Kajigal He wanted to touch the body of a naked woman. Germann his body of work is not large, this book makes it clear that Ungar deserves to be more well-known than he nugar. The book comes with an essay that is insightful on the writer as well as background to Czech literary scene in the s. After service in World War I, where he ungxr serious injuries on the Galician Fronthe passed the state examination and received his degree in Aug 28, knig rated it really liked it Shelves: Fran The Maimed by Hermann Ungar wonderfully terrifying descent into mytilados, perversity and the power of abuse. Product details Paperback Publisher: Everyone else probably said Kafka. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs.
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Well-written and captivating from the opening sentence, this novel tells the depressing story of Franz Polzer. Ungar leads us with a perfect narrative through a tale that offers no lasting happiness for the tortured soul of Franz or those around him. Thematically, we are dealing with repression, abuse, madness, homosexuality and sadism.
Read on, brave ones. The Maimed by Hermann Ungar wonderfully terrifying descent into paranoia, perversity and the power of abuse. After losing his mother and being repeatedly beaten at the hands of his father while his aunt held him down, Franz becomes a timid and withdrawn fellow fearing most everything and everyone.
Franz develops an intense aversion to her which is impressed upon his memory the part in her black hair contrasted with the whiteness of her scalp. He felt the same way in the presence of Frau Porges--like he was plunging endlessly into a terrible slit. Like open flesh, like the folds as the edge of a wound.
In galleries, he never wanted to see the pictures and statues of naked women. He wanted to touch the body of a naked woman. He felt it was the locus of impurity and a disgusting smell. He only saw Frau Porges during the day, when she was fully clothed.
Yet he was tormented by the thought of her fat, naked body. The one thing that saves Franz from his miserable existence is his success in his studies and the meeting of Karl Fanta, a rich boy who attends the Gymnasium with him. Ungar describes a homosexual relationship between Karl and Franz even from the beginning, "Karl Fanta saw that Polzer was unhappy, and often both boys embraced, kissing each other while they cried.
Interestingly, the relationship between Franz and Karl is the only relationship, at least for Franz, where physical intimacy is an expression of love not a an act of compliance stemming from fear. Of course, in true Eastern European style, any happiness derived from his relationship with Karl is thwarted. Karl becomes ill and is sent away for treatment. He is frightened of her and repulsed by her. He consistently obsesses over her fat and the part in her black hair that reminds him of his aunt.
Even though he avoids her, she manipulates him into spending more time with her as well as sleeping with her which turns out to be a humiliating and disgusting experience: The breasts beneath her loose blouse were already touching his body. He lifted his hands to push her away, but his fingers only grasped th heavy mass of flesh. That evening he was able to do it. She had put out the light and was sleeping beside him.
Her arm was around his shoulders. That night Franz Polzer was seized by a great, incomprehensible and horrible thought. It happened suddenly. The white line made by the part in her hair shimmered palely. Her body seemed soft and dark He longed for this body, and suddenly her remembered it was the body of his sister.
He knew the thought had no foundation. He had never had a sister. But the idea was too powerful and immediate for him to dispel it. Franz Polzer rose and wrapped himself in his coat. He sat down at the table. It was as though he had slept with his sister. As his relationship with Frau Porges progresses, it becomes more humiliating. Now a paraplegic and rotting away from some unknown disease, he has become a hostile and paranoid man He confides in only in Franz and the weight of this is unpleasant and intimidating for Franz.
But because of his feelings and loyalty to Karl, Franz never questions or objects. He does what is asked of him. At one point, Karl becomes so verbally abusive to his wife and son that the son, also named Franz, confides in Polzer providing another sexually confusing moment: Polzer pulled him close.
Mother thinks you could help us. The boy looked at Franz Polzer. Polzer avoided his eyes. It was a face he had seen before. Dora was right. Forgotten similarities filled Polzer with consternation and anguish. Franz Fanta said: "Do you love me, Polzer?
An infusion of oppression and desperation leads us from page to page, hoping that relief is soon to be found. But each of the characters in this book is truly tragic. Polzer is the ultimate victim--abuse brought on by others and fueled by his own defense mechanisms. But the others are sorrowful victims of their own self-imposed cages grasping for quickest way to feel powerful in hopes of garnering even the smallest moment of happiness.
Abuse begets abuse and it was never more true than in this twisted and tragic tale of Franz Polzer. What adds to this tragedy, are the eerily exquisite drawings by Pavel Rut. These illustrations merely enhance the sorrowful aesthetic. Hermann Ungar should be better known than he is and thanks to Twisted Spoon Press for putting this novel back in print.