Sweet days of discipline

by Jaeggy, Fleur,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Unavailable 0 of 1 copy
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Location Collection Status
Sewickley Public Library Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Sewickley Public Library
Collection  Fiction
A novel about obsessive love and madness set in postwar Switzerland, Fleur Jaeggy's eerily beautiful novel begins innocently enough: "At fourteen I was a boarder in a school in the Appenzell." But there is nothing innocent here. With the off-handed remorselessness of a young Eve, the narrator describes her potentially lethal designs to win the affections of Fréderique, the apparently perfect new girl. In Tim Parks' consummate translation (with its "spare, haunting quality of a prose poem," TLS), Sweet Days of Discipline is a peerless, terrifying, and gorgeous work.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Set in a Swiss girls' boarding school, this slight Italian novel is a far cry from other examples of the lesbian inflected girls' school genre to which it belongs, although it contains several elements often found in them: discipline, regimentation, romanticism. These Jaeggy suffuses with her protagonist's own peculiar madness. Sensuality is present, too, but not sexuality, for Jaeggy's schoolgirl narrator rebuffs the adulation proffered by one girl to embark on the conquest of another. Her prize--the aloof, disdainful Frederique--eludes her as she becomes caught up in another infatuation with a fresh, charming extrovert. Long after their school days--"sweet days of discipline"--she meets Frederique again as their worlds begin to unravel and darkness and death abound. The clear, sharp prose of Tim Parks' translation holds the reader enthralled throughout. ~--Marie Kuda"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Jaeggy, a Swiss-born writer living in Italy, gives her narrator an abundance of memorable lines describing a boarding school set in idyllic Switzerland. Recalling the constant machinations and undercurrents there, she comments, ``A boarding school is like a harem.'' And she seems to be right: less time is spent studying than courting favored friends. The narrator is particularly intrigued by Frederique, a disdainful girl who claims that she has ``an old woman's hands,'' which the narrator hears as a compliment. But then a frivolous new student named Micheline--she has red hair and looks ``a bit like Gilda''--causes the narrator to abandon Frederique by promising that she will give a huge ball at which all the students will dance with her charming father. Tim Parks does an admirable job of keeping the ice-cold language flowing. But the novel leaves a sense that its story line is a metaphor for something else, although it is never completely clear what, and after a while this vague profundity starts to get tiring; the ambiguous ending does not improve matters. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Boarding schools -- Fiction.
Switzerland -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :New Directions Publishing Corporation,2019
Other Titles Beati anni del castigo.
Contributors Parks, Tim, translator.
Language English
Description 101 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN 0811229033
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