A story collection by the acclaimed Austrian novelist of the early and mid twentieth century, DIVERTIMENTI AND VARIATIONS mediates traditional and experimental fictional technique to explore an authentic self and creates musically-based narrative forms. These narrative experiments were begun in 1923, not long after the publication of Joyce's Ulysses, with its fugue-like "Sirens" chapter. Traditional psychological realism combines with four-part "symphonic" experimental form--complete with development, intermezzi, and thematic repetition and variation--to demonstrate how technique is adequate to reveal and resolve conflict. Love interests, family tensions, dreams forcing the dreamers to face their struggles, physical injury, a young blind woman's gaining sight, insanity, unexamined lives--Doderer develops these themes by adeptly employing innovative narrative structures grounded in musical formalisms.
Translated from the German by Vincent Kling.