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Like a Washed Corpse

Jenny Turner: Fleur Jaeggy’s Method, 27 July 2023

The Water Statues 
by Fleur Jaeggy, translated by Gini Alhadeff.
And Other Stories, 93 pp., £10.99, May 2022, 978 1 913505 44 8
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... After​ the death of his mother, a man called Beeklam turns to collecting statues, which he keeps in the flooded basement of his house in Amsterdam. Thelma, he calls one specimen – it was his mother’s name. Others are Rosalind, Diane, Magdalena, Gertrud, after his mother’s friends. Because the basement, ‘like the sewers’, is connected to the sea, ‘it was a relief to Beeklam to know that any gap or crack would give a sense of the movement of waves: of a submerged world he believed to be populated by other statues with feet (if they still had them) tied to stones, and whose knuckles of stone knocked on his walls ...

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