SUMMARY â My First Wife


My First Wife is Jakob Wassermann's intense powerful account of a marriage and its ruinous collapse translated by the award winning translator of Alone in Berlin Michael Hofmann It is the story of Alexander Herzog a young writer who goes to Vienna to escape his debts and a failed love affair There he is pursued by book loving Ganna giddy girlish clumsy eccentric and wild Dazzled and unnerved by her devotion to him and attracted to the large dowry offered by her wealthy father he thinks h. Excerpt from the afterwordMy first wife is the true account of Jakob Wesserman's first marriage to Julie Speyer of Vienna with almost nothing omitted or changedWhen reading this I was unaware of this truth this fact makes the story compelling of a well written story Uncomplicated writing where the words flow of the age into an enjoyable effervescent story With the stories humble content of only a few cast of characters one man and two women he has captured my attention and hooked me right from the first paragraphA credit to Penguin publishers for bringing this to my attention for review and re printing this with a great translation from the German language in a wonderful uality presentation in the printing and binding This a story for any era written in the 1920′s to 1930′s that holds no Lessening of its great reading due to ageThe first wife is a character who you would wish to have a very uneventful end due to her entrapment lies and trickery The end product of reading this could be the putting off of marriage for many readers who are wanting to be married they may reconsider due to the whole commitment and the legalities that the main protagonist found himself lost inI would have not expected to like this story so much right to the end Great writing and he connects with the reader a cut above many modern writingsA very human tragedy spilling out on the pages that in the end was a tale from the authors real life that holds close to his heart and gives the story that extra life to itDue to the authors death there was never a continuation of the main protagonists life I would have loved to see how his future panned out in the pursuit of love and happinessThis was written in the days of Freud being alive and writing and I sense a physiological approach to the writing here with uestions on relationships trust and love and success and failure as a writer or any man in Vienna of that timeOne uestion I leave with the possible reader of this story isDid Alexandre tame the wild GannaThere in the valley that had become home to us we were allowed to forget the world in flames We weren't mocking the war; rather it became subsumed in nature When the guns' thunder boomed up to us out of the south it sounded like God's anger about a humanity that vandalized his creation; the glaciated peaks were like bolted green gates at which human dying stopped Everything belonged to the two of us the forests the lakes the bridges the white footpaths There were starlit evenings when the trembling firmament sprinkled golden flakes on the bed of our love and rainy nights that seemed they must uench all the flaring hatred of the worldAll together they would make up an uninterrupted conversation going over many days Put on record they would represent the exhausting and perspective less efforts of two people to get something from one another that it wasn't in the others power to give One seeks to tear a band; the other seeing belatedly how cracked and holey it is wants to patch it One wants to leave the cold hearth; the other claims the fire is still burning a holy flame to extinguish which were an act of godliness One is coming to terms with the past; the other won't accept the reckoning and is whimpering for credit Conversations as old as the world as sterile as pebbles as agonizing as toothache Here they were given a new point and terrible amplitude by Ganna's character and methods Caught in this schism she was ever dissatisfied excitable disputatious confused bewildered Humanity where she was concerned was divided into two camps there were her supporters and her opponents And in the middle stood this light some guides to fortune and triumphthe lawyers Of course that was only true of those lawyers she had taken on; those of the other side were the dregs of mankind Not a single chink of light A hopeless tangle of proposals measures discussions euphemisms accusations conjectures cunning distortions coarseness and hair splitting The lawyers inundate each other with letters inundate their clients with letters inundate each other with letters Typewriters clatter telegraphs click telephones bleat messengers run each of the parties involved is raking it in all except the one that has to pay for such endeavor the costs of the materials and the nervous strain with his own dearly acuired money his tranuility his blood and his life and who gets nothing return except paperAnd always at the back of everything Ganna unmoved immovable and brazen the deceptive perhaps always on her lips the rigid No in her heart the goddess of discord like the grim Ate misconceived daughter of Zeus Undaunted and indefatigable she shores up her mad world which has so surprisingly many points of contact with the real world and at the same time bears the stigma of doomReview also


My First WifeE intensity and drama is brought to English readers in a powerful new translation by Michael HofmannReviews'Like something out of Chekhov it's all there the ennui the preening etiuette the intellectual posturing painfully heartfelt My First Wife is a devastating indictment of the choices we make out of convenience against our hearts and instincts and the tragedies that ensue' Independent 'You won't find a agonising fascinating literary account of a marriage hitting the rocks' Mail Online. 35 A dark biographical novel about Wassermann's first marriage He has fictionalized his characters Wassermann is Alexander Herzog a writer who marries Ganna simply for the partnership and money He soon realizes what a disaster this marriage is and spends the rest of the novel trying to leave the marriage None of the characters are the least bit likable you feel pity for no one and feel that in the end they get what they deserve A curious book

Jakob Wassermann µ 1 SUMMARY

SUMMARY â My First Wife ☆ My First Wife is Jakob Wassermann's intense powerful account of a marriage and its ruinous collapse translated by the award winning translator of Alone in Berlin Michael Hofmann It is the story of Alexander Herzog a young writer who goes to Vienna to escape his debts and a failed love affair There he is pursued by book loving GannE can mould Ganna into what he wants But no one can control her troubling passions As their marriage starts to self destruct Herzog will discover that Ganna has resources and determination of which he had no idea and that he can never escape herPosthumously published in 1934 and based on the author Jakob Wassermann's own ruinous marriage My First Wife bears the unmistakable aura of true and bitter experience It is a tragic masterpiece that unfolds in shocking detail Now this story of rar. You must respect what fate has in store for you It is the bitterest of disappointments when a friend fails to keep what he promised to friendship because he promised it also to the world Jakob Wassermannuite possibly one of the shrillest and most misogynistic novels I've ever read this book is Mr Wassermann's autobiographical tale depicting his torrid and self destructive marriage with the ever annoying and childlike Ganna In the guise of Alexander Herzog the reader is invited to feel sorry for this man who married a woman who was at once manic depressive and one minute a talented writer then a hideous harridan for all to behold Ganna is seen as all too controlling and is given every horrible female stereotype imaginable femme fatale harping shrieking and talented but the whole notion that she cannot live without Alexander he does marry her for her dowry is what made the novel one of the most masochistic reading experiences I've had and in the most awful way Only another woman the saintly Bettina can Alexander finally escape the wicked Gannait makes you think why the hell did he even marry this woman