- By Urs Widmer Donal McLaughlin

The Blue Soda Siphon

  • Title: The Blue Soda Siphon
  • Author: Urs Widmer Donal McLaughlin
  • ISBN: 9780857422118
  • Page: 320
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Blue Soda Siphon In the wildly entertaining novel The Blue Soda Siphon the narrator unexpectedly finds himself back in the world of his childhood Switzerland in the s He returns to his childhood home to find his

    In the wildly entertaining novel The Blue Soda Siphon, the narrator unexpectedly finds himself back in the world of his childhood Switzerland in the 1940s He returns to his childhood home to find his parents frantic because their son is missing Then, in another switch, the young boy that he was back then turns up in the present of the early 1990s, during the Gulf War, wIn the wildly entertaining novel The Blue Soda Siphon, the narrator unexpectedly finds himself back in the world of his childhood Switzerland in the 1940s He returns to his childhood home to find his parents frantic because their son is missing Then, in another switch, the young boy that he was back then turns up in the present of the early 1990s, during the Gulf War, where he meets himself as an older man, as well as his adult self s young daughter These head scratching, hilarious time shifts happen when both the adult narrator and his childhood self go to the cinema and see films, the subjects of which echo their own lives Translated for the first time in English by Donal Mclaughlin, this novel, in which the eponymous blue soda siphon bottle is a recurring symbol, is a magnificent example of Urs Widmer s characteristic humor, literary genius, and unparalleled imagination.

    1 thought on “The Blue Soda Siphon

    1. Unser Icherzähler geht ins Kino, erste Reihe, und als er rauskommt ist er 50 Jahre in der Vergangenheit, trifft seine Eltern, die gerade aufgelöst sind, weil sein altes Ich gerade verschwunden ist, nämlich in die Gegenwart hinein, wo der Dreijährige seiner Tochter begegnet. Alles sehr nett. Aber was das alles soll, erschließt sich mir nicht. Der Vater hatte das kleine Kind auch ins Kino geschickt, um mutmaßlich mit irgendeiner Lisette zu turteln. Gut, am Ende sind beide wieder am richtigen [...]

    2. Quick Review: A fun, fast, and - at times - humorous read. Addressing war - and the fear of war - this short novel uses touches of the fantastical (time travel) to highlight the futility of the individual in the cursing face of war - omnipresent in every generation. In using cinema as a lens, the fairy-tale existence of childhood is shot through with the fractures of war's violence and trauma. Using cinema to depict parallels and engage the darker elements and ramifications of war (e.g. in the d [...]

    3. Goes to show that novellas are best read in one go and not over two weeks. Sadly, the latter was the case for this reader and so the adventurous time-line and the movie-summaries were too much to really grasp. Still, what would have remained bothersome even in a quicker reading is the fact that movie "reviews" take up such a large portion of the work. These are mysterious, no less so because we keep wondering how a three-year-old should possibly be able to follow such an intricate plot.The idea [...]

    4. WIDMER, Urs: „Der blaue Siphon“, Zürich 1994Eine Erzählung, in der die erzählende Person in die Zeit seiner Jugend zurück versetzt wird. Er weiß was die Zukunft sein wird. Er besuchte seine früheren Stätten wie das Elternhaus. Spricht mit seinen Eltern, die ihn aber nicht erkennen, denn sie sind jung und er, der Sohn, ist alt. Er kommt wieder zurück in seine Zeit und der Bogen schließt sich. Ein Märchen für Erwachsene? Eine Liebesgeschichte zwischen Toten und Lebenden? Eine ausgef [...]

    5. Chi non ha desiderato di tornare indietro nel tempo anche per un attimo e rivedere la propria infanzia, oppure andare nel futuro e vedere i propri figli? Qui c'è qualcosa in più, è un racconto surreale e suggestivo, dove la verosimiglianza non è importante, come non è importante nei sogni e nella memoria.

    6. Sentence by sentence, the novel seems fine, but the cumulative effect--even given the conceit of movie-theater-as-time-machine (if that's what it is)--is "eh."

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