This rediscovered modernist classic tells the story of a young woman who, while still traumatized by the Second World War, struggles to resign herself to domesticity and motherhood. Slowly consumed by a weight of circumstances beyond her control, Berta endures the deep hypocrisies and the abiding cruelty of everyday life, behind which bloody tragedy threatens to break free.
The Weight of Things was Fritz’s debut novel and the first of her books to be translated into English. It won her tremendous acclaim and was awarded the Robert Walser Prize in 1978. Fritz subsequently embarked on a brilliant and ambitious literary project called The Fortress, which earned her cult status, comparisons to James Joyce, and admirers including Elfriede Jelinek and W. G. Sebald.
In her lyrical debut, she reveals herself as a brilliant and masterful satirist, whose work is philosophically minded yet raging with anger and wit.
On soft salmon background, the black, narrow weight of Sharp Grotesk starts to break very literally under its own weight. While a violent act, it is nonetheless an organic distortion, an acceptance of imposed mass. The author and title, in Canela, are tasked with keeping things representable. In light weight and austere tone, the setting sucessfully channels both ying (proud Caslon) and yang (’70s Mexican funk) of the typeface.
I highly recommend the book to any and all interested readers. With a deep mastery of satirical and suggestive language, Fritz’s debut should without doubt be considered among the best feminist fiction.