City of Angels: or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud / A Novel

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In this character, Wolf has given us a splendid depiction of a middle-aged woman, one who may pine for a failed political system and a lost country, but not for her lost youth. Unfortunately, other sights — the Hearst Castle, the museum at the Los Alamos research facility where the atomic bomb was developed and Las Vegas — get short shrift despite their latent symbolic possibilities. Again and again, the German narrator bumps into the problem of language: the impossibility of finding a word having the exact meaning in one language that it has in another, and the resultant loss of understanding.

Searles lets us hear it in English. This reviewer is grateful to both of them. Patricia Schultheis has had several essays and nearly two dozen short stories published in national and international literary journals.

She is a voting member of the National Book Critics Circle. Support the Independent by purchasing this title via our affliate links: Amazon. In acknowledging straightforwardly how many compromises can be necessary, Wolf manages to be quite disarming; on the other hand, the very care with which she presents her story, and the distance she sets it at make it all feel just a bit too tidy and neat.

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This is not apologist fiction, but it feels too polished and thought-through to seem completely convincing. For American readers, LA will also not ring entirely true, even giving the foreigner the benefit of the doubt -- though it can be amusing to see how she presents and explains some of her LA experiences.


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  2. or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud / A Novel.
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There is a great deal of interest here, and Wolf narrates her story with an old hand's ease. The issues are well-handled, without pretending there might be easy answers -- but this is also an escapist work, Wolf removed from the admittedly already lost GDR and the new, reunified German world and the accusations she is confronted with there , and able to avoid facing much truly head on.

Speak, Memory: Christa Wolf in Los Angeles - Los Angeles Review of Books

Worthwhile, if not entirely satisfying. Orthofer , 3 August Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs. Contents: Main. City of Angels - US.

City of Angels - UK. City of Angels - Canada. City of Angels - India. Ville des anges - France.

Christa Wolf relives a public scandal in the novel ‘City of Angels’

Stadt der Engel - Deutschland. The LA Times. It partly explains why Wolf, while welcoming the collapse of the regime, remained adamantly opposed to unification with West Germany. Yet none of her experiences under the dictatorship prepared her for the moment when she perused her Akten — her files — in the former Stasi headquarters in Berlin. The way I would have done a little later. You wanted the authorities to love you too.

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It reads less like a novel than a pastiche of memory fragments, observations, dreams and visions. Nightmares about venomous snakes and voracious goats segue into visitations from an African-American guardian angel named Angelina and allusions to the overcoat of Sigmund Freud, metaphorically worn as a mantle of protection from psychological stress.

Ever wise and soothing, the friend urges Wolf to find meaning in her role as an artist.