A Happy Man and Other Stories
by Axel Thormählen/Translated by Marianne Thormählen
A Happy Man and Other Stories or/oder Der Glückliche und andere Erzählungen draws together nine short stories by German author Axel Thormählen. Jochen, the title story’s hero, is a man content in the face of others’ discontent and their foolish fear of mortality. Like Jochen, many of Thormählen’s characters live within deceptively simple, but impossibly profound, movements, accepting the happy limits of life. Judith Freeman asks in her introduction, “though we are drained, hunted to death, and out of breath, is [Jochen] not still, are we not all, happy men?” Thormählen’s great achievement is that his stories move as much toward the answer as the question, but in the end leave both untouched and unrelenting.
A Happy Man and Other Stories is published as part of the TrenchArt: Parapet Series, translated by Marianne Thormählen with an introduction by Judith Freeman and visual art by Danielle Adair.