What is this grotesque, possibly German short story?
April 9, 2007 5:53 PM   Subscribe

Help me remember the name and author of this short story. The pathetic male main character is abused and humiliated by an abusive female character (his wife, I think). The culmination involves some sort of grotesque and humiliating performance by the main character at a party, arranged by the wife.

I vaguely remember the author being German (though I could be wrong), and I read it in an anthology, so it's probably by someone pretty well known.
posted by bubukaba to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
sounds a bit like *who's afraid of virginia woolf?* - a play, not a short story
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:38 PM on April 9, 2007

(oh - the author of that one is Edward Albee)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:41 PM on April 9, 2007

It sounds a *little* like The October Game by Ray Bradbury, but that's probably not it.
posted by Lucinda at 7:44 PM on April 9, 2007

Sorry for the double post, but here is a link to that story...
posted by Lucinda at 7:45 PM on April 9, 2007

Could it be "My lady love, my dove" by Roald Dahl, from "Tales of the Unexpected"?

Link to a synopsis here.
posted by arha at 8:05 PM on April 9, 2007

How about, "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover"?
posted by Jandasmo at 8:20 PM on April 9, 2007

Definitely sounds like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" to me, despite that not being a story.
posted by limeonaire at 8:21 PM on April 9, 2007

This was definitely a short story, or maybe a novella. Keep throwing things out there. This is really driving me crazy.

That said, I'm pretty much bound to like anything that fits the description I provided - so thanks for all the suggestions so far!
posted by bubukaba at 8:55 PM on April 9, 2007

Dead end alert - that's pretty much the plot of the classic Josef von Sternberg/Marlene Deitrich film The Blue Angel, which was based on a novel by Thomas Mann's older brother. Buut... I double-checked online, and Professor Unrat, or The End of a Tyrant seems to have had a completely different ending from the film and therefore wouldn't be what you're looking for. Sorry.
posted by ormondsacker at 10:44 PM on April 9, 2007

Sounds like Patricia Highsmith's kind of nastiness, though she wasn't German.
posted by scratch at 6:40 AM on April 10, 2007

This is kind of obscure, but it could be "Titus Alone," the third book in the Gormenghast series by Mervyn Peake. You can buy all three books in one volume, and it is the shortest of the books.
posted by WyoWhy at 7:18 AM on April 10, 2007

Ah hah! I finally found it myself - it's "Little Lizzy" by Thomas Mann.
posted by bubukaba at 1:21 AM on April 21, 2007

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