I have been an ardent reader and admirer of Austrian writer Adalbert Stifter for most of my life.
Thomas Mann summarised Stifter’s qualities in one remark: “Behind the quiet, inward exactitude of his descriptions of Nature in particular there is at work a predilection for the excessive, the elemental and the catastrophic, the pathological.”
And that goes particularly for one of of the greatest Bildungsroman of the 19th century: “Nachsommer”, Stifter’s opus magnum from 1857.
To my great delight I have now found a summary of all what makes this novel such a unique experience in a fabulous
article by Christian Bergemann, Professor at the LMU in Munich. ( In German, but can be Google translated )
Absolutely thrilling reading and a reason to re-read this great book again !
“Erzwungene Ordnung” ( Forced order ) is the title of it, and the suicide of Stifter ( he cut his own throat with a knife ) becomes far more understandable in the light of this detailed exploration.
On another note: the musical equivalent to Stifter seems to me Anton Bruckner. The “elefantesk religiosity” ( Thomas Bernhard ) of his music, the over affirmative endings of all his symphonies, all that points into a similar direction as in Stifter, but that is another topic for another day…