Die Schwerkraft der Verhältnisse
After spending some time in an asylum, Berta Schrei finally gets a visit from her husband, Wilhelm, on her 40th birthday. But Wilhelm, a returnee from the front, a chauffeur and „smiling representative of his nation“, is now having an affair with Berta’s friend Wilhelmine. In the course of her marriage, the introverted Berta had always tried in vain to keep herself and her two children safe from external influences. Before a tragedy took away her speech, she would tell her children: „A man, a word, and then you’re lost.“
Marianne Fritz’s debut novel, THE WEIGHT OF THINGS, came out in 1978 and then – undeservedly – sank into oblivion. In it, Fritz counters the petty-bourgeois rigidity of the post-War era with the protagonist’s eclectic literature of dreams, aspirations and memories. Although „not right in the head“, Berta is an autonomous heroine who overcomes the gravitational pull of her situation.
Das weise MütterchenBarbara Petritsch,
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