Peter Stamm: Das Archiv der Gefühle (The Archive of Feelings)

The latest addition to my website is Peter Stamm‘s Das Archiv der Gefühle (The Archive of Feelings). Our unnamed narrator was an archivist for a newspaper but a paper archive was no longer needed in the age of the Internet, so he was made redundant. However he was not going to let go and persuades his former employer to let him take the entire archive and store it in his basement. He continues to update it. He had met Franziska at school and they had become friends but when he told her he loved her she said she did not love him but he could kiss her. They remained friends but only friends and he helps her in the early stages of her successful singing career. But he feels the need to break away and gradually they lose touch. She is a big success. He is an archivist. By the beginning of the book, they have not met for thirty years but he still loves her and has frequent imaginary conversations with her. His archive seems less interesting but Franziska is ever present in his mind. Finally, he gets her email address and writes to her but will she respond and, if she does, how will she respond?

This is an excellent book as we follow a man obsessed with his love for someone he knew a sa child and obsessed, though less so, with his archive.

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