Mela Hartwig is one of the great unknown authors, a modernist and feminist, whose career was destroyed by the nazis.
This book, her second novel, could not be published in its time; she was forced to emigrate, went to London, where she made friends with Virginia Woolf. She never returned but for short visits and stayed in England until her death. Am I a redundant being? is the story of an insignificant and most dispensable secretary without special abilities or talents who lives in a tragic and humiliating dependency from her erotic obsession. A pitiless description of the social situation of the late twenties in Vienna and a self-humiliation of its own kind.
Rights sold to:
English (Dalkey Archive)
Italian (Spider and Fish)
»A mundane office worker descends into erotic obsession. Mela Hartwig’s novel is the profession of an astonishing self-abasement: a tantalizing, unforgettable book.« (Die Presse )
»Finally, the time has come for Mela Hartwig’s rediscovery! The contradictions, the constant fluctuation between passion and dispassionate observation, make this office romance—written in the form of a heated confession—outrageously modern and thrilling.« (Frankfurter Rundschau)
»An heiress of Kleist…« (FAZ)