The Writings of Fleur Jaeggy

Anna Aslanyan at 3:AM Magazine:

Death is a recurring theme in Jaeggy’s work. When the narrator of the story ‘I Am the Brother of XX’ says, ‘I want to die when I grow up’, it’s not meant to shock but to remind us of the death drive that sleeps next to our own child selves, buried inside us. Another important motif is cold: a necessary condition for feeling, thinking, expressing yourself. In Sweet Days, one of the protagonist’s happiest memories is of a night she spent in her friend’s bare, freezing room. The friend burns some alcohol in a saucepan on the floor, and when the flame dies the cold returns, biting into their bones as they stand by the window watching the dawn. This is not hardship but ‘a spiritual or aesthetic exercise’. Being cold, physically and emotionally, brings you closer to that perfect state, nothingness, which shouldn’t be confused with emptiness, for ‘what we do not possess belongs to us’.

more here.