(Herta Müller)

Reading with music

Duration about 90 minutes

Read by Renate Fuhrmann (Cologne).

Compositions and music by KontraSax, Christina Fuchs (clarinet, bass clarinet), Romy Herzberg (contrabass)

The novel’s title is taken from a Romanian proverb. In this story the marginal quality of pheasants’ flying ability is used as a metaphor for the difficulty of man’s life and destiny.

Müller’s book was published in 1986. It’s a portrayal of life in an archaic Romanian village during 1980s, late in the Ceausescu regime.  The ethnic-German family Windisch is waiting for permission to leave the country. To receive travel documents they must prostitute their daughter Amalie to a military man and a priest. With her haunting poetic language, Müller uses concise sentences that aim at one point. She uses frequent pauses that allow the reader to think back, examine the present, or look forward. KontraSax’s music interprets these sentences and pauses, as read by Fuhrmann.