Literature - Ubiquitous in the Alps
We love to read! In this section we will introduce you on a monthly basis to different novels, criminal stories, fairy tales, short stories or any other literaturary style, which take place or were written in the Alps. We will try to give you a broad overview of renown authors as well as newcomers and contemporary writers. And we will mention which of these books are suitable as a companion to your next trip to the Alps.
MystifikationenFrischmuth, Barbara: Die Mystifikationen der Sophie Silber.
The title means translated: The Mystification of Sophie Silber, it was published in 1976, and is the first part of a trilogy.
The setting of this book is situated in the mystical world: within the fairy tales and legends of Austria. The main protagonists include fairies, mermen, elves, nixies and king of the Alps. And of course the mere mortals which are called "Enterische" in the book. The novel takes place in Austrai, Styria, th Salzkammergut, the lake district. The description of the flowers, perfumes and landscapes appears even on cool winter evenings vividly before the eye.
Wooden Balcony, Alps
A fairy tale for adults? Yes and no, a book about life and love, with a little more magic, but the same if and but, worries and social interactions, as well as in our unmagical, ordinary life (but who knows how much fairie's blood, or wild-women-genes and mermen-genotype circulate in us).
Of course, fairies are stunningly beautiful and kings of the Alps charismatic and mermen unbelievably charming, but they are also not devoid of feelings and love's muddle.
The stories of magical creatures are interwoven with the story of Sophie Silber, actress in her late 30ies, born in Altaussee. Sophie is inveted as guest to a magic convention in her home village in Styria, which she did not visit for 20 years.
The Austrian writer and translator Barbara Frischmuth was born in 1941 in the region of Altaussee, Salzkammergut, beautiful lakeside in Styria. She is an orientalist and translated numerous works from English and Hungarian. Among her most renowned works are “Die Klosterschule“ (1968) [The Cloister School], “Die Mystifikationen der Sophie Silber“ (1976) [The Mystification of Sophie Silber], most recently “Der Sommer, in dem Anna verschwunden war“ (2004) [The Summer Anna Disappeared] and a collection of short stories which are included in Austrian high school literature books. To our asthonishment there are hardly translations into other languages of novels and short-stories of Barbara Frischmuth.
This novel can be read as travel literatur. I percieve it as perfect "appetizer" for holidays in Austria. Barbara Frischmuths descriptions make you want to lie down in flowering meadows, to explore the traditionals costume "Steirergewand", enjoy the so-called "Sommerfrische" and want to be part in the carnival in Aussee. Of course, this also works at other Alpine resorts because mystical mountain resorts, water, where niexies life and pastures where fairies collect their herbs can be anywhere in the Alps.
As mentioned above, "Mystification of Sophie Silber" is the first of a trilogy of novels, the other novels are called "Amy oder die Metamorphose" - "Amy or the metamorphosis", 1978 and number three "Kai und die Liebe zu den Modellen" - "Kai and the love of models", 1979.
As mentioned in the novel, we want to show you some of the typical traditional alpine jewellery, we also sell in our Shop:
- a wonderful garnet bracelet
, like the one Alpinox, the king of the alps, gave as a present to Rosalia the wild-woman and Amaryllis Sternwieser, narcissus-fairy
- fine silver grandel earrings
, like those Rosalia, the wild-women, used to wear at the congress