Monday, October 04, 2010

Reader's Diary #653- Heinrich von Kleist: the Beggar Woman of Locarno

(Looks a bit like Clay Aiken doesn't he?)

Back in May Loni reviewed Heinrich von Kleist's "The Beggar Woman of Locarno" as part of Short Story Monday. Not having read many German authors, I was interested in reading it for myself. However, upon hearing that it was a ghost story, I bookmarked it instead for October.

And here we are. Loni, who didn't know it was going to be a ghost story, ended up enjoying it anyway. I, on the other hand, was aware and was disappointed.

A rich marquis' wife in the Italian Alps takes in a sick beggar lady, but the husband treats the lady with anything less than respect. She dies and haunts the castle. Pretty simple premise, but perhaps more original back in the late 1700s or early 1800s when it was written.

While I did find it rushed and void of emotion, my major issue was that it simply wasn't scary. Again, had I not known it was intended to be, a ghost might be a pleasant surprise. There's some enjoyment in the husband getting his just desserts, I guess, but that's about it.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)


Loni said...

Sorry you didn't like it. It definitely wasn't scary. It was more of a lesson in ghost form. I suppose expectations can really effect whether you like a story.

This week I read Stop! by Carol Shields. If you end up reading this one, I hope you like it better.

Teddy Rose said...

I think I'll pass on the Ghost story.

I read The Vagrants of the Barren by Charles G.D. Roberts

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I did not mind this story, but might not have felt the same way had it been much longer. Without any dialogue, though, it felt more like the outline to the story, than the actual tale itself.

John Mutford said...

Loni: I still thank you for bringing the author to my attention.

Teddy: I've got more horror stories to come this month!

Barbara: Yeah, dialogue would have been good. I know short stories typically don't have much in the way of character development, but I felt I needed more with these the marquis and his wife.