[Reading] ➶ Blösch By Beat Sterchi – Horse-zine.co.uk


Blösch explained Blösch, review Blösch, trailer Blösch, box office Blösch, analysis Blösch, Blösch 0438 Cow Is The Story Of A Spanish Agricultural Labourer, Ambrosio, Who Goes To Switzerland As A Gastarbeiter He Is Bound For Innenwald, A Village In The Swiss Highlands, And The Novel Begins As He Is About To Spend A Summer Working For Farmer Knuchel It Ends In The Abattoir Of The Neighbouring City, At The End Of The Seven Hard Years Of Labour That Have Destroyed Him There He Sees Blosch, The Once Magnificent Lead Cow On Knuchel S Farm, Now A Sad, Condemned Creature In The Abattoir Cow Was Acclaimed As A Contemporary Classic On First Publication Now Than Ever It Must Be Read As A Book Of Archaic Power About Man, His Work And His Food And, Most Importantly, As A Damning Indictment Of The Relationship Between Man And The Animal World

  • Kindle Edition
  • 416 pages
  • Blösch
  • Beat Sterchi
  • 03 October 2017

About the Author: Beat Sterchi

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Blösch book, this is one of the most wanted Beat Sterchi author readers around the world.



10 thoughts on “Blösch

  1. says:

    In the early 1960s, a Spanish labourer called Ambrosio arrives in rural Switzerland to work on a cattle farm Living with the farmer s family, he becomes intimately acquainted with their animals including their pride and joy, the head milk cow Bl sch.Seven years later, now working relentless shifts in a city slaughterhouse, Ambrosio recognises an older, emaciated Bl sch as she is pushed through the abattoir door to be shot, bled and chopped up for sausage meat.This is the basic contrast at the heart of this book an important book, I think, and one which has only become relevant and powerful since it was first published in the 80s Sterchi s subject is not just our attitude to animals, but also industrialisation itself and the nature of our behaviour towards each other, themes which are evoked through a brilliant mixture of pastoral lyricism, dense paragraphs of Joycean, intercut conversation, and sparse industrial narration.Sterchi s descriptions of Swiss village life are spot on he builds up a cast of gentle, kindly characters who, however, also exhibit an underlying communal xenophobia It means that life for Ambrosio is always a negotiation, though one often marked by beauty, as in his first impressions of the village the scale and proportions of barns and outbuildings silhouetted in the night, trees and bushes, the contours of the land and the hush up above, everything etched itself into his mind, in colours and forms he barely noticed for themselves, in melodies and shadings Months later, he could still remember exactly how the first, the second, the third apple tree by the track had smelled, of resinous buds, and the exact blue grey glint of the fenceposts.Chapters of this kind of thing told from a genial third person perspective alternate with chapters in the city probably Bern , which are mostly narrated in a dazed, clipped first person narrative from an unnamed apprentice at the slaughterhouse.Piccolo slits the cows bellies open, pulls out the guts and makes a bit of room inside Then he saws through aitchbone and sternum I m already cutting my seventh throat.The loneliness of the headless bodies behind me, the hopeless gurgles ahead.The guts, still digesting, bloat the stomachs round as cannonballs A thin whoosh of air, and I smell the pressure released through the relaxed sphincter.Bony beside every body, the appropriate peeled skull, with empty eye sockets.The effect of these juxtapositions can be quite dramatic On the farm, the cows are individuals we learn their names, their personalities they are still all milked by hand, because the farmer just couldn t conceive of his cows being fed into a network of pipes and valves and pumps At the abattoir, they have no names they are kicked and sworn at they are reduced to anatomies and fed into a grotesque conveyor belt of death and dismemberment.It s important to understand that Sterchi s point is not that one picture is Good and the other Bad His point is that one depends on the other that the world of the farmyard, which everyone knows about, is built on the world of the slaughterhouse, which everyone pretends not to know about The traditional, cosy image of Swiss rural life, of cowbells clunking over Alpine pastures, is one that depends for its existence on a second, hidden world of piss and shit and blood and exploited immigrant labour.This is a particularly strong message from a Swiss author in a Swiss setting, since Switzerland has spun its identity around the image of a nativist agricultural idyll but of course it s relevant anywhere cows are forced by butter mountains and excess milk production into state subsidized slaughtering programmes You can see why fans of this book reach for some lofty comparisons Moby Dick comes up a lot, which is not really about a whale in the same way that this is not really about a cow.Michael Hofmann s translation of Bl sch was first published in the late 1980s and promptly sank without trace, despite his recommendation to the publisher that the original was likely to be the best German language book for a decade This 2018 reissue, now unambitiously retitled Cow, should be hailed from the rooftops It s the book that made me a translator, Hofmann says in his foreword though I m sure he s previously said the same thing about the works of Joseph Roth I go back and forth on what I think of Hofmann, but here, although he struggles with some of the slangy conversational scenes in the slaughterhouse, the rural sections are handled with exquisite sensitivity, and he wields a ruthlessly exact vocabulary in the descriptions of cutting animals to pieces.Such descriptions are many and detailed, and have a stomach churning cumulative quality that starts to make you feel trapped in a Dantesque nightmare except that it s determinedly factual Sterchi s father was a butcher, and he apparently followed him into the trade for a few years, so there is a terrifying sense of verisimilitude to this stuff by the end of the book, you feel you could practically take a cow apart yourself.In its final chapters, Cow builds to a hallucinatory scene of rebellion and revolution somewhat reminiscent of the final scenes of Lindsay Anderson s If , and here Sterchi s prose finds yet another mode that of historic irony.The cow stood and bled, and it was as though she knew the long history of her kind, as though she knew that she was one of those mothers cheated of their rich white milk, who had offered their teats for thousands of years, and for thousands of years been devoured in recompense It was as though she knew that her kind had always had to beat their hooves sore on the stoniest of fields, that for her kind there was no escaping the leather harness of the plough that kept this world alive It was as though this cow knew about her ancestors, understood that she herself could only be a pale reflection of the mighty aurochs, who with his curved, arm length horns had established a dominion that stretched from the bright woods and rich parkland of central Europe as far as the distant heart of China, an empire on which the sun seldom set, and that neither the treacherous Asian yak nor the sullen gaur had been able to take away from him.I stopped eating animals a couple of years ago now and having moved to the Swiss countryside last year, right next door to a family cattle farm, this book would certainly have finished me off if I hadn t already decided At the same time, it s only fair to warn potential readers that although I highly recommend it, it isn t the kind of book you look forward to curling up in bed with at the end of a hard day In various ways it can be challenging But if you like fiction that tackles big, modern themes in innovative ways, then this feels like a novel whose time has come.

  2. says:

    Cow by Beat Sterchi is something than a story of a Spanish worker and a cow Sterchi apprenticed as a butcher after secondary school In 1970 he emigrated to Canada, where he carried out various activities and incidentally completed an evening school He completed his studies in English at the University of British Columbia near Vancouver with a bachelor s degree In 1975 he went to Honduras, where he worked in the capital Tegucigalpa until 1977 as an English teacher and first poems published in English and German From 1977 to 1982 he studied at McGill University in Montr al and worked as a teacher at the local Goethe Institut Cow is his first novel.What starts as a simple story of a Spanish guest worker arriving to work in a small Swiss dairy village He works on the farm earning the respect of the farmer, Knuchel The Knuchel treats him, Ambrosio, well and even buys new clothes for his worker Ambrosio arrived in shorts and sandals and the clothes of the warmer Spanish climate He earns the farmer s respect Bolsch is the farmer s prize cow and has the run of the farm she is the queen in the matriarchy of cows Ambrosia next finds himself in the slaughterhouse after seven years of hard work Bolsch also finds herself in the same slaughterhouse.Sterchi gives the reader a very detailed look into milk cows from milking to calving The new textbook descriptions blending well with the story Also, the reader will be introduced to the workings of the slaughterhouse as well as the men who wind up working there The reader follows the animals from stunning, to draining the blood I open your throat, following the strands of neck muscle, cut you open as far as the gristly white of your windpipe I sever muscle from muscle, vessel from vessel.Even the blood is saved by and adding a declotting agent It will be used in feed A man removes the offal careful not to cut into the intestines and organs A slip will ruin the meat The reader will learn which vertebrae is separated on steers and cows when quartering the carcass It is all part of the disassembly line The slaughterhouse has no redeeming qualities to it It is where the unuseful animals are sent and less desirable men work It is a darkness that exists outside of the dairy village.The farm represents a lighter place Knuchel cares for his cows He treats their wounds, fusses over their diet, and follows the politics of his heard There is a positive connection between man and animal, even if the animal is clearly a servant of man and will one day wind up in the slaughterhouse One day but not today The farm is life to the slaughterhouse s death.The Cow is deeper than it appears Ambrosio is clearly an outsider and treated rather poorly by everyone in the village except Knuchel To drive the xenophobia home, the town itself is called Innerwald strictly translated it means a paused woodland On the surface, it sounds like an inside place, introverted There is a battle between Knuchel and the rest of the village over milking machines and artificial insemination Knuchel opposes both Ambrosio is hired as a milker instead of giving the job to machines Knuchel tells the mayor when getting Bolsch inseminated by a bull that he couldn t drink the milk of an inseminated cow There is something unclean and unnatural about the process Cow is also a story of flaws Ambrosio is flawed because he is an outsider and does not speak any German He is essentially run out of town Even in the slaughterhouse, we are reminded that he is flawed by his losing a finger Bolsch is also flawed despite her greatness and standing she does not produce a useful cow In seven attempts it is always a useless male calf She, for all her greatness, will not produce a prize milk cow.More than simply a novel Cow is literature It contains far than entertainment It teaches and instructs the reader The violence of the slaughterhouse is used to reinforce the other messages in the book This is not an easy book to put down or to forget.The forward is written by the translator Michael Hoffmann and the introduction is by Eileen Battersby Available February 8, 2018.

  3. says:

    I don t want any stiff animal carcasses under my blankets Is that too much to ask I just want a couple of hours of sleep to drown my gnawing thoughts.A little refuge in darkness, a refuge I don t have to explain or account for to anyone A couple of paces into the Beyond of sleep.His hands are scarred, used up His body small, knees burned and knobbly from a life worked on them Crawled on them, but proud Helplessly proud Seven years hard labor Ambrosio arrives in the Swiss village of Innerwald The highlands where they know man s place to beast to land Off the short bus in short pants He doesn t speak a word of German Their laughter could go down minus the malice Time stops for a moment and he feels he s a stranger in a strange land Everyone looks Everyone seems to look There are whispers of the lazy Spaniard before he is stooped again I gazed into the cud chewing eyes and the bottom was emptier than cruelty I felt tired for his days before they have started again He watches past the bus and imagines going home again The clock strikes for is it life and the Spaniard gets to work for the Farmer Knuchel and his flat headed children Knuchel the farmer sows seeds of expectation The owner of the cooperative will argue against buying the small man good working clothes I felt depressed when they good clothes didn t fit Is it too late to catch the next bus out of there I knew that Spaniard guy wasn t going to show He showed I knew he was going to take off in the middle of the night I knew he was going to take to milking like a lovely lass in a hot chocolate advertisement In Knuchel s eyes dance dreams of the future for his new employee, for his eldest son, for the pride of the dairy farm of the highlands We don t need no new fangled milking machines on my farm The dark eyes glaze over in Babe or Charlotte s Web nightmares If Babe doesn t dance for his dinner good enough tonight he s dinner There s a new dance every night Don t pay any attention than you have to towards the red cow and her stupid bull calf Stupid fat Bl sch The pig She s on hunger strike She never delivered anything but bull calves Farmer Knuchel is a mean horny bastard who takes it out on the objection of his affection when his wet dream doesn t come to fruition He d take it out on her if he got his balls off Where else would the once proud queen of the brood go than the abattoir I wonder if it isn t too late to catch another bus I want to take her out of there I kept thinking about that cow that escaped in Germany not too many years ago The Germans decided to let her live free At least that one got away They caught the escaped zoo monkey when I was vacationing in St Pete, Florida last year I kept thinking about that too Go to work in the slaughterhouse The animals don t scream Slice and dice and all sterile blade clean to eat off of and catch your own blank expression in But they do scream It isn t that tree falling in the woods thing Some of the guys shoot them There are guys to do that sort of thing You know, guys Men with jobs and clock out machines and growing short like Ambrosio under the weight of red lights beckoning to the clock out machine Day in and out and death Their minds grind out like meat factory machines of just a little peace Just a little sleep Just like the dark eyes of the proud red calf that the Spaniard felt his human connection to Animal connection to I have a hard time saying human about anything they do in The Cow There s a train There s taking someone and shooting them in the back of the head You can t even do it to their face kind of death Ambrosio doesn t learn much German My Spanish was just good enough to be able to read his rare thought He has friends, sort of, in his new coworkers When it isn t like the farm when the cows push their way to the water trough in their brief moment of freedom He thinks about telling them about what had happened before, about the farm, when he finds himself surprised Bl sch is in the abattoir What did B ssinger then successfully look for in the mincing machine Ambrosio s pulped finger To avoid the sausage meat having to be impounded How did B ssinger say he was able to recognize it By the colour He had seen a lighter coloured patch Was that Ambrosio s worst experience in the slaughterhouse One of the worst.I am having a hard time seeing the circle of life angle in this right now Ambrosio sees himself in Bl sch and I saw Ambrosio in the tired eyes of his fellow slaughterhouse workers There wasn t nothing but I am feeling pretty damned low right now I read articles about shark fin soup and shark hunting today after finishing this book and, yeah, I feel pretty damned bad Oh yeah, good book The stoop of life, the breath you need to somehow get up another day If you can manage to not sense malice in everything IF you can somehow be surprised that the slaughterhouse is where that cow ended up But I wish I hadn t read it because my day amounted to trying to get through the day and feeling a lot less human than feeling connected to another misplaced soul who was shit unlucky to be where they were It would be like going home from work and finding that the work day had started over again and you missed reading, or taking a nap, playing with your dog Anything that might make you feel happier I wish I could muster up the energy to write about the life goes on of the stupid Baby cow the prima donna usurper, or wannabe usurper I read that cows have best friends and pine for each other when they are apart The red cow didn t get to have that The obsession of the Farmer Knuchel could not have meant anything to her The lay it out on the carving table honesty about what it is they are really doing That s what I saw in her eyes I appreciated a lot that Sterchi wrote about what these men felt for animals and fellow man in an unsentimental way If you are lucky it looks less black and ugly If you are unlucky you are blessed if you can still have something left for empathy Michael Hofmann translated I found the book by looking up his translated works again The book was published in 1983 and the translation was released in 1988 I have no way of knowing what the German looked like, of course From what I ve read of his translations so far I think he is gifted at a respectful distance When you know you don t have to know everything about a person You recognize the right to life and if you are human enough to want to know something about them than that is on you Sterchi and Hoffmann s book doesn t cut open Ambrosio s heart It doesn t slice up the red cow You don t follow the slaughterhouse workers into their dreams But damned do they have the right to have them That s something That means something to me to be able to respect people like that.

  4. says:

    This is one of those books that is about than it would appear at first glance The basic story concerns a Spanish worker who has come to Switzerland to work at the Knuckel s dairy farm Originally published in 1983 this part of the book is very resonant of the experiences of European workers working in other countries at this time Attitudes and opinions don t often change.In his introduction, the translator Michael Hofmann recalls that upon first reading the book he felt he was reading a cow version of Moby Dick The reason for this is that the other part of the book is set in a slaughterhouse, seven years after the story begins The author leads us in graphic detail through the processes undergone from delivery of the animals to, in the final chapter, the removal of the parts of them for which there is no use As such it is similar to the chapters in Moby Dick which describe the processing of the whale Although this is written than thirty years before my reading, I imagine the principles haven t changed all that much and still a lot of blood and guts.There is a moment after all the gore that is quite surreal, as some of the workers in the slaughterhouse lead a cow who is due for what is termed emergency slaughtering through the abattoir, garlands around her horns, a bell around her neck indeed just the image of a cow grazing on a Swiss mountainside And it is as though she knows all that has been expected of her kind in slavery to men, working under the yoke, producing milk for years, and then being sent to slaughter for meat This is such a powerful image, and one which is thought provoking, even, I would hope, to those who have no problem with eating animals Far from an easy read, but an unusual and worthwhile one.

  5. says:

    Something I like about Goodreads is that I m exposed to books I wouldn t learn of otherwise Cow is one of those books It s the story of Ambrosio, a Spanish immigrant working in Switzerland, first on a dairy farm and later in a slaughterhouse It s also the story of a cow named Bl sch It s a very moving and intense read, and I felt very caught up in the characters travails especially Bl sch.Warwick s thoughtful review inspired me to read Cow

  6. says:

    See of my book reviews on my blog, Literary FlitsIt was a surprise for me to realise that this novel was originally published thirty five years ago Its themes and subjects are so completely relevant to 2018 Sterchi explores xenophobia towards migrant workers and also the way in which we treat and mistreat the animals we raise for our food For anyone who did Veganuary this year and whose commitment is wavering, Cow is a powerful read to set you right back on track.Cow begins as Spanish cow hand Ambrosio arrives in the rural Swiss idyll of Innenwald Small farms raise contented cows, pigs and hens the old fashioned way the village makes its own cheeses and hams It should be bliss But the villagers, almost without exception, are suspicious of the new outsider and side together to close him out Why should a Spaniard be given a Swiss job even though there is no local person out of work We soon see that local labour isn t the only issue dividing Innenwald Several of the farms have installed new fangled milking machines instead of milking by hand And they are starting to buy in chemicals instead of spreading dung from their own cows It s so much quicker modern and efficient Cow jumps in time between the Knuchel farm where the family is still staunchly committed to gentle but labour intensive methods, and a nearby town abbatoir where Ambrisio is working some seven years later We know he loses his farm job but don t immediately know how, and we soon see that the Knuchel farm must have been lost to modernity too The abattoir scenes are powerful The violence of slaughter and butchery is casually and I believe accurately portrayed which left me with memorable impressions of how food animals are killed and processed It is something I think we should all be aware of, especially people who eat meat, but this subject is usually coyly hidden from public view Sterchi portrays the abattoir workers realistically and sensitively I liked the chapters where we are in the midst of their gossip and chatter These are not innately cruel men, but men forced into inhumane actions in order to keep their jobs.I was, strangely, reminded of Harriette Arnow s The Dollmaker while reading Cow In that book a rural American family is sucked into the hell of industrial Detroit between the wars In this book, the respectful farming of generations is cast aside for the same ideal of industralisation as a universal answer Speed, quantity and profit over humanity and health I suspect many readers will shy away from Cow, preferring to remain ignorant about our mass produced food supply However I would recommend this book widely It is, in itself, simply a very good story and an engrossing read, and also a insightful portrayal of a way of farming which isn t quite completely lost to us which, I think, desperately needs to become widespread again.

  7. says:

    This book is, well, strange It opens with a Spanish man, emigrating to Switzerland, seeking work as a dairy farm worker The early chapters alternate between the small, non mechanized farm where the farmer knows his ten or so cows by name and treats them with loving kindness, and, set about seven years in the future, the slaughter house where the cows, now old and abused are butchered The final chapters are set almost entirely in the slaughter house The workers dislike their jobs, despise their supervisors, and fear being automated into unemployment I believe this is the sort of book which should be read and reread several times to tease out all the symbolism and hidden meanings Not for me however, I found it far too disturbing to read again any time soon It is definitely not for the squeamish.

  8. says:

    A penetrating psychological look at work and what it does to people when they are defined by it Here, specifically it is dairies and abattoirs, but it could encompass so many other settings The abrupt shifts between pastoral and industrial were jarring and sobering, the trajectory of men seeking financial success and self worth by sheer might and force of will is a heartbreak There is no joy to be found here, and no redemption But a very solemn reminder to choose wisely how we assign value to life, and to living.

  9. says:

    Geen boek voor op de nuchtere maag De hoofdpersoon Ambrosio is een gastarbeider uit Spanje die zijn geluk in Zwitserland gaat beproeven Hij komt terecht op de traditionele boerderij van boer Knucher Terwijl de rest van het dorp overgaat op melkmachines en kunstmest, zweert boer Knucher bij het melken met de hand en ouderwetse koeienmest De boer is blij met Ambrosio in tegenstelling tot de rest van het dorp die hem zien als indringer Zeven jaar later leeft Ambrosio nog steeds in Zwitserland, maar werkt hij in een slachterij Een slachterij waar het niet zo nauw met de voorschriften wordt genomen Als gastarbeider geniet Ambrosio nog steeds weinig aanzien en hij leeft zijn leven totdat Blosch, de beste koe van boer Knucher, op de slachtbank langs ziet komen Een bijzonder verhaal, waarbij het mooie alpenlandschap afgewisseld worden met bloedspetters en rondvliegende darmen in de slachterij en tussendoor het leven als gastarbeider ook nog neergezet wordt.

  10. says:

    Interesting, very interesting, and definitely unlike anything I d read before Not that the subject matter itself was unfamiliar but the way it was described gave me something to think about Like Sally Fouhse see reviews said earlier Weird but compelling.

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