The Vision Of Emma Blau, by Ursula Hegi

Essay by StrawberryShortCakeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2002

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The Vision Of Emma Blau By Ursula Hegi

The literary work, "The Vision Of Emma Blau", is quite a bizarre way of telling people's lives. I had read a few other books by this author, and was really impressed with them. I liked the whole idea of a series of novels about different characters in the same small village in Germany, and this book started out promisingly enough. However, it's promising start gets bogged down and this novel turns into a bore, due to Hegi's endless addition of characters and "next generations". This novel could have been briefly told in a short five chapter book, and got the point across, but the author of the story Ursula Hegi, felt the need to make every detail of the story drawn out, making it uninteresting.

"The Vision of Emma Blau" is an epic story of German immigrants attempting to assimilate while still preserving traces of home in their language and rituals.

In 1894 Stefan Blau leaves Europe for America; he is only 13 years old, but he feels the need for another country so strongly that it wakes him up at night. After narrowly escaping a restaurant fire in New York City, he finds himself in New Hampshire. With money he has saved from waiter jobs and poker winnings, he buys a small hotel, which over time he transforms into a six-story, elaborate apartment house. The Wasserburg known in Germany as the water fortress (Hegi 22) is a palace towering over a half-empty lake town, standing out in the landscape the same way Stefan's accent stands out in conversation which is exotic, awkward, a hybrid of German and American dreams.

The story is set at the beginning of the last century in an apartment building in a small town in the...