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Sweet Days Of Discipline Paperback – May 1 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions (May 1 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811212351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811212359
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.7 x 0.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #695,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Jaeggy, a Swiss-born writer living in Italy, gives her narrator an abundance of memorable lines describing a boarding school set in idyllic Switzerland. Recalling the constant machinations and undercurrents there, she comments, "A boarding school is like a harem." And she seems to be right: less time is spent studying than courting favored friends. The narrator is particularly intrigued by Frederique, a disdainful girl who claims that she has "an old woman's hands," which the narrator hears as a compliment. But then a frivolous new student named Micheline--she has red hair and looks "a bit like Gilda"--causes the narrator to abandon Frederique by promising that she will give a huge ball at which all the students will dance with her charming father. Tim Parks does an admirable job of keeping the ice-cold language flowing. But the novel leaves a sense that its story line is a metaphor for something else, although it is never completely clear what, and after a while this vague profundity starts to get tiring; the ambiguous ending does not improve matters.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This novel is like a walk down an unlit alley at night, alone, in the rain. The narrator is a girl at a boarding school in postwar Switzerland. Through her heightened senses we become aware of the awakening sexuality of the young girls far away from the familiarities of home and the impending doom and madness that lurk at the gate. Imprisoned in an artificial reality, she portrays the other inmates in a sardonic light. The narrator's friendship and obsession with the ideal new girl, Frederique, bring to mind lines from Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil : "Moment by moment, Time envelops me/ like a stiffening body buried in the snow.../ I contemplate the infinitesimal globe,/ and I no longer seek asylum there" ("Craving for Oblivion"). This is an excellent purchase for any library collecting experimental fiction.
- Peggie Partello, Keene State Coll., N.H.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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At fourteen I was a boarder in a school in the Appenzell. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Sweet Days of Discipline is narrated by a boarding school student who has attended several such schools, who has been defiant, who is a disinterested student, who becomes nearly obsessed with a new student - disciplined, independent, nihilistic. The tension in the narrative derives from emotional states rather than plot events - yet the tension builds as clearly as in a thriller. This is achieved by the author's excellent understanding of her narrator's point of view and the use of landscape, daily events and memories to express that view. Examples: the description of the landscape on the narrator's early morning walk; the destruction of letters from her mother; the memory of her roommate's dance dress but not her name ...
Not a perfect book but well worth the two or three hours it takes to read.
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Format: Paperback
It is a terrible thing that only two of Jaeggy's odd, spare, and brilliant works are presently available in English. This novella is striking in its stylistic genius and restrained but intense emotional world. I eagerly await the translation of more of Jaeggy's work.
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By A Customer on July 5 2003
Format: Paperback
One of the all too rare examples of literature as art rather than entertainment, this book deserves to be much better known. Jeaggy is a master of style and has a purity and preciseness of language that makes this book an utter joy. A future classic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Interesting exploration of emotional landscape June 12 2001
By M. J. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Sweet Days of Discipline is narrated by a boarding school student who has attended several such schools, who has been defiant, who is a disinterested student, who becomes nearly obsessed with a new student - disciplined, independent, nihilistic. The tension in the narrative derives from emotional states rather than plot events - yet the tension builds as clearly as in a thriller. This is achieved by the author's excellent understanding of her narrator's point of view and the use of landscape, daily events and memories to express that view. Examples: the description of the landscape on the narrator's early morning walk; the destruction of letters from her mother; the memory of her roommate's dance dress but not her name ...
Not a perfect book but well worth the two or three hours it takes to read.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Remarkable prose. July 14 1998
By Elizabeth Grainger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a terrible thing that only two of Jaeggy's odd, spare, and brilliant works are presently available in English. This novella is striking in its stylistic genius and restrained but intense emotional world. I eagerly await the translation of more of Jaeggy's work.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A gem July 5 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One of the all too rare examples of literature as art rather than entertainment, this book deserves to be much better known. Jeaggy is a master of style and has a purity and preciseness of language that makes this book an utter joy. A future classic.

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