February 25, 2017

Billiards at Half-Past Nine by Heinrich Böll

By Heinrich Böll

Böll's famous competition to fascism and conflict informs this relocating tale of a unmarried day within the lifetime of traumatized soldier Robert Faehmel, scion of a relatives of profitable Cologne architects, as he struggles to come to bland lifestyles after the second one global conflict. An stumble upon with a war-time nemesis, now an influence within the reconstruction of Germany, forces him to confront deepest stories and the injuries of Germany's defeat within the global Wars.

Translated through Patrick Bowles

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Billiards at Half-Past Nine

Böll's famous competition to fascism and conflict informs this relocating tale of a unmarried day within the lifetime of traumatized soldier Robert Faehmel, scion of a kin of winning Cologne architects, as he struggles to come back to dull lifestyles after the second one international conflict. An come upon with a war-time nemesis, now an influence within the reconstruction of Germany, forces him to confront inner most thoughts and the injuries of Germany's defeat within the global Wars.

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Example text

I was just trying to make you see things from his—” “Get! ” The room was cold. She was relieved to find him still there, asleep in the down coat on top of the covers, as if he could expect only a brief nap. He was breathing heavily, perspiring through troubled dreams. She got under the covers. She didn’t mind the cold. She preferred it, actually. One day she had been a young woman, and the next a panting complex of symptoms. The hot flashes and night sweats, the mood swings and sleep disruptions.

She was about to remind him of this when he started pounding the glove box with his gloved fist. He rained blow after blow down on the glove box and she let out an involuntary cry and jerked back against the cold window. He stopped hitting the glove box and began to kick it until the latch snapped and the door fell. He continued to kick as if to drive his foot clear through to the engine block. One of the door’s lower hinges snapped, and thereafter the glove box had the cockeyed lean of a tired sun visor.

She went to the bed and began to move him physically as if he were a child. She turned him over and undid his belt and removed his pants and boxers and unbuttoned his shirt, all with little help from him. He was soon lying on the bed naked. She applied a coat of Vaseline to his face and neck and then to his genitals because Vaseline helped with both the chafing and the cold. Then she began to dress him in what she had collected, finishing with the wicking socks and his waterproof boots. She placed the alpine pack in the doorway where it could be grabbed easily on his way out and then she crawled onto the bed beside him.

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