Ingeborg Bachmann: Credit: Heinz Bachmann

Ingeborg Bachmann

Ingeborg Bachmann (1926–1973) is widely regarded as one of the greatest German-language writers of the twentieth century. Her poems, plays, stories, and only finished novel, Malina, have been championed by Paul Celan, Hannah Arendt, Günter Grass, Peter Handke, Thomas Bernhard, Christa Wolf, and Elfriede Jelinek.


Fiction by Ingeborg Bachmann

Translated by Philip Boehm

With a contribution by Rachel Kushner

Malina invites the reader on a linguistic journey into a world stretched to the very limits of language with Wittgensteinian zeal and Joycean inventiveness, where Ingeborg Bachmann ventriloquizes—and in the process demolishes— Proust, Musil, and Balzac, while filtering everything through her own utterly singular idiom. Since its original publication in 1971, Malina remains, quite simply, unlike anything else; it’s a masterpiece. Malina uses the intertwined lives of three characters to explore the roots of society’s breakdown that led to fascism, and in Bachmann’s own words, “it doesn’t start with the first bombs that are dropped; it doesn’t start with the terror that can be written about in every newspaper.…
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An existential portrait, a work of desperate obsession, a proto-feminist classic, and one of the most jagged renderings of female consciousness European literature has produced.

The Nation

Bachmann’s moral seriousness, modernist and primeval, is nowhere in doubt, nor is her terror: it rides her language (burning and cooling, by turns) into strange dialectical valleys, up Alpine peaks, into labyrinthine Viennese apartments and sardonic lakeside villas.


Malina will always be in style.

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