Stieler, Hilda

Monika Molander
2006 0-7734-5529-9
Hilde Stieler’s selected poems appeared in Volume 8 of German Women Writers. Monika Molander, first published in 1929, has been forgotten and difficult to access. The novel is republished here with an introduction that narrates the writer’s life, especially in exile in Sanary-sur-Mer, interprets two further poems, and analyzes the text as semi-autobiographical. Set mainly in Munich, it is the story of a young music student from an upper middle-class family in Bonn, whose vulnerability leads her to be swept off her feet by her Professor. Returning to Bonn after her father’s death, she finds eventual employment as an accompanist in a Zurich cabaret. Memories of life close to the theatre merge with grotesque scenes and uncertainties about life, with popular romantic views that come close to Kitsch. The colloquialism, characterizations, often light-hearted style and happy ending, produce a typically bittersweet account from the 1920s.