Am I a Redundant Human Being?

How can you turn down a book with a title like that? This gem is from the 1930s, written by a pal of Virginia Woolf, the Austrian writer Mela Hartwig, but only published first in 2001. A nondescript secretary details her ambition and the source of her ambition, going from school-era where she studied as hard as she could and still didn't excel, finding that preparation and ambition were no match for raw talent. She enrolls in trade school, becomes an inefficient secretary. She bounces between jobs, meets Elizabeth the actress who then introduces her to Egon Z, the businessman she becomes obsessed with after Elizabeth shoots herself. Eventually securing a job as Egon Z's secretary, she revels in the close contact with him and lives a fantasy life in her head. When confronted with his real life lover, the narrator becomes distraught, tries to kill herself. Egon Z hooks her up with a job with another construction firm and she excels at shorthand and efficiency but lives a very meagre life.

I can't remember where I got the recommendation; it's decent but missable. Reminded me a bit of Secretary, the movie with Maggie Gyllenhaal.

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This page contains a single entry by lz published on January 27, 2011 3:48 PM.

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