Two young men with very different personalities set out to climb a mountain. Ull, decisive and competent, has his eye on the goal: the summit. Johann, irresolute, is just along for the climb; after several setbacks, he gives up and turns back. Ull continues on – despite the near impossibility of summiting alone and ignoring all warning signs – determined to reach the summit in defiance of his friend.
The Swiss author Ludwig Hohl (1904-1980) lived much of his life in relative obscurity, tasting success only in the last decade of his life, when he won, among other prizes, the Robert Walser Centenary Prize (1978). He is best known for his 832-page opus Die Notizen (The Notes). He began the novella Bergfahrt (Ascent) in 1926, revised it repeatedly, then left the manuscript for thirty years before returning to it and giving it its final form. It was first published in 1975.
About the Translator: Donna Stonecipher is the author of three books of poetry, most recently The Cosmopolitan (Coffee House Press, 2008).
Ascent by Ludwig Hohl
Hohl is a great discovery, an unjustly neglected author.