Brendel’s Fantasy by Günther Freitag. Translated from the German by Eugene H. Hayworth.
Publication Date: August 15, 2011
The provocative, deeply moving portrait of a musical obsession. Without any explanation to his family, the German manufacturer Höller has decided to sell the family business and use the proceeds to pursue his new found dreams. While his wife is in the middle of defending the most important client of her career, (a shady politician accused of funneling money from the government coffers), Höller slips away to Castelnuovo, a sleepy village in the hills of Tuscany. Here he intends to build the perfect concert hall, a place to stage the ultimate performance of Schubert’s “Wanderer Fantasy”. While waiting for a letter from Alfred Brendel, Höller wanders through the Italian countryside, making friends with a retired professor, the landlady at his pension, a dwarf employed by the mysterious Sindaico, and an entourage of village misfits who stand in the way of his success. Höller is plagued with fears of his impending death and the hallucinations that accompany his growing illness. Will Brendel agree to perform the ‘Fantasy’? Will the villagers let him build the concert hall? A compelling, illuminating portrait of mortality and desire.
Günther Freitag was born in 1952 in Feldkirch, Austria. He studied history and German language and literature in Graz, and also enrolled for piano at the conservatory. He wrote plays and prose works. In 1985, he took part in the Bachmann Competition. The author has received several awards including the Forum Stadtpark Literature Prize of the city of Graz (1982); a grant from the Province of Styria (1990); and the Culture Prize of the city of Leoben (1992). He lives in Leoben, Austria.
About the Translator Eugene H. Hayworth is a librarian and Associate Professor for the University Libraries at the University of Colorado Boulder. His first book, Fever Vision: the Life and Works of Coleman Dowell, was published by Dalkey Archive Press in 2007. He discovered the works of Günther Freitag in 2010, while living in Berlin, Germany, where he was teaching at Humboldt Universität as the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship.
Brendel’s Fantasy is available from Follett Library Services, YBP, Coutts, Brodart, Baker & Taylor, and Ingram Book Distributors.