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INFERNO

Mela Hartwig

  • Original Title: INFERNO
  • Publication date: August 2018
  • Publisher: Literaturverlag Droschl
  • Country: AT
  • 216 print pages
  • Classic

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 20th century
  • Location setting: Austria
  • Themes: FAMILY, Siblings, Dysfunctional family, Emancipation, PEOPLE facing life, Life choice, Coming of age, Life change, Moral dilemma, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Conspiracy, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Discriminations, Power, Totalitarian regime, Fanaticism, War and other conflicts, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Commitment, Intolerance, LOVE / HATE, Amorous urge

Pitch

The story of 18 years old Ursula, who lives with her bourgeois parents and her brother in Vienna when the Anschluss takes place in 1938. At home, a great tension soon arises when Ursula’s sibling joins the Nazi movement and expresses his support towards Hitler while she is an open-minded wannabe actress and is outraged by surrounding intolerance and violence.

Comments

Translation, rights sold: Italy (rights reserved)

This is a modern classic novel. Authored by a censored Austrian writer and actress, banned by the Third Reich, it is published for the first time in 2018.

Mela Hartwig was born in 1893 in Vienna, where she went on to have a successful career as an actress. After marrying, Hartwig left the stage and turned her hand to writing, where she developed a name for herself as a modernist and feminist. In 1938, Hartwig and her husband immigrated to London, where she befriended Virginia Woolf. She died in London in 1967.

Summary

The novel tells the story of 18 years old Ursula, who lives with her bourgeois parents and her brother in Vienna when the Anschluss takes place in 1938. At home, a great tension soon arises because Ursula’s sibling joins the Nazi movement and expresses his support towards Hitler. On the contrary, she is an open-minded wannabe actress and is outraged by surrounding intolerance and violence, so that she often argues with her brother, who tries to convince her. The only ray of light in her life is represented by Ursula’s boyfriend, whom she shares her ideals with.
Nevertheless, he soon gets engaged in the resistance and is involved in dangerous and punchy actions, such as violent sabotages. On her side, Ursula is torn in between her will of defending that cause and her fear, though she ends up contributing to the resistance’s work, producing fake documents and actively participating to their operations.
At the end, Ursula’s lover is arrested after he organizes the explosion of an ammunition factory. Lost, Ursula is left alone and in an apocalyptic scenario she paints her sorrow, entitling her canvas Inferno, hence the title.

go further

  • Author’s biography

    Mela Hartwig was born in 1893 in Vienna, where she went on to have a successful career as an actress. After marrying, Hartwig left the stage and turned her hand to writing, where she developed a name for herself as a modernist and feminist. In 1938, Hartwig and her husband immigrated to London, where she befriended Virginia Woolf. She died in London in 1967.