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May 30, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

SWEET DAYS OF DISCIPLINE by Fleur Jaeggy translated from the Italian by Tim Parks (New Directions: $9.95; 101 pp.; paperback original). Parks' translation makes this popular European novel about life in a girl's boarding school available to English readers. In spare, elegiac prose, Jaeggy draws a bleak portrait of a cloistered environment: "We saw life pass by beneath our windows, observed it in books and on our walks, watched the seasons change. It was always a reflection, a reflection that seemed to freeze on our windowsills." The alienated narrator struggles to establish friendships with aloof Frederique and beautiful Micheline, but succumbs to the regimen of pointless lessons that are supposed to prepare her for life beyond the school walls.

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