Regina Ullmann’s ‘The Country Road’

“Despite destitute situations, Ullmann’s sensitive writing soars. Difficulties are opposed most distinctly by the richness of her descriptions of nature. While the stories are peppered with references to religion–Ullmann converted to Catholicism in her 20s–these are often made in relation to natural elements: in “The Old Tavern Sign” a church organ “began to flow like flowers . . . richly swelling garden flowers,” and a doe’s body evokes “holy nakedness.” In “Strawberries,“she imagines “angels that lived on fruit alone . . . angels whose incense would be the fragrance of flowers and fruits.” In her metaphors, religious imagery comes second to the natural, not the other way around. This implies holiness is founded in nature, rather than nature mimicking holiness.”

I am thrilled to be featured again in ‘The Quarterly Conversation,’ this time for my review of Swiss-German modernist Regina Ullmann’s first work to be translated into English – a collection of stories called ‘The Country Road’. Enjoy!

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