A Sense of the Beginning

by Norbert Gstrein

Make sure you have plenty of time for this densely written story of one intense summer and its sinister repercussions. It poses a question: is teacher Anton responsible for the suspected radical religious and political actions of Daniel, a former student? Town gossip thinks so, but Daniel never appears in person, & we have to rely on Anton's version of events. Were his own motives in the relationship really innocent? And just how reliable is he?


I saw again in my mind's eye how Daniel had once run, squealing like a child, into the shallow water by the bank and then directly along the water-line upriver, rowing with his arms or, more accurately, flapping, looking as if he was on the point of taking off, throwing his legs right and left, and with me right behind him. I had thought it was an invitation, and had run after him and then, in a sudden surrender, I had thrown my arms around him and held him tight for a moment, maybe a bit longer than a moment, yes, much longer in my memory.
Translated by Julian Evans


The Lantern Bearers by Ronald Frame
The English Years by Norbert Gstrein

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