New PDF release: A Legacy

By Sybille Bedford

At the marriage of Julius von Felden and Melanie Merz, the fortunes of 2 households are just a little fatally entwined. In A Legacy, Sybille Bedford depicts their significantly diversified worlds - the rich bourgeois lifetime of the Merzes in Berlin and the aristocratic eccentricity of the von Felden dynasty in rural Baden. Portrayed with beautiful wit and acute commentary, their own upheavals and tragedies are set opposed to the menacing backdrop of a newly unified Germany mixed with Prussian militarism within the many years prior to the 1st international conflict. contains an advent through the writer.

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You’ve been issued a summons,’ he said. ’ ‘You must vacate. New tenants are arriving. ’ Mother left at once for the office, which wasn’t far from where we lived. The soldiers came into the house without bothering to remove their boots and began opening all of the doors. They started carrying out the refrigerator and television set. Grandmother tried to stop them. ‘What are you doing? ’ The Party official tried to pacify her: ‘Ma’am, there’s no point arguing with us. ’ 62 Later I learned that Mother and Mi, who’d finished secondary school, and Jung and Sook, who were still in school, were told to go to Puryong, where they would be assigned jobs.

Father must have been wise enough to see what was coming. During his deals with Uncle Salamander, he would keep some of the sea cucumber or dried octopus that was delivered to the port and trade it for grain, which he’d been stockpiling. He’d lined his own pockets, as it were. One night, I was awakened by the sound of low voices and the front door opening and closing. Our parents were up to something — they kept walking in and out and grumbling like they were carrying something heavy. I tiptoed quietly to the bedroom door and peeked out.

He was good at the accordion. He was well known back in secondary school for his performances in the school band, and even in the army, instead of having to do labour, he was sent from base to base to perform propaganda songs for the soldiers. Every time he leaned up against the wall of the house and played his accordion, one leg splayed and stamping out a rhythm against the ground, all the neighbourhood kids came swarming. His eyes would flutter as he lost himself in the music, shoulders rising and falling as he filled the bellows with air and pushed it out again.

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A Legacy by Sybille Bedford


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