An English translation was made available in The protagonist Irene is a German-speaking woman in her mid-thirties who has just emigrated from Romania to West Germany and starts living in Berlin in the second half of the s. Traveling on One Leg explores the themes of exile, homeland, and identity, and the protagonist's unsuccessful acquaintance or relationship with three different men. Irene seeks to escape her traumatisation by creating a collage from newspaper clippings.
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Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Valentina Glajar Translation. The novel focuses on Irene's relationship with three men: Franz, whom she met in Romania and who was unwilling to respond to her love for him; Stefan, a friend of Franz's; and Thomas, a bisexual bookseller The protagonist of Herta Muller's Traveling on One Leg is Irene, a fragile woman born to a German family in Romania, who has recently emigrated from Romania to Germany.
The novel focuses on Irene's relationship with three men: Franz, whom she met in Romania and who was unwilling to respond to her love for him; Stefan, a friend of Franz's; and Thomas, a bisexual bookseller in perpetual crisis. Despite being born to a German family, Irene's place in Germany is as a recent emigre and an unassimilated Romanian German. She feels neither longing for Romania nor any comfort in her newly adopted Germany. Politically and socially isolated, Irene moves within the emotional orbit of these three men, while at the same time moving between West Berlin, Marburg, and Frankfurt, taking a dissonant journey within strange yet familiar territory.
Characterized by the same sense of profound isolation found in Muller's The Land of Green Plums see page 20 , Traveling on One Leg is a poignant exploration of exile, homeland, and identity. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published November 11th by Northwestern University Press first published More Details Original Title.
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Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Traveling on One Leg. Di conseguenza ogni volta riprendere il filo, spezzato, dei pensieri di Irene mi costava grande fatica e non appena avevo intuito qualcosa, dovevo subito interrompere. Su desideri ormai scaduti. Le osservazioni la rendevano incapace di agire. Quando Irene si imponeva di agire, non erano vere azioni. Rimanevano bloccate negli inizi.
Erano inizia destinati a fallire. Nemmeno i singoli gesti restavano integri. Quello di mantenere in testa una nostalgia piccola e dispersa, per non doverla ammettere.
Di tradire la nostalgia nel momento in cui saliva. E per soffocarla di costruire edifici di pensieri sopra i sentimenti. Sep 21, Christian Engler rated it it was amazing.
To say that Traveling on One Leg was a gloomy novel would definitely not be off the mark. But it is heavy in a good and honest way. It is rooted in the author's own life experiences and those of the Romanian citizens whom she depicts as also having transplanted themselves to other countries. Because truth is the foundation of this novel, it gives this work a heavy-hearted edge, that as a reader, is not all too easy to digest. The other Amazon reviewers, I agree, hit the mark with their assessmen To say that Traveling on One Leg was a gloomy novel would definitely not be off the mark.
The other Amazon reviewers, I agree, hit the mark with their assessments of this excellent novel, in essence, that it is extremely personal and that the evocative nature of loneness and disjointedness is thoroughly yet tangibly conveyed. More than a novel, the reader is almost transported into a nightmarish dream sequence, where life and living is the nightmare.
It is a novel that is poetically written in a hardened verse format. The language of poetry is short, trenchant, having to pack a wallop with the fewest words available to the author; the writer has to be extremely selective in her word choice, and Herta Muller is selective, evinced by this novel that does thrust a forceful literary punch. The story revolves around the female protagonist Irene, a transplant from the repressive country of Romania whose presidential figurehead is a ruthless, paranoid and self-absorbed dictator Ceausescu who espouses backward, socialist ideologies.
Anyone who lives under the unfortunate umbrella of his leadership don't have much hope of living a life of freedom, individuality, prosperity and a go-at-it-alone work ethic. Hence, people try to defect, and Irene is one of those who does. Yet, her homeland is not the enemy; it is the victim. Irene is just an offshoot of the country, a tree branch connected to the trunk the country.
The disease is communism, and it is affecting every fiber of society. But when she emigrates to Germany as Muller herself did in , she is not greeted into a land of golden opportunity. And although she is free from the harm that communism carries, she can not relate to her new homeland, for there is no pride, no connection, nothing.
She has her baggage-mentally and physically speaking-and her memories. And nothing else. She is like a newborn babe who has to start anew. However, the contaminated mother's milk of her homeland has infected her development in more ways than one. Being an isolated loner is just a tip of the iceberg. While in Germany, she befriends three men Franz, Stefan and Thomas, all of whom seem mentally crippled in their own right. And as misery loves company, she is drawn to them for the individuality.
And though their individuality is not one of an uplifting nature individuality Irene never encountered in Romania , she is attracted to that characteristic in them regardless. As people are not automatons, for they are flesh and blood and capable of joys, sorrows and growth, she sticks with them and by them.
But it is really pointless. She is like a ping pong ball going back and forth trying to find some measure of concreteness to firmly clasp onto. In a nutshell, it's hopeless with these three guys. She is in a void, a kind of limbo where all she can really do is reflect, remember and analyze: "If you would see the city from the inside, it would be different. Irene is a name of a faraway city, if you get close to it it becomes different.
It's one city if you go by and don't enter it, and another if you get moved by it and don't leave it. It's one city if you come to it for the first time and another if you leave it, never to return.
A different name for each. Irene escapes the daily nightmare of faux cultural, social and political assimilation when on page she states: "Neither dead nor alive It was almost joy. But that is next to impossible and only fleeting at best.
Traveling on One leg was a fascinating read whereby no core action marriage, careerism, childbirth , as taken by Irene, could be specifically defined.
The whole work, for me, seemed so dream-oriented. It was like a person was trying to keep the insanity that no one else except Irene could see or feel, at arm's length. I could almost visualize Irene waking up form a nightmare while living in Romania about what life in Germany could be like.
In any event, it is a hard book that one will not easily forget. It is dreary, and yet, it makes me so grateful for my life and what I have in it. Mission accomplished! Viaggiatori su una gamba sola e sull'altra perduti. Viaggiatori che arrivano troppo tardi. Sentimenti lontani dalla mia culla di protezione che il mondo, le circostanze, la Storia in una congiunzione di coincidenze astrali favorevoli mi hanno offerto..
Di un amore da amare non di notte, non per soldi, non di sfuggita. Una breccia nel muro che ti permette di mettere la gamba ad Est, ed una gamba ad Ovest.
L'ho fatto anche io, ovviamente. E mi sono sentita come se avessi una gamba sola. View all 3 comments. Dittature, paesi divisi e muri sono solo un pretesto per dire qualcos'altro.
Nobel Prize winner Herta MAfA¼ller to launch new book in Bucharest
Traveling on One Leg
Nobel Literature Prize Winner Herta Muller To Visit Bucharest Sept 27- 28