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The Old Child

por Jenny Erpenbeck

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894299,079 (3.64)23
When they found her, she was standing on the street with an empty bucket in one hand. When they asked her what she was called, where she lived, who her family was, her memory was a blank. So now the girl has been deposited in an orphanage, but even here, she and they know that she doesn't quite fit.
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» Ver também 23 menções

Mostrando 4 de 4
löytölapset tytöt Saksa, lastenkodit Saksa, lapsikuvaus, murrosikä, aikuistuminen, vieraus, ulkopuolisuus, sulkeutuneisuus, kiusaaminen, poikkeava käyttäytyminen nuoret
  TarjaRi | Jan 15, 2017 |
I’ve seen this desccribed as a difficult read, and I wonder that there is such a thing. Because it’s not a quality of the book, it’s a consequence of the effort put in by the reader. Which is not to say that everyone wants to put that effort into reading, or indeed that every book deserves such an effort (either deliberately or not). The Old Child is the story of an orphan accepted into a children’s home, who is either wise beyond her years or far too innocent for her purported age. She spends much of the story as a tabula rasa, and deliberately so from her perspective, and only begins to engage with the other kids when her ability to keep silent becomes of use to them. It’s a bleak tale and told in a distant tone, which really appeals to me. It’s a way of looking at East Germany and its fate, but it’s not a point that’s belaboured or even made explicitly. Erpenbeck is a supremely clever writer, and the way she uses prose is both interesting and expertly done. I’ve made no secret of the fact I consider Erpenbeck my “discovery” of 2016. This is the third book by her I’ve read so far this year, and I have one more on the TBR which I plan to get to shortly. Then it’ll be a little harder to track down the rest of her oeuvre, as it’s only been intermittently translated from German to English. (I’m tempted to try the German, but my skill in that language is a bit rusty these days.) Anway, read Erpenbeck; she is quite brilliant. ( )
  iansales | Nov 27, 2016 |
Being the huge fan of Erpenbeck that I truly am it is hard of me to trash this work, but, I got to tell you the truth, it isn't very good. My review is here:

http://mewlhouse.hubpages.com/t/2ee1c2 ( )
  MSarki | Mar 31, 2013 |
A young girl is found standing in the street holding an empty bucket. She is very fat. Huge, in fact. She does not remember her name, or her age, or where she came from, or anything about her life. She is a blank slate. The authorities put her in a reform school after evaluating she must be around fourteen years old, and the girl is delighted to find herself in a world made up of rules and regulations. The author gives us some insights into her mind, and we know for instance that the girl is quite happy to be the last in class, to be thought of as stupid by the teachers, to be despised by the other inmates. To her, this is a comfort zone which also seems to be the path of least resistance. She has no aspirations whatsoever. In fact, the thing she would like most would be to be forgotten in this place and left there forever. But of course, things begin to change, and since they can't get much worse, things start getting better, though the girl doesn't question these changes, going along with the flow, until her body starts to break down.

This is a poignant story, very simply told, but fraught with meaning, something which is especially clear when the reader gets to the end. It is apparently a commentary on life in East Germany pre-unification, and the tight rules, controls and scrutiny under which it's citizens had to live. Beyond that, I felt like I was being a voyeur who was given the ability to look into the mind of one who has every interest in wanting to be and remain mediocre and be completely forgettable. I was of course spurned on, trying to understand why she makes those choices, and though we are given a resolution in the end, I found we were left with more questions than answers. ( )
  Smiler69 | Jul 7, 2011 |
Mostrando 4 de 4
Nüchtern und präzise schildert Erpenbeck den kurzen Lebensausschnitt dieses alten Kindes, manchmal vielleicht zu nüchtern. Es will kein Gefühl aufkommen auf den wenigen Seiten des Romans, keine Nähe, keine Sympathie, weder für die Figuren, noch für den Erzähler. Ähnlich wie die anderen Heiminsassen beginnt der Leser das Mädchen zu verabscheuen, es nervt ihn in seiner weisen Einfältigkeit, möglicherweise, weil es ihn zeitweise überfordert, weiß er doch nicht, wo er es einordnen, wie er es beurteilen soll. Nicht einmal das eigentlich erschreckende Ende der Geschichte veranlasst zum Mitfühlen.
adicionada por Indy133 | editarliteraturkritik.de, Tobias Dennehy (Feb 1, 2000)
 

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Jenny Erpenbeckautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Bernofsky, SusanTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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When they found her, she was standing on the street with an empty bucket in one hand. When they asked her what she was called, where she lived, who her family was, her memory was a blank. So now the girl has been deposited in an orphanage, but even here, she and they know that she doesn't quite fit.

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