Combining The Genres Of Fiction, Memoir, The Familiar Essay And Theoretical Speculation, The Rose Garden Forms An Unusual Synthesis The Protagonist And Narrator Is A Canadian Literary Scholar On Study Leave In Germany While There, Her Involvement With Her Books On The One Hand And A Love Relationship On The Other Creates A Surprising Blend Of Life And Fiction Her Readings In Classical European Texts Forefront The Question Of A Woman Reader S Response Her Involvement With Her Lover Makes Her Wonder Why There Is So Little Difference Between Life And Literature On The Level Of Experience This Is An Uncommon Book That Defies Traditional Rules Of Style And Genre And Provokes The Question Of What Meaning Literary Works Actually Have In Our Lives This is one of my favorite books of all time Very postmodern, it defies the idea of genre and deconstructs the idea of the novel Memoirs, essay, and theory are held together by a wisp of story line about a Canadian woman, a writer and scholar, who reminisces about a year spent in a relationship in Trier, Germany, reading Proust The garden as trope But if you care about a book, you will be reading it in a very different waythe book as best friendThe book that holds the world together 113 114 The writer just needs to write, and the reader, if she is a good reader, will find herself in it 116 The author, a Icelandic Canadian scholar and writer, Kristjana Gunnars wrote Night Train to Nykobing, a short novel that I read some time ago and loved for its lean, poetic prose, at once precise and elusive She is ridiculously talented, a novelist, scholar, poet, translator, and painter This slender novel takes place in 1992 in Germany during an academic research visit but what the narrator remembers of this recent trip is a rose garden where she read Proust and mused on her relationship with her lover, which is ending The man with whom I often argued, frequently laughed, and now was pointless and lazy with, who was my lover then We came away from Germany because there wasn t enough of the carnivalesque in our lives there He was a diplomat for him Germany was all diplomacy For me Germany was all serious study It was all tomes of books in libraries The novel is a meditation on love, loss, work, and the world of ideas identity, criticism, gender On love and from the paragraph directly following the one the previous quote was taken from Our steps became slower and slower We could hear a fly buzz A bicycle bump over some cobblestones A geranium stood crooked in a window terrace We were conscious how lovers pain one another The possibility that we have inflicted pain on each other because we are lovers That is what lovers do Gunnars peppers her narrative with quotes from literature and criticism but the effect is a kind of dialogue, as you d expect an academic might have with the books she is reading In other words, in character but unpretentious The narrator wonders if love only exists in novels She wrestles with the falseness of fiction, false because it has endings and life does not other than death.The novel unfolds in a mosaic of small vignettes, images, musings, quotations, and responses Many have the beauty or power of a prose poem I thought it is impossible to know what might be gained by staying or leaving Before he left, on our last night in Frankfurt, my lover looked at me and I saw the uncertainty there His dark eyes were neither sad nor happy, furious nor relieved They were all those at once He just sat and looked at me for a long time The city quieted down outside the window behind him The noise of automobiles and airplanes lessened I was trying to read his face as though it were a book It had been a good evening We were close The tension usually there, an expression I was used to, was gone I thought of the books I had been reading one last time My lover s face A line by Marcel Proust If there had been any happiness in it, it could not last The interactive life of the mind and of the body, of reason and emotion, of abstract ideas and physical reality play out in the rose garden while reading Monsieur Proust to the great pleasure of the reader.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Rose Garden (Fiction) book, this is one of the most wanted Kristjana Gunnars author readers around the world.
- 128 pages
- The Rose Garden (Fiction)
- Kristjana Gunnars
- 21 March 2019 Kristjana Gunnars