Christ, Lena: Die Rumplhanni. Eine Bauerngeschichte



Lena Christ (1881-1920) made her literary début in 1912 with her "Erinnerungen einer Überflüssigen" (Memoirs of a Superfluous), in which she wrote about her experiences as an unwanted illegitimate child. Now considered a major German author, she began to seek happiness; her lines of escape can be found in her novels: "Glei frisch drauf los and mitten eine ins Glück!" (Just throw yourself straight into happiness) appears in the novel "Die Rumplhanni" (The Rumplhanni), published in Munich in 1916, which, along with "Madam Bäurin" (1919), charts the path to a self-determined life as a woman. On the advice of her husband Peter Benedix (1877-1954), Christ rewrote the work, originally planned as a play, into a novel. In it, she describes Johanna Rumpl’s unscrupulous attempts to achieve social advancement. "Rumplhanni" first earns her living as a maid and, after she fails to convince the farmer that his son should marry her, she tries her luck in Munich, where she ends up as a landlady. Her line of flight is opposed to that of "Madam Bäurin": "'Out of town with the farmers everything went wrong for her, in the city even the bad things prospered for her' [...] Rumplhanni lived in a world in which it was common practice to sexually exploit the servants. Her name already contains a vulgar connotation in the Bavarian dialect: 'rumpeln' means 'to have intercourse'." (Gunna Wendt)


Peter Czoik