Fleur Jaeggy

Fleur Jaeggy (1940– ) was born in Zurich, Switzerland and lives in Milano, Italy. In addition to her own work, she has translated the works of Marcel Schwob and Thomas de Quincey into Italian as well as written texts on them and Keats. The London Times Literary Supplement named Jaeggy’s S.S.Proleterka a Best Book of the Year: and her Sweet Days of Discipline won the Premio Bagutta as well as the Premio Speciale Rapallo.

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These Possible Lives

Nonfiction by Fleur Jaeggy

Translated from the Italian by Minna Zallman Proctor

In these strange and hypnotic pieces—brief in a way a razor’s slice is brief—on three writers, Fleur Jaeggy, a renowned stylist of hyperbrevity in fiction, proves herself an even more concise master of the essay form. In De Quincey’s early nineteenth-century world we hear of the habits of writers: Charles Lamb “spoke of ‘Lilliputian rabbits’ when eating frog fricassee,” Henry Fuseli “ate a diet of raw meat in order to obtain splendid dreams,” “Hazlitt was perceptive about musculature and boxers,” and “Wordsworth used a buttery knife to cut the pages of a first-edition Burke.…
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I Am the Brother of XX

Fiction by Fleur Jaeggy

Translated from the Italian by Gini Alhadeff

Fleur Jaeggy is often noted for her terse and telegraphic style, which brews up a haunting paradox: despite a zero-at-the-bone baseline, her fiction is intensely moving. As April Bernard commented in Newsday, how work “could be so chilly and so passionate at the same time is a puzzle, but that icy-hot quality is only one of its distinctions.” Here, in her newest collection, I Am the Brother of XX —whether the stories involve famous writers (Calvino, Ingeborg Bachmann, Joseph Brodsky) or baronesses, thirteenth-century visionaries or tormented siblings raised in elite Swiss boarding schools—Jaeggy contrives to somehow stealthily possess your mind.…
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S. S. Proleterka

Fiction by Fleur Jaeggy

Translated by Alastair McEwen

Our fifteen-year-old protagonist and her distant, financially ruined, yet somehow beloved father, Johannes, take a cruise together to Greece on the SS Proleterka. With a strange telescopic perspective, narrated from the day she suddenly decides she would like to receive her father’s ashes, our heroine recounts her youth. Her remarried mother, cold and far away, allowed the father only rare visits with the child who was stashed away with relatives or at a school for girls.…
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Last Vanities

Fiction by Fleur Jaeggy

Translated by Tim Parks

“Reading time is approximately four hours. Remembering time, as for its author, the rest of one’s life,” said Joseph Brodsky of Fleur Jaeggy’s novel, Sweet Days of Discipline. Now Jaeggy has come up with seven stories, each at some deep level in dark complicity with the others, all as terse and spare as if etched with a steel tip. A brooding atmosphere of horror, a disturbing and subversive propensity for delirium haunts the violent gestures and chilly irony of these tales.…
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Sweet Days of Discipline

Fiction by Fleur Jaeggy

Translated from the Italian by Tim Parks

Set in postwar Switzerland, Fleur Jaeggy’s eerily beautiful novel begins simply and innocently enough: “At fourteen I was a boarder in a school in the Appenzell.” But there is nothing truly simple or innocent here. With the off-handed knowingness of a remorseless young Eve, the narrator describes life as a captive of the school and her designs to win the affections of the apparently perfect new girl, Fréderique. As she broods over her schemes as well as on the nature of control and madness, the novel gathers a suspended, unsettling energy.…
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Swiss-Italian Jaeggy, a master of the short form, again creates something unforgettable with these otherworldly stories…an intensely beautiful and original collection that bristles with a strange and often disturbing magic.

—Claire Kohda Hazelton, The Guardian

This novella is filled with conflicted, often dark, emotion. The tension lies not so much in what happens, as in the sombre frostiness of the prose… A tale—captured so deftly in this translation by Tim Parks—of stark, poetic beauty.

roughghosts

This book is twisted and hypnotizing and, somehow, downright lovely. Reading it is not unlike diving naked and headlong into a bramble of black rosebushes, so intrigued you are by their beauty: it’s a swift, prickly undertaking, and you emerge the other end bloodied all over.

—Daniel Johnson, the Paris Review

Enjoy these short, meditative pieces slowly; Jaeggy is addictive.

—Kirkus Review

Like all great books, it’s really like nothing else. It’s like itself.

—Gabe Habash, Publishers Weekly

Fleur Jaeggy’s pen is an engraver’s needle depicting roots, twigs, and branches of the tree of madness—extraordinary.

—Joseph Brodsky

A wonderful, brilliant, savage writer.

—Susan Sontag

She has the enviable rst glance for people and things, she harbors a mixture of distracted levity and authoritative wisdom.

—Ingeborg Bachmann

Terse beauties falling on the reader like a chaste gray rain.

—Robert Boyers, The New Republic

Small-scale, intense, and impeccably focused.

The New Yorker

Dipped in the blue ink of adolescence, Fleur Jaeggy’s pen is an engraver’s needle depicting roots, twigs, and branches of the tree of madness, growing in the splendid isolation of the small Swiss garden of knowledge into full leaf until it obscures every perspective. Extraordinary prose. Reading time is approximately four hours. Remembering time, as for its author: the rest of one’s life.

—Joseph Brodsky

Fleur Jaeggy is a wonderful, brilliant, savage writer. I admire her very much.

—Susan Sontag
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