O! what Man will do fore a Rime!

Self-proclaimed bibliophile, culture nut and nerdfighter. English lit. and linguistics geek. Future career in publishing.

In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield

In a German Pension - Katherine Mansfield, Linda Grant

Frau Brechenmacher sat up stiffly. The music ceased, and the dancers took their places again at the tables.

 

Herr Brechenmacher alone remained standing -- he held in his hands a big silver coffee-pot. Everybody laughed at his speech, except the Frau; everybody roared at his grimaces, and at the way he carried the coffee-pot to the bridal pair, as if it were a baby he was holding.

...

Frau Brechenmacher did not think it funny. She stared round at the laughing faces, and suddenly they all seemed strange to her. She wanted to go home and never come out again. She imagined that all these people were laughing at her, more people than there were in the room even -- all laughing at her because they were so much stronger than she was.

- Excerpt from "Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding"

p. 32-33

 

 

Note: The review below was taken directly from my Goodreads account.

 

Read "Germans at Meat", "Frau Fischer" and "The Modern Soul" for class.

In A German Pension is a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories that Mansfield wrote while staying in a guesthouse in Bavaria before World War I. The stories focus mainly on an unnamed Englishwoman narrator and a few other German women as third-person narrators.

I really like the majority of these stories and the topics Mansfield tackles. She does a great job in imbuing the stories with topics that were generally ignored, such as rape and infanticide, and with topics that show the progression and hypocrisy of the times, like a man imagining he's suffering more than his wife currently giving birth and ladies outright stating the need for women to have babies in order to be complete, all the while expressing the modern thought existing in the narrator's mind.

Favourite stories are: "Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding", "The Modern Soul", "The Child-Who-Was-Tired", "The Swing of the Pendulum" and "A Blaze".

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