we are not afraid.”“Well then, you ought to be,” said the Herr Rat. “You have got no army at all – a few little boys with their veins full of nicotine poisoning.”“Don’t be afraid,” Herr Hoffmann said. “We don’t want England. If we did we would have had her long ago. We really do not want you”.“We certainly do not want Germany,” I said.(Germans at Meat).Fairly light-hearted and jocular as long as the pension guests are concerned, the tone and themes of the stories gradually darken, and angst, even tragedy enter. The few stories that do not focus an on the pension guests but on the villagers convey pictures of quotidian domestic cruelty, reminding us that barbarism begins at home, touching upon the deplorable plight of womanhood, the discomfiture of childbirth, the imbalance of power in the institution of marriage and its subsequent violence and exploitation and the sexual and social oppression of women and girls. Lofty musings on conformist femininity and love are exposed as fibbing and lampooned: Whom then, asked Fräulein Elsa, looking adoringly at the Advanced Lady – “whom then do you consider the true woman?” “She is the incarnation of comprehending Love!” “But Love is not a question of lavishing”, said the Advanced Lady. “It is the lamp carried in the bosom touching with serene rays all the heights and depths of – “Darkest Africa,” I murmured flippantly. (The Advanced Lady)The swing of the PendulumNonetheless men and women alike get a good dressing-down by Mansfield’s barbed pen, men are repulsively unhygienic and egocentric, women coquettish and wanton, like in the last two stories portraying the female protagonists as cold-hearted and calculative temptresses, taking umbrage at the men eventually succumbing to their frivolous games, like the allumeuse in Blaze when confronted with the consequences of displaying her ambivalent nature:I can’t help seeking admiration any more than a cat can help going to people to be stroked . Depicting Germans as boorish and self-righteous, English women as silly sporty moos unlikely finding or keeping husbands and having procreation issues – in some sense reflecting her own - Mansfield’s sardonic blow-up of the mutual tribal biases are far from political correct - if that anachronism would make any sense in the context of these tales - with its irresistible vitriolicism my children found me chuckling aloud. As immature Mansfield might have considered this debut herself, a work of juvenilia that she refused to have republished during her lifetime, the stories are in spurts hilarious in their hyperbolism and razor-sharp observations, stunningly precise and incisive in its details, rich in themes and worded in effervescent and sensuous prose, full of life. Some of the stories might be less subtle and slightly more predictable than what she will write later in her so brief a life, or have not the delightful open-endedness that will characterize later stories, to me this collection was sheer delight. At the head of the centre table sat the bride and bridegroom, she in a white dress trimmed with stripes and bows of coloured ribbon, giving her appearance of an iced cake all ready to be cut and served in neat little pieces to the bridegroom beside her, who wore a suit of white clothes much too large for him and a white silk tie that rose half-way up his collar. ( Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding)The oil paintings are from the New Zealand artist Susan Wilson, who illustrated Katherine Mansfield’s short stories for The Folio Society in 2000.

  • Samadrita
    2019-04-14 07:33

    There was a time when I had lost all interest in Jane Austen, resigned to accepting the self-assured utterances of a few male acquaintances who still continue to believe that she wrote nothing other than classical 'chick-lit'. (My ignorant, younger self hadn't thought of asking them what was wrong with 'chick lit' in the first place) But a reading of A Room of One's Own and a re-reading of Pride & Prejudice later, I was tempted to literally beat some sense into those bluntheads (with a brick-sized omnibus edition of JA's works preferably) who had caused me to momentarily stray from my earlier path of fangirlish enthusiasm. A female voice with a dignified sense of humor and impeccable comic timing is a rarity in the hallowed halls of literature still; a female voice with the ability to comment on the power imbalance in gender relations and small quotidian societal injustices under the veneer of wry humor even more so.Katherine Mansfield, who put together this excellent collection of short stories nearly a century after the publication of Pride and Prejudice, reminds me of Austen in the sense that her mockery of stiff-upper-lipped high society German ladies and barons is a throwback to Austen's keen talent of zeroing in on individual character quirks and highlighting the constant need for validation through assertion of material prosperity. But this is where the parallels end. The last few short stories in this collection astonish with their thematic depth despite their brevity. Issues of rabid sexism, domestic disharmony, marital rape, thwarted attempts at sexual assault, the bodily violence of childbirth, abuse of young children employed as servants are touched on in the subtlest of ways. These grim realities were, perhaps, not unknown to JA but who, nonetheless, steered clear of them in her romantic comedies. The fact that Mansfield wrote these stories while quietly living out the ignominy of childbearing out of wedlock in a foreign country should be kept in mind while dissecting the rather no-holds-barred approach she adopts while exposing human foibles."I suppose it's the savage pride of the female who likes to think the man to whom she has given herself must be a very great chief indeed."It's a pity of monumental proportions that the 22-year old who wrote with such insight didn't live long enough to hone her craft to absolute perfection or to leave enough of a mark on the literary landscape of her times like her much venerated contemporaries. But then there's the consolation that she wrote at all.

  • Duane
    2019-04-12 07:50

    This is Mansfield's first published collection of short stories, and it comes from her experiences during her short time in Germany prior to 1906. She called it "immature", but you can see the promise of things to come in this collection. One story alone, The child who was tired, makes it worth reading.

  • Kinga
    2019-04-15 04:46

    Katherine Mansfield would’ve matured to be an amazing writer if she hadn’t died at the age of 34 of tuberculosis – which quite possibly was another of the knock-on effects of the gonorrhoea she contracted from her Polish lover – Florian Sobieniowski. Was it worth it, Katherine - http://www.audiovis.nac.gov.pl/obraz/... ? Ladies, beware of men who have more consonants in their names that seems reasonable. I know all that from the introduction to my Penguin edition written by Anne Fernihough – an introduction that was rather dense and scholarly. Too late did I realise that Hesperus produced a very pretty edition of ‘In a German Pension’ with an introduction by Linda Grant. I bet that one didn’t have moronic footnotes that explained who Wagner or Mozart were (a famous Austrian composer, apparently). I’m trying to imagine a world in which someone who has never heard of Mozart reads Katherine Mansfield's obscure short stories.Stories collected in this volume are semi-autobiographical because Mansfield herself was sent away to a ‘German pension’ for a ‘cure’ - her affliction being getting pregnant outside of wedlock. Her semi-autobiographical narrator is stuck in the pension where she is surrounded by crass idiots. She vents her anger by writing sharply satirical portraits of them. This all is something I could very much relate to because I am, also, often angry and surrounded by idiots.The stories, of course, touch on bigger problems than being annoyed by a dinner companion who picks his teeth and cleans his ears at the table, while talking absolute bollocks. It’s all about gender roles and sexism, and class system, and exploitation of children and sexual violence. The stories start off light and satirical but get progressively darker. Apparently they are obviously inspired by Chekhov and mock Virginia Woolf gently, which I wouldn’t know because I haven’t read either. I know, how embarrassing! What the hell! Why would I even admit to that in public?Anyway. Mansfield was slightly embarrassed by those stories she wrote when she was 22. She called them immature and rolled her eyes at how obsessed she was with bodily functions (there is a lot of detailed bodily functions here). Quite honestly though, who isn’t embarrassed by what they produced when they were 22? And if you aren’t, then it’s probably because you haven’t developed any further and that’s nothing to be proud of. I checked my blog to see what I wrote when I was 22 and it’s bloody cringe-worthy. I can’t believe I was allowed to vote and drink alcohol – I was a complete bimbo. And I guess that’s the difference – there is no-one in the world that could read my blog from those days and not cringe, while Mansfield’s stories, even if occasionally immature, smart-ass and swaggering, are still very much readable, a hundred years later.I changed my Tinder profile to say that I like men who read Katherine Mansfield and Dorothy Parker. I haven’t been very lucky so far.

  • Buck
    2019-04-07 10:57

    I realize I’m about to piss off some lovely people around here, but it can’t be helped: I dislike Virginia Woolf. A lot. The other day at the gym I was watching Family Guy on mute—yes, this is relevant—and the closed captions described a character’s unintelligible yammering as “pretentious babble.” Exactly. Pretentious babble is what I hear in my head when I read Woolf. I know what you’re thinking: “But, but—the beauty, the lyricism, the subtle nuances, the, the-" Yeah, fine, whatever. Pretentious babble. It’s just me, alright? I readily admit my mind is neither subtle nor nuanced enough to appreciate the delicate English rose that is Virginia Woolf. (Okay, if you want the truth, I had mildly positive feelings about Woolf until a girlfriend dragged me to see The Hours and I spent the whole time swallowing my own sick).Why this apparently random and senseless attack on the grande dame of the English novel? Because I always had a preconception that Katherine Mansfield was in the same tradition of gauzy, water-coloured impressionism. But she’s not like that at all. She doesn’t do lyrical. Her prose is so astringent and vinegary you could pickle a fetus in it (or, you know, something inoffensive). And her irony: just withering—the kind of irony that shrivels everything it touches: men, women, children, and Germans. Especially Germans. According to impeccable scholarly sources (Wikipedia), In a German Pension is largely autobiographical. As a very young woman, Mansfield found herself scandalously pregnant and was packed off to a Bavarian spa by her mother for a ‘rest cure’ (i.e. childbirth on the hush-hush). In that light, the book reads like a clever girl’s literary revenge on her circumstances. I’ll show these stupid Germans. And fuck you, mom. Most of the pieces here are not really stories; they’re more like tart little sketches that capture a moment or a character while avoiding easy drama and cheap epiphanies. Some readers will be frustrated by the studied uneventfulness, but I’m okay with it. In my experience, a good 90% of life is just a bunch of nondescript stuff that won’t fit into a slick narrative, that isn’t even worthy of an anecdote. But clearly I need to get out more. If the book lacks finish—Mansfield later dismissed it as “immature”—you have to remember this is the work of a twenty-two year old woman writing in 1910. The date is startling because there’s hardly a line here that couldn’t have been written yesterday. Somehow this rebellious, messed-up Kiwi chick turned herself into a modernist before there was any modernism to write home about. Just goes to show you how far a little talent and a shitload of anger can carry a person.

  • Majenta
    2019-04-04 04:27

    I read this sometime in the last few years. It's an interesting collection. "Hoo-wih!" shouted the wind, shaking the window-sashes....very creative!

  • Paul
    2019-04-01 05:45

    An excellent set of short stories; brief with abrupt and unsettling endings and sharp, dry humour. These are early stories by Katherine Mansfield, written when she was barely over 20. She was recuperating from a miscarraige in Germany and from a short unpleasant marraige. The stories analyse the German middle class and their habits, prejudices and loves. They also look at the more difficult lives of the servants. Mansfield was in the vanguard of the modernist movement acquainted with Virginia Woolf and D H Lawrence and the like.There is a focus on the role of women as wives, mothers, lovers, put upon servants (the wives as well as the servants) and there is a sense of injustice and even rage underneath. Some are very funny, some tragic. One in particular has a jaw dropping ending (The Child-who-was-tired)that stays with you , the horror of it gradually seeping in.Mansfield was influenced by Chekov and became an increasingly good short story writer brfore her early death. Mansfield referred to these stories as immature as she developed her craft; but they are fresh, sharply humourous and do feel very modern.

  • El
    2019-03-24 07:41

    Katherine Mansfield died of tuberculosis at the age of 34. 34. I'm 34. That just puts a whole lot of shit in a whole lot of perspective.I was going through one of those phases where I'm reading a really big book at home but currently don't have anything tiny enough to carry with me on the bus to and from work, so I'm in a major funk, so I spent a good part of last night opening books from my shelves, reading a page or two, and then putting it back. Nothing was speaking to me.This slight little collection of Mansfield's writing spoke to me from the beginning. The stories in this collection were inspired by her time spend in Bavaria where she was sent to recuperate after a miscarriage. Mansfield was an observer of the best quality - she took what she saw and heard and applied it to her writing. And here are those stories.I fell in love with Mansfield when I read her Journals. Even in some of her random thoughts, I could tell she had a strength in her writing that made me want to know more about her. She was known as one of the modernists and was friendly with other modernist-types like D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf, and like so many other writers who died too fucking young, I wonder what she could have accomplished had she not contracted tuberculosis. She wrote about women in a way that most writers were, but more importantly she wrote about people in a way that not many people of her time were. These stories are satirical, cutting, and often leaves the reader feeling unsettled. To think that Mansfield was so young when this collection was published leaves me feeling pretty lazy.And unfortunately I couldn't stop reading this, so now it's back to the drawing board in regards to finding something else to read this week during my commute. It's no tuberculosis, but that's what I've got going on - reading funk. At least this little collection helped me remember there's good literature out there, sometimes even in small packages.

  • Kathleen
    2019-04-06 06:30

    “On the appointed day the married ladies sailed about the pension dressed like upholstered chairs, and the unmarried ladies like draped muslin dressing-table covers.”This collection of gently mocking tales is full of strangely accurate details like these. Have you ever walked past windows along the street and wondered about the dramas going on behind each one? This was like that, only with a witty and insightful storyteller to fill you in.My favorite was “A Birthday,” but I enjoyed them all. According to the introduction, Mansfield’s initial comment about the possible reissuing of this, her first book, was: “I can’t go foisting that kind of stuff on the public.” I’m certainly glad she changed her mind!

  • Panagiotis
    2019-04-08 08:35

    3,5/5 Κάπου στα μέσα της δεκαετίας του ’80, μου έκαναν δώρο το βιβλίο μιας συγγραφέως άγνωστης τότε σε μένα. Το βιβλίο ήταν οι «Κόρες του αείμνηστου συνταγματάρχη» της Κάθρην Μάνσφηλντ από τις Εκδόσεις Γράμματα σε μετάφραση Μαρίας Λαϊνά. Τότε εγώ μόλις είχα πρωτοανακαλύψει τον Στίβεν Κινγκ και διάβαζα μανιωδώς ό,τι δικό του υπήρχε. Το βιβλίο μπήκε στην άκρη και το έπιασα στα χέρια μου μετά από ενάμιση χρόνο. Διάβασα μια συγγραφέα με τέτοια οικονομία και καθαρότητα στη γραφή, που σπάνια συναντάς. Η διεισδυτικότητά της, τόσο στην ψυχή των ηρώων όσο και στην ανάλυση των καταστάσεων που βίωναν, μου φάνηκε πρωτοφανής. Δεν είναι τυχαίο ότι η Βιρτζίνια Γουλφ έγραψε στο ημερολόγιό της ότι η γραφή της Μάνσφηλντ ήταν η μόνη που ζήλεψε ποτέ!Η Κάθρην Μάνσφηλντ έζησε μια σύντομη αλλά ασυνήθιστη και περιπετειώδη ζωή. Γεννήθηκε στο Ουέλλιγκτον της Νέας Ζηλανδίας από μεγαλοαστούς γονείς. Η σχέση της με την καταπιεστική μητέρα της ήταν εξαρχής δύσκολη. Ολοκλήρωσε τις σπουδές της στο Λονδίνο και ταξίδεψε στην Ευρώπη. Αμφιφυλόφιλη —στο ημερολόγιό της αναφέρει δύο γυναίκες με τις οποίες είχε σχέσεις—, έμεινε έγκυος εκτός γάμου. Παντρεύτηκε σε πρώτο γάμο τον Τζορτζ Μπόουντεν, αλλά ο γάμος δεν κράτησε παρά ελάχιστες ώρες, μιας και τον εγκατέλειψε το ίδιο βράδυ. Αποβάλλει, και η μητέρα της την αναγκάζει να εγκαταλείψει το Λονδίνο για ένα σπα στη Γερμανία. Με την επιστροφή της στο Λονδίνο ξαναβρίσκει τον κύκλο των Μοντερνιστών και συνεχίζει τον μποέμικο τρόπο της ζωής της που είχε διακοπεί. Δεύτερος γάμος με τον Τζον Μίντλετον Μάρι μετά από μια θυελλώδη πολύχρονη σχέση. Το 1917 διαγνώστηκε η φυματίωση. Πέθανε στα τριάντα τέσσερά της χρόνια. Κληρονομιά της ογδόντα οκτώ διηγήματα-διαμάντια.Μετά το «Γκάρντεν πάρτι» από τις Εκδόσεις Σμίλη το 2006, μια ακόμα εξαιρετική μετάφραση της Μαρίας Λαϊνά, ήρθε η ώρα της «Γερμανικής πανσιόν». Το ντεμπούτο της Μάνσφηλντ είναι μια συλλογή δεκατριών διηγημάτων. Κυκλοφόρησε το 1911 από τον εκδοτικό οίκο του Στίβεν Σουίφτ και γνώρισε αμέσως επιτυχία. Είναι σπάνιο να συναντάς μια γυναικεία φωνή με τέτοια αίσθηση του χιούμορ, με τόσο άψογο κωμικό timing. Ένα χιούμορ μαύρο, σαρκαστικό, χρησιμοποιείται για να στιγματιστεί η ανισορροπία δύναμης στις σχέσεις των δύο φύλων, οι μικρές και μεγάλες κοινωνικές αδικίες.Τα δεκατρία διηγήματα χωρίζονται σε δυο κατηγορίες. Τα πρώτα θα μπορούσες να πεις ότι είναι σατιρικά πορτρέτα: η δυσκαμψία της υψηλής κοινωνίας και ο πιθηκισμός της μεσαίας τάξης της Γερμανίας αναδεικνύονται μέσα από τη δηλητηριώδη διακωμώδηση της ανάγκης για συνεχή επιβεβαίωση της δικής τους πολιτισμικής ανωτερότητας και υλικής ευμάρειας. Η Μάνσφηλντ παρατηρεί προσεκτικά τον υφέρποντα εθνικισμό. Τα σχόλια των Γερμανών βαρόνων για τους Άγγλους και τον τρόπο ζωής τους, τα σουφρωμένα χείλη αποδοκιμασίας προς την πρωταγωνίστρια και τις εγγλέζικες συνήθειές της, φαίνονται εφιαλτικά προφητικά. Τρία χρόνια μετά, οι δυο πολιτισμοί θα συγκρουστούν με έναν πρωτοφανή για την ανθρωπότητα τρόπο. Μια σύγκρουση που θα οδηγήσει στην πτώση της Αυστροουγγρικής Αυτοκρατορίας.Το βιβλίο, όσο προχωρά, γίνεται όλο και πιο μαύρο. Τα παιγνιώδη, σαρκαστικά διηγήματα, που σε έκαναν να γελάς με το έξυπνο χιούμορ τους, δίνουν τη θέση τους σε άλλα, σκοτεινά και ακανθώδη. Η πένα της Μάνσφηλντ γίνεται πιο κοφτερή, σχεδόν βίαιη. Πλέον κυριαρχεί ο υποβιβασμένος ρόλος της γυναίκας. Της γυναίκας συζύγου, κόρης, υπαλλήλου. Η ενδοοικογενειακή βία, ο συζυγικός βιασμός, η απόπειρα σεξουαλικής επίθεσης, η παιδική εργασία, ακόμα και η βία του τοκετού. Η συγγραφέας παρατηρεί τα πάντα με μεγεθυντικό φακό, δίνοντας στο φως μια καθημερινή πραγματικότητα που προκαλεί οργή. Γίνεται ιδιαίτερα καταγγελτική για τον αντρικό ζωώδη κόσμο στον οποίο ζει και τους κανόνες που αυτός έχει επιβάλλει. Ο θεσμός του γάμου και της οικογένειας φαντάζει σαν φυλακή, με τις γυναίκες να έχουν αποδεχθεί τον ρόλο που τους έχει οριστεί — μια γυναίκα μπορεί να αισθάνεται πλήρης μόνο αν τεκνοποιήσει. «Γέννηση», «Το κουρασμένο κορίτσι», «Η ταλάντωση του εκκρεμούς», «Ξέσπασμα», όλα τους στάζουν φρίκη. Σχεδόν όλα τα διηγήματα έχουν ένα τέλος απότομο, ανοιχτό, αφήνοντας τον αναγνώστη μετέωρο, με ένα αίσθημα ανησυχίας.Τα διηγήματα αυτής της συλλογής δεν έχουν το τέλειο φινίρισμα των διηγημάτων του «Γκάρντεν πάρτι» που εκδόθηκε έντεκα χρόνια μετά. Μοιάζουν με άκοπα διαμάντια. Αλλά το ακατέργαστο έχει τη δική του γοητεία. Ας μην ξεχνάμε ότι τα διαμάντια, όπως κι αν είναι, είναι παντοτινά. Τελειώνοντας το βιβλίο, δεν μπορείς να μην αναρωτηθείς τι θα μπορούσε να κάνει αυτή η συγγραφέας αν δεν την προλάβαινε ο θάνατος. Η κληρονομιά που μας άφησε είναι μικρή σε ποσότητα αλλά τόσο πολύτιμη.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-17 07:33

    When I belatedly realised that I had been neglecting New Zealand fiction on this blog, the first author I thought of to redress this neglect was Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923). She died very young of TB but she left behind some unforgettable short stories, of which In a German Pension was the first collection to be published. I read it in December 2003, and this (edited a little after this re-reading) is what I wrote in my journal at the time: Whoo!! This author has a barbed pen indeed! It’s a collection of satirical vignettes that Mansfield wrote aged just nineteen, and her dislike of the German bourgeoise is fierce… To read the rest of this review, please visit http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/201...

  • Cristina
    2019-04-10 04:34

    A la contraportada del meu llibre, editat per L’Avenç, hi diu: “aquestes històries, que integren el primer llibre publicat per l’ autora, l’any 1911, van ser inspirades per la seva estada en un balneari de Baviera, on la seva mare l’ havia enviat el 1909 després d’una sèrie de relacions sexuals escandaloses per a l’època que van desembocar en un matrimoni “inadequat” i en un embaràs extramatrimonial, que es va interrompre precisament durant la seva estada a la “pensió alemanya”.”Katherine Mansfield es converteix en una sagaç observadora dels clients que van desfilant per la pensió on s’allotja. Irònica i sarcàstica, la ploma de Mansfield critica el matrimoni, el classisme i el treball infantil, s’ interessa pels rols de gènere que comporten la submissió de la dona vers l’home, retrata els perjudicis que tan anglesos com alemanys tenen uns dels altres i s’ocupa dels egos d’actors, músics i escriptors que malgrat veure’s a si mateixos al marge d’aquest món no aconsegueixen escapar tampoc dels convencionalismes.Més informació biogràfica de l’autora i exemples textuals dels temes que tracta en aquest recull de relats, aquí: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/schola...

  • Leslie
    2019-04-04 03:52

    This collection is the third and last part of my Kindle edition of Selected Stories (the first 2 parts, "The Garden Party and Other Stories" & "Bliss and Other Stories", I read in 2013). I found this collection distinct from the other 2 in that the stories are almost chapters in a "slice of life" novel, describing the various characters & events that occur while the main character, an Englishwoman, is staying at this pension (sort of like a boarding house).

  • Erika Nerdypants
    2019-03-30 10:39

    Katherine Mansfield, a contemporary of Virginia Woolf, writes amazingly beautiful short stories. It is too too bad she couldn'thave written more before she died at the age of 35. "In a German Pension" focuses on a young English woman who takes the cure with a variety of German fellow patients whom she loathes. Written cynically, with the kind of wit where you can't help laughing, despite the dark subjects. Mistaken identity, cruel husbands, overworked servants. The banality of everyday life takes on colour in Mansfield's hands. This book ended all too soon. Published in 1911.

  • Griselda
    2019-04-09 05:42

    I read these stories just after leaving school and have only recently returned to them. Mansfield herself famously said that they were 'not good enough'; for me, they are perfect. With the brevity of Chekhov, the lyrical style of James Joyce, the cynical observation of Guy de Maupassant and the twist in the tail of Roald Dahl, they are all a reader could wish for.

  • Cathy
    2019-03-29 05:51

    Review to follow

  • Henry
    2019-04-03 11:48

    The first published work (1911) of an English author who died young, a collection of short stories, which Penguin Modern Classics describe as "Checkovian".Written when very young, 19-20 years old, whilst in Germany "recovering" from an unplanned pregnancy ending in miscarriage, many carry a bitter edge, and the introduction proclaims her as disowning these stories as unworthy as she moved on. She has too high standards.This was a slow burner, like a movie or play where everything goes slow and then it all switches, and you cannot believe how amazing it all suddenly got.The first few stories sent a few shudders and yawns through me, a few pen portraits of silly caricatures of middle and upper class Germans in this guest house offering the "cure". There was a Baron that ate nothing but lettuce, and a "Herr Rat" and Frau Doktor and similar crapola. I presume it was humour but it was nothing but ennui to me. Like some amateur dramatic attempt at The Cherry Orchard is how I would describe the experience. And then it all changed. A Birthday, The Child-who-was Tired, The Swing of the Pendulum, A Blaze, my word. No attempts at humour. For a writer I understand who went "experimental" later, these were searing, dark, savage, literal, explicated little stories covering issues such as child cruelty, infanticide, the narcissism of man and woman in relationships, attempted rape. A lot of truths rang hard for me, of how men and women can behave to each other. All a bit bitter and dark, but hey, I understand you Ms Mansfield. If you are young and dealing with what she was dealing with, i think you do anger and moral rectitude better than humour.Will go on to the others, that are supposed to be BETTER???

  • Merinde
    2019-04-10 10:31

    I only read her poetry and The Garden Party before this, was too surprised by the sudden Germans (really, the title should have given it away!) and wasn't immediately pulled in the way I was by her other collection. Who are these people? Why are there random German words scattered throughout the stories?! The plot; Katherine Mansfield is stuck with a great number of Germans, many of whom she dislikes (but not really, although there are a few in which she herself is the main character, many of these aren't even from the author's perspective)...but I really got into this by the third story. I'm not sure if that was entirely because of the surprise wearing off - I think later stories might actually be better. Either way, she was such a great (occasionally merciless, but you in the best way) observer. And yes, the wry humour helps, of course. There's this thing about her way of writing that feels like a great telescope zooming in on every single detail of a faraway person -- and sometimes you end up suddenly seeing the world through their eyes. Many of these stories are in some way very sharp observations about how women lived at the time. There's this quiet anger simmering underneath. And she was so young when she wrote this! And in 1910! There are some heavy themes in here and she really doesn't conceal anything. The story about marital rape really did surprise me. It might not have been explicit, but it definitely had a very "modern" feel to it.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-04-08 03:42

    (view spoiler)[Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  • StefanieFreigericht
    2019-04-14 06:55

    A great debut of an exceptional talent gone too soon - set in Germany„In a German Pension“ suggests itself to be read by those who found Mann’s Zauberberg too self-indulgent or just too long but liked the general plot (or just would appreciate another point of view) or to those who appreciated Elizabeth von Arnim’s view of on outsider on German society.Katherine Mansfield has her first-person narrator heroïne wittilly report on her visit to a German spa – vacation, „Kur“, told in 13 short stories, each on a different subject, linked by common location, narrator and recurring personnel. The status of this young married englishwoman as an onlooker who simply MUST compare between what would be common in England and in Germany results in a number of insightful considerations and apt remarks. So in story number 4, "Frau Fischer" remarks „Ah, that is so strange about you English. You do not seem to enjoy discussing the functions of the body. …How can we hope to understand anybody, knowing nothing of their stomachs?“ I would really enjoy re-reading the text in my doctor’s waiting room….Mostly, you find some inherent sarcasm as in the second story on class-aware behaviour, „The Baron“: „At that moment the postman …came in with the mail. He threw my letters into my milk pudding ….The manager of the pension came in with a little tray. A picture post card was deposited on it, and reverently bowing his head, the manager of the pension carried it to the Baron.Myself, I felt disappointed that there was not a salute of twenty-five guns.“There are less lighthearted stories, like "Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding“, talking gloomily about nuptial days and beds and philistine indignation. And for „At Lehmann’s“ one cannot help to take the reason into account why the author herself was in Germany. There certainly is more than just a general undertone about marriage, at least some men’s behaviour and motherhood, like when Elsa shouts out “ ‘You know ever since Fritz and I have been engaged, I share the desire to give everybody, to share everthing!‘‘How extremely dangerous‘, said I.“Katherine Mansfield (*1988 in Wellington; t 1923 in France of tuberculosis) is often considered to be New Zealand’s most famous writer. Interested (and fluent!) in French and German language, she permanently lived in Europe after 1908 where she fell in love, married another man and left him in the wedding night, returned to her lover by whom she had gotten pregnant. She went to ‘Kur’ in Bad Wörishofen. Her visit serves as the inspiration for this, her first book of short stories which was published in 1911. Mansfield lost the baby in Bad Wörishofen after having lifted a heavy trunk. I normally am not much into short stories – as soon as I am “in” they are over, but I do really appreciate Mansfield’s. The whole Setup in this debut has nothing to do with New Zealand but the author. Still, it is being considered to already display some of her later works’ characteristics, such as gender relations and social norms but also in some of the character types and symbols used – information from the last two paragraphs taken from http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/schola...https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katheri...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katheri...The short life, its turmoils and inglorious and early end do add a lot to the myth – but what an exceptional talent wasted all too soon.

  • Yoana
    2019-04-12 04:57

    Великолепни разкази, надхвърлиха очакването ми, създадено от бележката към сборника, в която се казва, че самата Менсфийлд ги е смятала за лоши ранни опити и никак не е искала да се преиздават. По-кратките разкази, които се развиват в пансиона от заглавието на сборника, наистина са по-слаби: престарана сатира, при това не особено добронамерена, насочена към Германия и немските нрави и светоглед, които са обрисувани като просташки, тиранични и лишени от изящество и въображение (чест прави на Менсфийлд, че дори в тежко финансово състояние не се е съгласила този сборник да се преиздаде по време на Първата световна война, когато ненавистта към германците в Англия е била добра почва за тях и е щяла да й донесе нелоша печалба). Това обаче са само 3-4 разказа от 13-те. Останалите са брилянтни, особено за 19-годишен автор, и без условности изследват теми като отношенията между съпрузи, властовите отношения в дома и общността, сексуалността и обвързаните с нея морални идеи, неподплатените интелектуални претенции, мястото на жените в началото на 20 век (явно и тогава е имало Учени жени, които са настоявали за връщане към женствения идеал и са презирали феминистката мисъл - the Advanced Lady ми напомни на Фани Попова-Мутафова), проявленията на насилието в сферата на дома и обществото, трансформацията на любовта от първите физически пориви към другия до рутината на брака и децата (кой знае защо всички немкини в разказите й имат поне по 5 деца, някои и 9). Откровено се говори за бременността и зачеването, за родителството и съпружеското уважение, за автономните сексуални желания на жените, дори за факта, че някои жени просто не обичат децата, като критиките са недвусмислени, без да натежават над повествованието, което за късия жанр си е цяло изкуство. Дори в този ранен сборник се вижда с просто око защо Менсфийлд е смятана за майката на съвременния къс разказ. Това ми е любимият жанр и за мен беше страхотно удоволствие да чета и виждам гъстотата на жанра, скицирането на пълнокръвни герои с няколко точно щриха, пълноводието на възможните смисли, течащи под наглед обикновени сюжети. Стилът й е елегантен и прецизен, образен, но без да се доближава до претрупаност или каквато и да било излишност. Най-много ми харесаха At Lehman's, The Child-Who-Was-Tired (който в известен смисъл се родее с вълшебните приказки на братя Грим) и последният, A Blaze. Продължавам с останалите й 5 сборника. 2014 Reading Challenge: A popular author's first book

  • Greg
    2019-03-31 03:51

    These stories, written in 1911, form the vanguard of Modernist short story writing. The stories themselves are fantastically real. The people do not conform to vague stereotypes, but instead are presented in semi-autobiographical form. In some cases, the characters are named vaguely to represent a character type, and in others, one can infer that this person is representative of life as it really is. The people are filled with angst, indelicacy, and other unhealthy psychological maladies. In short - it is life in a German pension in 1911. My two favorite stories in this collection are Frau Fischer ('Ah, that is so strange about you English. You do not seem to enjoy discussing the functions of the body. As well speak of a railway train and refuse to mention the engine. How can we hope to understand anybody, knowing nothing of their stomachs?') and The Modern Soul ("if one wishes to satisfy the desires of nature one must be strong enough to ignore the facts of nature"). This collection is readily consumable, and well worth the investment of time.

  • Melissa Somerton
    2019-04-14 06:46

    This book is hilarious. (In a good way.) I don't remember the quote exactly, I know I know, I should google it, but you go ahead if you want precision...anyway, Virgina Woolf said Katherine Mansfield's writing was the only contemporary writing that made her jealous. I understand why, as Mansfield's writing has a fair amount of the magic gift that Woolf had, plus a killer, dry sense of humour and these stories show case it so deliciously.Stories of wealthy, self-obsessed, hypochondriacs, cloistered up together in the country-side for their "cures" involving lots of cereal coffee, brisk walks and gossiping about fellow pensionnaires. Being part of the scenery herself, we get Mansfield's ironic and very funny input into the story as a participant, which, I think, perfectly showcases her sharp wit as well as a charming ability to poke fun at herself for being part of it all.Love it.

  • Kate
    2019-03-28 07:39

    "This first published collection of Katherine Mansfield's short stories is very different in tone from her later work."The author later tried to disown them as she considered them too youthfully immature. Nevertheless, there is a gay, boisterous, malicious quality about these impatient tilts at the German way of life in a Bavarian watering-place; and however unworthy the author later found these sketches, such characters as Frau Oberregierungsrat or the greedy Herr Rat or the snobbish Frau Doktor, have worn well, enlisting the reader's sympathy and laughter as often as does the rather prim narrator."~~back coverThis book is considered a classic, but I couldn't "get into it" at all. The characters all seemed like aliens from another planet, I couldn't fathom out what the narrator was doing there at all, much less the others. I read it, but I was heartily glad it is a slim volume and quickly over with.

  • David
    2019-04-10 07:47

    This is really a 4.5 book. It is not amazing but close to it. She wrote at the turn of the 20th century but I would prefer to classify her writing as pre-modernist. She writes with a modern distinctive voice. Her style is minimalist. Her dialogue is post-Victorian. Enlightening is the German view of the English as revealed in the conversations of the Germans in the Pension. I woujld also call her pre-feminist. A set of short stories that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Small stories that reveal so much about human nature. A worthy read.

  • Graziano
    2019-03-26 03:51

    THE BARONIn a German Pension contains thirteen short stories written by Katherine Mansfield after she visited Germany.The Baron (1910)A young lady is fascinated by a mysterious German baron.‘I imbibe nourishment in my room.’ (page 14) or Sic transit gloria German mundi (Thus passes the glory of the German’s world), or When you don’t know, you could imagine everything.************************************************************************

  • Calzean
    2019-03-28 11:54

    A set of short stories written around a young British woman who is in a clinic in Germany for a"cure". Based, and written, just before WWI this is a good read to see the values of the times. Funny in parts. The main difference in this book is the showing of the young lady as a strong, independent person who sees the other people with all their weaknesses.

  • Katriona
    2019-04-05 07:41

    These stories are so interesting, not just for the short stories and glimpses into peoples lives, but some are somewhat disturbing and uncomfortable, proving Mansfield's ability to understand people and characters.

  • Rahil
    2019-03-28 08:42

    Well, the two first short stories, were so boring that I wanted to stop reading, but the more I read , the more I liked the stories, until the end , the final three short stories ( The Advanced Lady , The Swing of the Pendulum, and A Blaze ) were the Climax <3 ! Gee *-* !

  • Ivan
    2019-04-09 10:57

    Lovely stories - some interconnected - elegant prose - evocative. I enjoyed reading these but probably won't remember them in six months - well, maybe one or two.