April 17, 2024

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A review of Maren Kames's novel Hasen Bros.

A review of Maren Kames's novel Hasen Bros.

gPlease be patient regarding this book. Because if you're waiting for something like the plot of a regular novel, you'll have to wait until page 125, which is more than two-thirds of the way through. There is a touching description of the grandmother. But it's not as if there haven't been interesting things to read about before, including narrator Marin's four grandparents—who, not coincidentally, has the same first name as the novelist and shares almost everything with her: family, preferences, and experiences. Except for Marin's encounter with a rabbit who serves as her cicerone: first through Hollywood, then on the way down to the imaginary Mississippi and up to heaven, and finally to the African savannah. But in the middle, Marin stops at Lake Constance and in the center of Hesse: she remembers her grandparents. The rabbit listens to her.

The main character of this book is not the Easter Bunny, but rather a memory of the most famous long-eared creature in world literature, the White Rabbit from the novel “Alice in Wonderland.” Marin also ends up in a fantasy world, albeit her own. This potpourri is made up of cultural influences. Careful references to sources fill six and a half pages, and Lewis Carroll's “Alice” is not included because it is not directly quoted in the text. The following sentence may indicate the breadth of Marin's fascination: “When I think of the idols of meditation, I think behind all the glens [gemeint ist Gould] And Agnes [Martin]”Beyond all the Basques and the Messi and the princes, in fact above all or always, for my only brother and his simple, heavy tree.” This brother is called Florian, like the novelist's brother, and the tree refers to a childhood memory. Above all, this “Rabbit Prose” is a family novel .

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