October 22, 2010

After our friend [a] has critically commented on my recent absence on the blog and very seriously demanded a more balanced female-male perspective within these pages*, and before [c], insatiable researcher that he is, posts yet another text on medievalism, I thought it high time to check in.

It is true – it has been some time now since my last post. During the last weeks, a new internship and very exciting career plans demanded a lot of my time and energy, and I was too tired and too tense to actively produce something, either text- or knit-wise. In the little spare time I have at the moment, I rather indulge in more passive and introvert activities and therefore have re-discovered a beloved, old friend that has been seriously neglected over the last months: readingPrinted pages and exciting stories are – at least for now – much more fascinating to me than yarn or knitting needles, and I could spend all my evenings and half of my nights cuddled up on my couch and immerse myself into stories of invented people and fictional lives. What better way could there be to start the wintery months of hibernation? ** There was one book in particular that has captured my attention recently. The newest novel by Austrian authoress Monika Helfer, Bevor ich schlafen kann [Before I’ll be able to sleep], tells the story of Josi, a very neurotic woman who worked as a psychiatrist at a Viennese hospital before she got hit by two life-changing events: breast cancer and her husband leaving her after twenty years of marriage in order to start a relationship with another man. Forced to invent herself anew by these misfortunes, Josi moves into a hotel and starts to dress in men’s suits. During a stay in Greece, she falls in love with a married man and befriends a very special twelve year old girl, Paula. She meets both of them again after her return to Vienna … Although the main theme of the novel may seem rather serious and sad, Monika Helfer managed to write a story that is cheerful, wise and full of hope. In an interview, she described her heroine as kind of a female Don Quixote with tragic as well as very comical traits. And although Josi’s pain has a leading role in the story, the focus is just as much on her search for love – which is why I highly recommend reading this book [for the time being, it is only available in German, though].

This novel enflamed my passion for reading again, and I really look forward to a beautiful winter full of books and stories  – and for the reassurance of you knitters: there actually is a very slowly growing project on my needles …

* He mentioned something about yin and yang, if I remember correctly …
** Except knitting, of course …

One Response to “Hibernation”

  1. buttonalia said

    Love reading your posts – do carry on because they always lead me to something else, and that is a wonderful thing!

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