Modern Swiss literature often seems to revolve around business flights, five-star hotels, misdemeanours among C-suite executives and what to summarise crudely you might dismiss as first-world problems.
On his first evening he goes down to Montagnola for dinner at the Belle Vue and meets there on the terrace an older gentleman, a curmudgeonly type who is still working through the tragic loss of his wife. Clarin likes to see himself as a bit of a rake, cynical about the chances of any marriage lasting longer than it takes for the bridal bouquet to wilt. Until the next night, when Clarin's hangover has made for a lost day of work and accompanying dissatisfaction and resentment at the older man's invasion of his time. He can read Clarin like an open book. However this is a reversal of the Faustian myth, even if the conversations remind me of the meeting between Leverkühn and Lucifer, the deal is quite a different one. A true circle, the end takes us to the beginning again.
Ganz einfach, sonst würde ich üble Gewaltphantasien gegen den armen Kerl von Autor entwickeln.
But the most interesting part was when our teacher, Mrs. H., said we should only read 1/3 of the book, aka the first chapter. I knew her well enough to know that there was a reason for NOT to finish the novel during summer holidays so she probably meant it as an experiment based on the content of the novel. One sunny day I decided to start reading the novel. I put on shorts and a bikini top, prepared my iced tea, some fruits, and water for my reading arrangement on the balcony, lay on the sunlounger and began the most exciting ride of my life! So there he was, the womanizing Clarin, sitting on the terrace of the Bellavista Hotel drinking and reminiscing about his life and success with women. Honestly, since I read the book years ago (2006/7isha little sooner?), I dont exactly remember what they were talking about. Loos tells the story of a woman who got struck by lightning while she was in the park because of the metal underwire in her bra. I noticed it but Clarin didnt. I needed to know what was going on! Suffice to say I finished the novel immediately and did not wait for the beginning of the semester and the permission of my teacher. We started the new semester and I think three others had finished the book as well. It was fun to see the experience of reading the last two chapters in my classmates. A girl in my class hated the book because she hated Clarin. He was an interesting character, yes, and like every person he had good qualities. This was one of the most interesting experiences with a novel Ive ever had and the stark difference between the beginning and the end, the feelings I had, was so strong I remember it until today. I dont know if the book is really that good. I dont know if Id like it now. What I DO know is that I liked it then and it has remained one of the most fascinating reading experiences Ive ever had and Id love to see other people go through the same turmoil and tell me their stories of reading Am Hang.
Although hes supposed to have left, and Im just hearing crickets and the distant barking of dogs in the night." After this dramatic introduction by the narrator - womanizer mid-thirties Swiss divorce lawyer Thomas Clarin - he starts recounting how he drove to his mountain villa for a long weekend to write a paper on Swiss divorce law history, only to to go to a nearby famed restaurant terrace and due to its being busy sit at a table with an older, powerfully built 50's man, who at first ignores him after giving Clarin tacit permission to sit at his table; however after Clarin, outgoing, sociable, charming as his many conquests and "theory of dating" show, introduces himself, the older man starts paying attention and tells him his name Loos as they start discussing stuff: "Well, first, as I hinted, the discussion was all God and the world, but then we gradually got more personal, more intimate, you could say. He was unquestionably disturbed, from time to time almost unbalancedthen completely normal again and impressively sharp-minded, especially when it came to proving how awful the present age is, how unbearable the worldthe only thing he valued was his wife, his happy marriage" While the first part with its sort of "angels on the pinhead" discussion read like the ruminations of prosperous white males from prosperous countries who never felt real deprivation and i started being a bit "meh, these guys should have been born in a poor country and see if they would have their smug talk then..." but slowly the book started going into the past of both Clarin and Loos and then it accelerated to an even higher level, by the last third becoming just a masterpiece of misdirection and twists and turns.
Markus Werner (December 27, 1944 in Eschlikon, canton of Thurgau) was a German-speaking Swiss writer, the author of Zündels Abgang (Zündels Departure). In 1948 the family moved to Thayngen (canton of Schaffhausen) where Werner finished school and passed the general qualification for university entrance in 1965. In 1974 he completed a doctorate on Max Frisch, whose writing has an important influence on Werner. About Max Frischs work) Zündels Abgang, novel, 1984, ISBN 3-7017-1385-5 (Zündels Departure) Froschnacht, novel, 1985, ISBN 3-7017-0424-4, ISBN 3-423-11250-6 (literally: Frog night) Die kalte Schulter, novel, 1989, ISBN 3-423-11672-2 (literally: The cold shoulder) Bis bald, novel, 1992, ISBN 3-7017-0758-8, ISBN 3-423-12112-2 (2005/2006 in the book series Schweizer Bibliothek) (literally: Good bye) Festland, novel, 1996, ISBN 3-7017-0969-6, ISBN 3-423-12529-2 (literally: Mainland) Der ägyptische Heinrich, novel, 1999, ISBN 3-7017-1174-7, ISBN 3-423-12901-8 (literally: The Egyptian Heinrich) Am Hang, novel, 2004, ISBN 3-10-091066-4 (literally: Near the cliff)