The Radio Family.pdf

The Radio Family.pdf


"The most intelligent and important woman writer our land has produced this century." (Thomas Bernhard)"

Ingeborg Bachmann's works include Darkness Spoken: The Collected Poems of Ingeborg Bachmann and Malina, among many others. Mike Mitchell has worked as a literary translator since 1995. His translations include Peter Handke's Till Day You Do Part or A Question of Light, Max Frisch's An Answer from the Silence, and Thomas Lehr's September, all published by Seagull Books.

Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973) is recognized as one of postwar German literature's most important novelists, poets, and playwrights. Influenced by Hans Weigel and the legendary literary circle Gruppe 47, Bachmann gained international renown for her poems, short stories, and novels, and won numerous awards for her work. Sadly, her life ended abruptly in October of 1973 when a lit cigarette burned down her apartment, causing Bachmann to suffer severe burns that would eventually prove fatal. The author was only forty-seven, and her tragic death left what could have been a long and lustrous writing career regretfully stunted. Nearly twenty years after her death, during an estate sale in Vienna, fifteen episodes of the Viennese radio drama The Radio Family were discovered. Remarkably, they happened to be written by Bachmann herself, who had been a writer on the show just after she graduated from university. The Radio Family was a popular soap opera broadcast in the American sector of occupied Vienna in the 1950s. The program focused on a middle-class Viennese family and their everyday life. Topics ranged from birthday parties and holiday plans to profiteering and currency fraud in the commercial sector and Austrians' involvement in the Nazi past. All fifteen scripts have now been compiled and masterfully translated, revealing an early and significant piece of Bachmann's body of work, while simultaneously offering a rare glimpse into Vienna's quotidian history.


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