Friday, 10 August 2018

Bookish Déjà-Vu: My Heart by Else Lasker-Schüler

There is no way round it, that an author’s inspiration is fuelled by all kinds of experience, be it personal, from hearsay or from books. When setting out to tell a story, every writer has to decide whether to turn this input into the most imaginative fiction or to just put it into words staying as true to individual reality as possible. Usually, the result is something between the two. The epistolary novel My Heart by Else Lasker-Schüler that I picked as a bookish déjà vu is firmly anchored in the now lost world of Bohemian circles frequenting the Café des Westens in Berlin only a few years before World War I, but ever again the eccentric author prefers to hide her grief over another failed marriage, her constant struggles to make ends meet and her trivial love affairs in expressionist, if not fairy-tale-like imagery that adds humour to melancholy.
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