Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. Cover art is copyright of Minnesota Press.
‘Gone is Gone’ or ‘The Story of a Man Who Wanted to Do Housework’ is retold here by Wanda Ga’g, after being passed down orally through generations of her family. The book is dedicated “To My Peasant Ancestors.” This is how I intend to dedicate my future memoirs.
Fritzl and Liesi live and work on their land. Fritzl works out in the field all day. Liesi works in and around the house and looks after the baby. Fritzl believes that he works harder than Liesi and has no issue in saying so.
“Little do you know, Liesi, what a man’s work is like, little do you know! Your work now, ’tis nothing at all.”
Liesi wallops him, takes the child and leaves him. Alas, I kid. She is instead miraculously bemused by his misogyny. She suggests that they swap workloads for a day.
‘Gone is Gone’ is titled thus because every time Fritzl screws up one of the chores, he shrugs and says “Na, na! What’s gone is gone.” Is it such a wonder that he’s so easy on himself after dismissing his wife’s hard word? A ripping display of male entitlement.
Fritzl’s incompetence amplifies until he has put the lives of his dog, his cow, his child and himself in jeopardy. What an idiot. Even so, Liesi is patient and kind with him, though an “I told you so” is heavily implied – and well-deserved.
‘Gone is Gone’ is is a fine tale of comeuppance for adults and children alike.