Sweet Days of Discipline by Fleur Jaeggy (tr. Tim Parks)

a nutshell: on the outside, a girl recalls her orderly upbringing at a Swiss boarding school; on the inside, she reveals herself shrieking with frustrated, distracted isolation

a line: “When you’re in boarding school you imagine how grand and fine the world is, and when you leave you’d sometimes like to hear the sound of the school bell again”

an image: the girl often portrays herself as a captive, describing her girlhood as “senile”, her childhood as “ancient

a thought: she often seems schooled in holding back from letting others – and us – in to her innermost feelings; “ja” she says when her largely absent father asks if she’s content, before writing: “something immobile about the things we say”

a fact: Jaeggy’s work has been translated into 26 languages

 

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