The Roman “Iglhaut” by Katharina Adler: Sensations of Everyday Life – Culture

What an evocative name: Iglhaut. It is common in Bavaria. And this is where you live, the title of Katharina Adler’s novel. A carpenter and restorer in her forties. Who can engage in work and hate any frills. She can also do without such an unnecessary thing as a first name. In a 1950s Munich apartment building where she runs her backyard lumber shop, everyone calls her “Iglhaut” and addresses her only as “Iglhaut”.

The picturesque comedic image of a woman of a prickly or at least stubborn nature immediately appears. Since Shakespeare’s classic The Taming of the Shrew, this has been a popular and misogynistic cliché about femininity that has been played up in countless comedies.

Grandma’s Liberation Story

It is clear that a writer like Katharina Adler does not continue in this unfortunate situation. In her first novel, Ida (2018), she at least traced the story of her grandmother’s emancipation. As a supposed hysteria, she withdrew from Sigmund Freud’s analysis after various sessions and entered medical history as a rebellious patient in the “Course Affair”.

The current heroine of Katharina Adler can also become stubborn. But first and foremost, the writer provides her character with the peaceful bullying, defiance, and melancholy of Bavarian whiners. Exhibitors, to be more precise.

“Hedgehog’s skin came from under the floor. The elevator carried her. The night, like a polished one. No one noticed, not even Iglhaut herself, she was tired from the journey, from afar. The scar on her side itch. Thus begins the story that goes on for a year. In the dense staccato , which decorates itself with a metaphor of nature and skillfully distinguishes both the scientist and the main character.

Hurghada two weeks behind Iglhaut. The first vacation in ages. Neighbor Oli beat it out in a crossword puzzle. But because Ole is more panic-stricken by travel than Eglhout, she tortured herself in the pool in Egypt instead and drank expensive “old fashioned” cocktails. When she manages to lock her workshop into an old garage again, the skin of the cottage breathes a sigh of relief.

Presence fraught with danger

Live global, buy local? Total nonsense. Its perilous existence as the central star of anti-globalization. But they have nothing against people and food from other countries.

Nurse Ronnie, Greek snack bar Heracles, Jasmina from Community Help Live, deranged couple Zenker, palm-reader Norja, Eaglehaut’s friend Valeria, and rickety old companion Tildi, who always screams against post-capitalism – they all stay home, she angle bar stool. Yet the pub in this urban neighborhood, almost as passionate in its sentimental instincts as Sven Regener’s “Her Lehmann”, is Iglhaut’s workshop.

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There, on behalf of the nuns, she rescues Jesus and other saints from worms that burrow into the rotten wood of statues. Or straighten the mutilated walnut closet of a clerk who is in desperation because of her clerk’s block in the attic and is suspected by the tenants because rumor has it she writes about them all. Tildi even scolded her for being a “parasite person” on her summer vacation.

It is the little sensations of everyday life that Katharina Adler describes. Iglhaut’s futile efforts to distance herself from her cute, annoying parents. A love affair with a lawyer, her long-married ex-husband elsewhere, and a junior dentist who straightens her faltering teeth.

[Katharina Adler: Iglhaut. Roman. Rowohlt Verlag, Hamburg 2022, 288 S., 23 €]

How much does that cost! But the fact that money is tight is in no way a reason to subject the iglute to social pressure to be useful. Then drink more “old fashioned” before the court fest.

Yes, ‘Iglhaut’ organizes a pastoral rustic quarter and pays homage to everyday life and life, whose creatures of habit and squandering of life are often a little commendable.

But thanks to the laconic heroine, it turns out to be entertaining and devoid of kitsch. It expresses a social issue. This is what the crises of the present are all about: recognizing the small things as the big ones. Not only the desire to leave, but also the ability to stay. Do not indulge yourself in material abundance, but manage with a little. Be humble and frugal. And she’s still very bold. Just like hedgehog skin.

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