Fleur Jaeggy

Fleur Jaeggy (1940– ) was born in Zurich, Switzerland and lives in Milano, Italy. In addition to her own work, which has been acclaimed as “small scale, intense, and impecably focused,” (The New Yorker) and “addictive” (Kirkus), 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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Sweet Days of Discipline

Fiction by Fleur Jaeggy

Translated from the Italian by Tim Parks

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 offhanded remorselessness of a young Eve, the narrator describes her potentially lethal designs to win the affections of Frédérique, the apparently perfect new girl. In Tim Parks’s consummate translation with its “spare, haunting quality of a prose poem” (TLS), Sweet Days of Discipline is a peerless, terrifying, and gorgeous work.…
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I Am the Brother of XX

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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These Possible Lives

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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S. S. Proleterka

by Fleur Jaeggy

Translated from the Italian 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

by Fleur Jaeggy

Translated from the Italian 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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Clocking in at a sharp 101 pages, you’re finished before you can lodge a complaint, its contents going down as smoothly as a martini served in an ice-cold glass.
—Kaitlin Phillips, 4Columns
Jaeggy seems to have crushed a glass in her palm and tweezed out a few shards for the page. Her prose is indeed extraordinary–it is also frightening.
The Rumpus
Enjoy these short, meditative pieces slowly; Jaeggy is addictive.
Kirkus Reviews
Reading Jaeggy 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
Like all great books, it’s really like nothing else. It’s like itself.
—Gabe Habash, Publishers Weekly
She has the enviablest glance for people and things, she harbors a mixture of distracted levity and authoritative wisdom.
—Ingeborg Bachmann
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: 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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