Bartl's adventure

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Bartl's Adventure is a children's novel by the writer Marlen Haushofer , published in 1964 by Forum-Verlag, Vienna - Hanover - Bern .

Content and structure

Marlen Haushofer describes in her children 's book Bartls Abenteuer the growing up of a house cat called Bartl . After his birth, Bartl ends up in a family with two children. The adolescent tomcat has to assert itself not only against the two boys, but also against the cats in the neighborhood.

The animals, like the brutal conspecific Beli or the aging bread hangover, but also many other cats as well as the obligatory enemy "dog" are contrasted in their instinctive existence with human figures that go far beyond what is given to animals. From the disinterested to self-sacrificing cat carers, from animal torments to "cat understanders", Haushofer shows the colorful and sometimes frightening panopticon of human beings through the eyes of a cat. The simple, sometimes anticipatory, then again limited to the perspective of the cat makes the book a work suitable for the target group, although the attitude towards humans and animals conveyed in this authorial half-distance may also appeal to adults.

All 14 chapters begin with a brief summary of the following action - these summaries also appear in the attached table of contents. The text is illustrated with simple pen drawings.

Origin and context

In 1960 the Haushofer family moved from the cramped inner city of Steyr (last address: Pfarrgasse 8) to a spacious house in the Tabor district . The book also describes a move to a two-family house on the outskirts of the city . The relative family idyll in the novel is probably the highly embellished depiction of a more than difficult reality: Haushofer once said about her tiger cat Iwan that he was the only creature in her family about whom there was no disagreement. Iwan is probably also the direct role model for Bartl.

In contrast to her texts for adults, Haushofer’s children's books were written very quickly, usually only in one or two weeks. When asked, she replied: I'll sit down at the kitchen table, put myself in an eight-year-old boy, and I'll be fine . Children's books were often the only way to earn significant money.


First edition

Paperback edition

  • Marlen Haushofer - Bartls Abenteuer , List Taschenbuch 2005, 4th edition ISBN 3-548-60156-1

Individual evidence

  1. Information based on the paperback edition by List Verlag
  2. Daniela Strigl - "Probably I'm crazy". Marlen Haushofer - die Biographie , List Taschenbuch Verlag 2008, 2nd edition, p. 242 ISBN 978-3-548-60784-9
  3. ^ Marlen Haushofer - Bartls Abenteuer , List Taschenbuch Verlag 2005, 4th edition, p. 84ff. ISBN 3-548-60156-1
  4. “Probably I am crazy” , p. 224
  5. “Probably I am crazy” , p. 270