Warum das Kind in der Polenta kocht
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Warum das Kind in der Polenta kocht

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  561 ratings  ·  28 reviews
»Das Glück hatte ich mir anders vorgestellt.« Voller Illusionen ist die kleine rumänische Artistenfamilie den Verheißungen des Westens gefolgt, ein großes Haus sollte gekauft, die Tochter ein Filmstar werden, doch die Wirklichkeit sieht anders aus. Eindrücklich und ohne jede Sentimentalität erzählt das kleine Mädchen seine Geschichte.

Eine Geschichte, in der Fremdsein, Unb...more
Paperback, 185 pages
Published 2001 by Dtv (first published January 1st 1999)
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Aphorism laden novels have a tendency to catch my eye and make me want to read them, but they don't always deliver the goods. It's the melancholy part of me that usually sees them and gets very excited over seeing pages that just have a line like, "WHAT DOES GOD SMELL LIKE?" or "BEING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES DOESN'T CHANGE US. WE EAT WITH OUR MOUTHS NO MATTER WHAT COUNTRY WE ARE IN." Maybe these aren't the most profound statements ever made, but something about an book that is willing to just put s...more
At times this read like an erasure of parts of Maidenhair -- a refugee-related tale set across many "foreign countries" but ultimately in Switzerland told from a child's POV (even when she's no longer really a child) in super-spare language resembling poetry, with occasional pages with only one line in ALL CAPS, and without the literary bloviation/intentional disorientation that did me in when I failed the aforementioned "Maidenhair." Found this one enjoyable, quick, surprisingly humorous (espec...more
Strongly autobiographical, this little novel is narrated by a child born into a family of Romanian circus performers, who flee communist Romania in the 1960s and travel through Europe and Africa in hopes of a brighter future. They live the life of refugees, of strangers struggling to adapt to a foreign world, whose everyday existence is consumed by uncertainty and fear: the parents' fear of being sent back home, the father's fear of the tightrope (as the girl says, he can only maintain his equil...more
Delia  Grosu
Și totuși.. ce trist e să vezi că o carte atât de bună este atât de puțin cunoscută în țara natală a autoarei...
Michael Vagnetti
Somehow, pathetically, it's easy to forget how language makes the world, in the way that prehistoric constellations were once urgently needed for direction. In this case, a reminder of the imperatives of writing comes in this short novel of declarative sentences, occasionally capitalized, and buffered/buffeted by lots of white space. The writing is in a style that sounds newly literate: freshly pressed metaphor through the mind of a child. It's a dark fable of flight, circus performance, abandon...more
A surrealist novel [very short, though], written from a child’s perspective, oscillating between happiness and fear, comic and grotesque. Quite weird for my taste. The author is a Romanian born writer, whose parents, circus artists, emigrated when the author was only few years old

un roman [!] suprarealist, cu tenta autobiografica, al unei scriitoare de origine romana, fiica unor artisti de circ emigrati din romania cind autoarea avea doar citiva ani. cartea este scrisa din perspectiva unui co...more
“Dictatorul e de meserie cizmar, diploma scoalara si-a cumparat-o.
Nu stie nici sa scrie nici sa citeasca, spune mama, e mai prost ca noaptea.
Dar noaptea nu ucide, spune tata.”

“Mama o sa gaseasca pe cineva care o sa scrie o carte despre povestea vietii noastre. O sa se numeasca USA DE FIER SI USA SPRE LIBERTATE.”

“A fost un om bun! Cum sa fi murit de cancer?!”

“Sa fii mort e ca si cum ai dormi.
Dar nu-ti asezi corpul in pat, ci in pamant.
Apoi trebuie sa-i explici lui Dumnezeu de ce vrei mai b...more
Susan Mills
This book reads like poetry, more or less in prose form. The language and style alone make it worth reading. The author's writing is deceptively straightforward and humble, while she conjures strong images in a few words. The downside to the book is that it is seriously depressing, and apparently very autobiographical. The jacket cover and afterword say the author committed suicide a few years after writing the book. A fact which flavored my reading of the book, and I almost wish I hadn't known...more
Too scarce for me, too spreaded, just like a collection of thoughts and short stories...
They say it is a bildunsgroman...I didn't have this feeling at any time...for me it seemd that only the foundation was laid, or destroyed...nothing built...
I guess I said it before, the author should know why is he/she writing about, should have a position on the subject... couldn't identify any of these...
A humorous and disturbing novel, colored by a fascinating child narrator struggling as she grows to express herself through written language. I liked it at first but appreciated it more after reading the translator's afterward. There was quite a bit I didn't initially pick up on, although I can't say for sure if this is due to ambiguity in the text or because I read this book really fast. Probably the latter. Then again, what I love about novels with child narrators is how differently the world...more
Spoiler: The author wants you to figure it out for yourself. Side spoiler: It's worth it.
Diana Buruiană
O carte de-a dreptul cutremurătoare...
Dlaczego dziecko... jest powieścią bardzo ściśle związaną z życiem autorki. Aglaja podobnie jak bohaterka wychowywała się w środowisku cyrkowym i wyemigrowała z rodzicami z Rumunii w poszukiwaniu lepszego życia. Podróżując po kolejnych miastach i krajach nigdzie nie czuła się jak u siebie, nigdzie nie miała swojego miejsca. Dlatego jako małe dziecko musiała radzić sobie z brakiem domu poprzez kreowanie go, budowanie we własnej wyobraźni miejsca stabilnego, bezpiecznego.
Przyzwyczaiłam się, wszędz...more
True literature. Actually, true poetry. The author uses language evocatively and emotionally. While sparse in words the book is magnificently emotional.

It boggles my mind to think of the steps it took to write this book - for now let's ignore the fact that the novel is partly autobiographical and what that means the author's childhood may have been like - and just talk about actual language. The author is originally Hungarian, settled in Switzerland, where she learned Swiss German which, accord...more
Sep 17, 2012 Sári added it
Nem tudom azt mondani, hogy szép. Nem tudom csillagozni.
Nem értem a mosolygásokat. Ez a könyv iszonyatos. És már rögtön az elejétől. 17 évesen hencegtem magamnak, hogy mit nekem 1984 amikor én Lautreamont-t is olvastam, de ez a könyv talán még rajtuk is túltesz. Olvasni is morbid, ahogy az ember az egyes szám első személyben író, súlyos körülmények között élő gyerek lelkében kirándul. A hangja, az gyönyörű. De amiről beszél – az maga a rettenet. És nem tudok örülni a szépnek, annyira brutális a...more
Alexandra Anghel
Tragica, negru-umoristica, suprarealistica.
Un vatej, apoi un labirint. Acolo, contorsionism imaginar, dansul logicii cu nonsensul in ceaunul cu mamaliga.
O scriere trasata cu stiloul vulnerabilitatii si fragilitatii umane insasi. Imbiba in trairi.
Ioana Alexandra
De ce fierbe copilul in mamaliga. O carte speciala!!
Lena Chilari
,,Mama e femeia cu păr de oţel.,,
Marie-pierre Stien
This is a superb book from an hungarian author I had never heard of. Short chapters form the most unusual story of a circus family. The story is told from the point of view of the younger daughter. The result is both poetic and hypnotic. Most unusual and provocative while avoiding the many trappings of what is usually labeled "avant-garde". Truly inspiring in its authenticity.
A complicated story outlined simply and effectively. The author knows how to play with words and images. I enjoyed this book because I am also an emmigrant and I know what it feels like to miss home and have a weird disabled family. This book has taught me how much our native language matters for the development of our soul.
Instead of a review, let me say this: after I finished this book, my wife asked me to describe it. I had no idea what to say and can’t recall what came out of my mouth, but it must have been good because she decided to read it at that very moment. And she did. She read it backwards, actually, which is entirely possible.
Anstrengend poetische Hauptsatzprosa, was einige sehr gute Sätze nicht ausschließt. Viele weiße Seiten. Ein schreckliches Zirkuskindschicksal, komplett humorlos erzählt. In einer anderen Stimmung fände ich es vielleicht genial.
Woodbury Public Library www.woodburylibrary.org
A book club member says: Positively intriguing! Translated from Swiss/German, it is a dark story (with hilarious flashes) about a Rumanian circus family that manages to leave Ceausescu's repressive Rumania.
This book is just like fireworks: something that implants itself in your mind or in your eyesight and which later explodes into various shapes and colors. Reading it is a pleasure.
Powerful, wise, yet heart-breaking child narrator who describes her life growing up as a circus artist.
In romana: "De ce fierbe copilul in mamaliga"
Katie Cruel
Everything about this book is perfection.
Sep 03, 2007 Cyryl rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of surrealism
Shelves: poetry
original: "Warum das Kind in der Polenta kocht".
Ioana marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2014
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  • Zenobia
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“Dictatorul e de meserie cizmar, diploma scoalara si-a cumparat-o.
Nu stie nici sa scrie nici sa citeasca, spune mama, e mai prost ca noaptea.
Dar noaptea nu ucide, spune tata.”
“Mama o sa gaseasca pe cineva care o sa scrie o carte despre povestea vietii noastre. O sa se numeasca USA DE FIER SI USA SPRE LIBERTATE.” 3 likes
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