All very bleak, though. That Wikipedia page mentions that she is a German writer, and the Goethe-Institut link I posted includes her in the list of German authors whose books have been translated into English. I was going by her name, but that makes sense. But the moral message is exactly the same as in Emil und die Detektive , Der Mai and all the rest. Really quite disorientating Malina is a sort of feminist counterpoise to the Tin Drum.
Uwe Timm - famous for Die Entdeckung der Currywurst , a satirical account of how the German economy got going again after the war. Martin Walser - slightly more obscure south-German member of the post-war generation, who didn't write his "my childhood in the Third Reich book, Ein springender Brunnen , until very late in life. I wanted to start out with something quite new to me, so I picked up Birgit Vanderbeke's novella, Das Muschelessen The Mussel Feast , which I'd never heard of until I saw it mentioned a couple of times above.
Since it ties in with the fall of the Berlin Wall, it seemed like an appropriate choice for the 3rd of October Germany's national unity day. It's a very short book — you can easily read it in two or three hours — but quite absorbing. It's written in a sort of Thomas Bernhard looping narrative style, with long run-on sentences and characters who don't have names, but are just identified by their relationship to the narrator "mein Vater", "meine Mutter", "mein Bruder".
If you could imagine Thomas Bernhard as a teenage girl born in the fifties scary thought! It's a pretty angry book too: probably only "mildly irritated" by Bernhard's demanding standards, but measured on any normal scale there's a serious quantity of anger built in to the narrator's slow dissection of what's wrong with the family she lives in.
It's very hard to find stories that can survive the weight of a load of political symbolism shovelled on top of them without either the story or the politics seeming crude and bolted-on, but Vanderbeke handles it very subtly and leaves us to do most of the work. We have to draw our own parallels to what was going on in Germany at the end of the eighties without any direct help from the author, and we're free to ignore the symbolism altogether if we want to.
Very nicely done. And more than a slight echo of one or two German fathers I've met I can't believe we already in October! I will have to look for it. It's quite something I've just started Matthias Politycki's Weiberroman , which was apparently a big cult success when it came out in , but obviously passed me by.
Looks quite fun so far: parkas, Pink Floyd, and lots of footnotes. Weiberroman: Historisch-kritische Gesamtausgabe no English translation yet by Matthias Politycki Still trying to look for German authors who are new to me, I followed a chain of recommendations on LibraryThing and came up with Birgit Vanderbeke's contemporary, Matthias Politycki, who is by all accounts at least, as far as Wikipedia and his own website can be trusted And a big fan of Nabokov, Sterne and Diderot. Who could resist that combination?
Department of German
So far, the only one of his prose works to be translated into English is Jenseitsnovelle Next world novella , Weiberroman is a very postmodern, s sort of book. The basic premise is that Gregor Schattschneider has disappeared in mysterious circumstances from the Bavarian island of Frauenchiemsee, leaving behind him the manuscript of his vast and unfinished novel-about-women, Weiberroman , in which he appears as the serially-love-lorn anti-hero.
Gregor's friend, the literary scholar Eckhardt who also appears as a character in the novel , has collated a portion of the thousands of un-ordered manuscript fragments and edited them for publication, and has annotated them with copious quantities of pedantic footnotes, before also disappearing in mysterious circumstances and leaving Politycki to complete the work of preparing the text for publication.
Except that practically all of these "facts" about the genesis of the text are put into question during the course of the book, with Gregor at one point hinting that it is he himself who is writing both text and footnotes, and at another accusing Eckhardt of being the author of the text, and so on. Politycki makes sure that we know we are not allowed to believe in either the stability of the text, or its authority, and that we entirely forget that the whole thing was dreamed up by Politycki!
At times it feels like Kater Murr , Tristram Shandy and Pale fire all rolled into one, and it definitely has one of the funniest bibliographies I've seen. The novel itself is in three sections, corresponding to three of the great loves of Gregor's life we are told that there are further unpublished fragments dealing with at least two more women. The first part, "Kristina", takes place in the early seventies, when Gregor is a teenager in a sleepy small town in Westphalia.
Gregor appears as something like the stock heterosexual man of romantic comedy, forever falling in love with women, but totally unable to put himself in their place and work out what they might be thinking. Or to explain to them what he himself feels. The women are also, at least at first glance, stock figures: unattainable princess, dumb-blonde Playboy -model, and immaculate flight-attendant. But the narrator helps us to see beyond Gregor's tunnel vision, and we realise that the women are actually much more human and interesting than that.
Which is just as well, because Gregor on his own would be a bit of a pain. Fortunately, there's plenty of comedy, both in the narrator's ability to distance himself from and laugh at Gregor-the-protagonist and in the constant sparring between the narrator and the editor, who clearly has no understanding of the concept of fiction, and constantly feels obliged to leap in with a footnote and contradict what Gregor is telling us. Apart from the ostensible subject of the incomprehensibility of women, there's a lot more going on.
One element is Politycki's mock-serious aim of establishing the cultural heritage of the "Generation of 78" — which is of course really just a way to poke fun at the self-importance of all the people who have made careers out of their activities as student rebels in There are hundreds of references to contemporary events in the text as Eckhardt can't resist pointing out, almost all of them incorrect , from Baader-Meinhoff to the fall of the Berlin wall, but the running joke is that despite being an intellectual and the protagonist of a Bildungsroman, Gregor isn't in the least interested in politics or indeed in anything much else, apart from women, word-games, and beer.
As we are reminded in the first part, he belongs to the generation that all wore parkas, blue-jeans and air-force boots to express their contempt for uniforms. But it does have one very German attribute, which is sort of endearing and which the author is aware of: he has Eckhardt mention it in his editorial postscript. It is one of the most over-engineered comic novels I've ever read. I think I might have been put off by this in the early chapters if I hadn't been drawn in by the nostalgic appeal of his description of German provincial life in the seventies, as seen by teenagers.
Being of a similar age and having spent a lot of holidays with my teenage German cousins, it's all extremely recognisable! I had time to read another short book over the weekend: Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter The goalie's anxiety at the penalty kick by Peter Handke To judge from the accounts of his biography on Wikipedia, the Austrian writer Peter Handke seems to be an absolute textbook case of "the generation that took itself too seriously". He has followed the time-honoured career path for Great Writers, starting out as an enfant terrible in the sixties, disrupting literary conferences with radical questions, then graduating to hanging out with actresses, rock musicians and film-makers, and achieving full Embarrassing Political Pariah status by the s.
His oration at Slobodan Milosevic's funeral has probably saved him from the inconvenience of a trip to Stockholm. In fact, he fits so completely into the mould that it was rather a surprise to discover that I hadn't read any of his books. Joking apart, what struck me from a quick glance at Handke's c. They both grew up in border areas one in the north-west corner of Austria, the other in the south and spent part of their childhoods in Germany, they were both illegitimate children with fathers who disappeared over the horizon and mothers who subsequently married someone else.
But rather different writers. Apparently they didn't get on with each other, but I don't suppose many people did get on with Bernhard. The novella Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter seems to be the most famous of Handke's early works, and it is one of those great titles that sticks in your mind whether or not you've actually read it. A bit like The loneliness of the long-distance runner and Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum : titles that seem to be micro-stories in their own right.
But it's also probably the main reason why I hadn't read anything by Handke. On the strength of this one title, I had him mentally filed away as someone who writes about football, a subject I generally find even less interesting than the frustrated desires of heterosexual men for which, see the previous post in this thread! The central character, Bloch, experiences a kind of disconnection in which the relationship of objects to words, of words to abstract meanings, of events and statements to each other, are all destabilised and put into question.
Football does come into the story at a couple of points, most crucially in the closing scene, but it isn't really a football story. There's a lot of insistence on the detail of ordinary things: what the world looks like when you're a little bit disconnected from it, and Handke maintains a very flat, undemonstrative style, in which apparently minor things, like a coin falling out of a pocket, are treated with as much weight as extreme acts of violence.
I think I would find this pretentious in a longer book, but in a short novella like this I found it an interestingly different way of looking at things. It obviously wasn't Handke's main aim to create a historical snapshot of life in a small community in southern Austria at the end of the sixties, but reading the book 45 years on, the degree of observation of everyday things that comes out of the peculiar narrative style is also very interesting from that point of view. I think Jelinek is a bit closer to him. She's got a bit of venom too. I'd want to space out my forays into their works--even if I liked them more than I do to at the least every 6 months.
I'm pretty sure though that after reading Jelinek 3 times that enough is enough. And it's not necessary for everybody that they'd actually have to like the writer in person to like their work. I've read Handke only twice--but I never detected anything like I'd find in Bernhard. Comparatively speaking I don't know how Handke could ever rate a Nobel and Bernhard not--though that prize is littered with a lot of lesser thans. My favorite work of Bernhard's is The voice imitator --about one page length collection of fictional vignettes--maybe the closest thing to it that I've read is Louis Paul Boon 's Minuet -- hate to bring a Belgian into this and if he were still alive and reading this he'd probably hate that I did it too.
Boon I don't believe had anywhere near the people hating skills of either Bernhard or Jelinek. Handke strikes me more as a social climber--which IMO can be a lot worse. He does things with the German language I didn't know were possible. And he can be savagely funny, I agree. Sometimes there are passages on topics that no normal person could find funny that you just have to laugh at, from the sheer exuberance of his negativity the twenty-page celebration of suicide that opens Die Ursache , for instance.
The voice imitator is on my list I assume that he missed out on the Nobel by not living long enough. Any suggestions for what to read first from Jelinek? I too read a book by Handke over the weekend. Short Letter, Long Farewell by Peter Handke Peter Handke is now more famous, or notorious, for his very vocal support for Slobodan Milosevic, but when he wrote this book in , at the age of 30, that was all in the future.
Without telling too much of the "plot," this novel follows the unnamed narrator, who is also an Austrian who turns 30 in the course of the story, as he either seeks his ex-wife or flees he she may be murderous , traveling across the United States from Providence to New York to Philadelphia and then to Tucson, the Pacific Northwest, and finally Los Angeles.
So this book is many things: a road trip, a not very suspenseful suspense story, and a European 'perspective on the late 60s US some of which, even when expressed by American characters, seems a tad stereotypical. But what it is primarily is a largely claustrophobic look inside the mind of the very self-obsessed narrator, who itemizes his every thought and feeling, paying little attention to the people with whom he interacts.
And maybe, just maybe, he is a little psychologically disturbed I mean beyond this self-obsession. Just to give the flavor of some of his endless musings: "As I sat motionless, something began to move back and forth in my head in a rhythm resembling that of my wanderings about New York that day. Once it stopped, then for a long time it ran straight ahead, then it zigzagged, then it circled awhile and subsided. It was neither an image nor a sound, only a rhythm that now or then pretended to be one or the other.
It was only then that I saw inside me the city that up until then I had almost overlooked. In the course of the novel, he attends various films, from Tarzan to Young Lincoln and in the end even meets director John Ford who, in contrast to the narrator, expressly advocates engagement with other human beings. Handke wrote scripts for films as well as novels. As the book progresses, the reader gets a hint of unpleasant aspects of the narrator's childhood that could have contributed to his lack of interest in the other people in the novel.
To some extent, the narrator is self-aware. He knows, for example, that he doesn't really experience a new experience, but "checks it off. I found the narrator almost insufferable, his travels only mildly interesting, his interactions with other people odd one wonders why they put up with him. And yet. Short novel, long aftereffect? They are all pretty unrelentingly negative--can be quite funny in spots though--depending of course on one's sense of humor. She seems to disdain Austrians maybe even moreso than Bernhard. She definitely has some bones to pick with the male of the species--who are pretty much characterized as selfish, egotistical, gluttonous, lust driven buffoons without exception.
Self important authority figures--moms and dads, priests and politicians, bosses of any and all stripes take a real whacking as well. What she thinks personally on these issues I can't tell you most people are at least a lot of the time complicated and at least a little bit hypocritical in one way or another but if her books are anything to go by the people especially the men at least in her region of the world could just as easily be living in the stone age.
IMO you should give her at least one try--she is a talented writer. It's astonishing how people react when the routine is disturbed, a tiny delay to the normal schedule and at once everything is different. This novella, which was originally published in and not translated into English until last year, is set in a home in West Berlin prior to the country's reunification. An unnamed woman and her teenaged son and daughter have prepared a feast of moules-frites mussels with chips for the head of the household, who promises to bring good news of a promotion to the top level of the company he works for.
He does not appear at six o'clock, which is surprising given his usual promptness and rigidity, and instead of eating the sumptuous meal the three of them wait anxiously for his arrival. As time passes and as they become inebriated with drink they speak openly and critically about him, and slowly, in the manner of peeling away the layers of an onion, the man's tyrannical and monstrous behavior towards each of them is revealed.
This story of a dysfunctional family is enriched with symbolism, presumably of German society in the s, which includes the gruesome description of the death throes of the mussels as they are boiled alive, and their increasingly distasteful appearance as they sit, uneaten, for hours afterward. The Mussel Feast is a striking and powerful work, and one which undoubtedly would reveal more on subsequent readings. Die Klavierspielerin The piano teacher by Elfriede Jelinek As has already been said a few times above, Elfriede Jelinek is a distinguished Austrian writer, of roughly the same generation as Handke and Bernhard.
October - December 2014: Postwar Germany (from 1945)
She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Like Bernhard — and like the title character of this novel — she was initially trained as a musician, and she is well-known for her work in the theatre as well as for her novels. Her first big success was Die Liebhaberinnen Women as lovers in Die Klavierspielerin appeared in and was made into a film wih Isabelle Huppert in the title role in Possibly because of the success of the film, it seems to be Jelinek's best-known work among English-speaking readers.
The central character is a woman in her mid-thirties trapped in a closed, possessive relationship with her elderly mother and a sterile career teaching students the mechanical process of interpreting music according to a set of predefined rules. If she were English, she would be a character in a wistfully ironic novel by Barbara Pym or Elizabeth Taylor.
However, she doesn't have that luxury, but instead tries to break out by realising her violent and transgressive sexual fantasies, with disastrous results. The novel is a savage, disturbing, but often also very funny satire that tries to dismantle our ideological assumptions about family relationships, love, sex, high culture and outdoor sport. Jelinek writes from a decidedly Marxist-feminist point of view, in which everything turns out to be ultimately about money, power and violence.
But this isn't a dour political tract. Jelinek keeps us on our toes by constantly shifting the narrator's tone and style around, until we have no idea from where we are looking at Erika. Sometimes the language is mildly ironic, sometimes it's lyrical, sometimes analytically bureaucratic. But whenever you think you know where you are, that's when the narrator will swing round and hit you with something that looks unbelievably crude, shocking, and out-of-context, but is also undeniably completely true.
She pulls the rug out from under us by telling us about things that we know but don't want to acknowledge would happen in that situation in real life, but which seem completely out of place in a novel. Definitely not an easy or a comfortable read, but a very rewarding one. As several German friends have mentioned it to me recently, I've started to read Er ist wieder da Look who's back by Timur Vermes. Transgressive in very different ways from Jelinek Er ist wieder da Look who's back , by Timur Vermes Timur Vermes grew up in southern Germany and has worked as a journalist and ghostwriter.
Er ist wieder da is his first novel, and has been a huge bestseller in Germany. It has already been translated into many other languages 27, according to Wikipedia , and a film is due to be released next year. The premise of the novel is that Adolf Hitler unaccountably finds himself alive and well and in the Berlin of His uniform smells of petrol, he has a headache, and the last thing he can remember is sitting on a couch in the bunker with Eva.
Obviously there must be a reason why he's there: it doesn't take him long to work out that the German nation is in a mess and needs a strong and capable leader to bring it back onto the right path. And he soon finds the way to get his message out to the German people when he gets a place on TV as a Hitler-impersonator what else?
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The real strength of the book is the daring idea of using Hitler as first-person narrator. Vermes very effectively captures the characteristic style of Hitler's rhetoric - easy to imitate for a sentence or two, but it's quite an achievement to do it for a whole book without becoming repetitive. I didn't detect any obvious wrong notes: Vermes has clearly done his research quite thoroughly.
Hitler always remains in character, taking himself entirely seriously, continuing to believe in his deluded ideas, and never doubting for a second that he has always done the right thing.
Vermes has to make sure that the reader is aware of the enormity of the moral split that is going on here: Hitler presents himself as the war veteran, the simple man of the people, the war leader carrying the responsibilities for his people, and the cuddly Onkel Wolf who liked to joke around with his secretaries and eat cream cakes, but we're not allowed to forget what else he presided over.
Sometimes this shift works and sometimes it doesn't. Ultimately, of course, the contradiction can't be resolved. In the one scene where someone confronts him with the direct consequences of his policies "You murdered my grandmother's family" , Vermes rather faintheartedly doesn't pursue the point, but allows him to brush it away by turning on the charm. The idea of making Hitler into a comedian is also clever: Vermes is making the perhaps not entirely original point that we live in a world where you get more attention as a clown than you do as a politician, and reinforcing it with the paradox that in modern Germany, dressing up as Hitler would give you the freedom to say things that would otherwise be totally unacceptable.
It's also interesting how Vermes cleverly manages the humour: Hitler, even though he's a professional comedian, never says anything that's obviously calculated to be funny, but as narrator he is aware that his comments which are often extremely funny because of the context make people laugh, and this doesn't bother him.
If people are laughing at what he says, it means that they are listening to him. It's noticeable that Vermes doesn't give Hitler a new political programme for the 21st century. He's against a lot of the things he sees around him, but we're never told what he's for, other than restoring Germany's borders to what they were. Some of the other jokes in the book are a bit more obvious: there's a certain amount of rather predictable Rip-van-Winkle stuff about Hitler discovering the oddities of the modern world, and there are a lot of in-jokes about German newspapers, politicians, and TV shows some of which I certainly missed.
Not everything was at the same high level of comedy as Hitler's wildly inappropriate speeches, but I did laugh a great deal at this book. I didn't feel very comfortable about finding it so funny, though! It's notable that reviews of this book outside Germany tend to be rather lukewarm. I suspect that it loses a lot of its transgressive effect in translation in Germany, it's still problematic to talk about Hitler in any context other than a strictly didactic one; English readers probably think about Mel Brooks or the Monty Python Minehead by-election sketch.
Moreover, even a very good translation probably wouldn't capture the dangerous and disturbing resonance that the Hitler rhetorical style has in German. I hadn't heard of Er ist weider da. I'll have to look for it. I've noticed a significant opening of people's willingness to be open about the past now that so very few people who lived through it are alive. Not a right-wing Stoiber-style speech on the unfairness of ethnic Germans losing their properties in Poland and the Czech Republic after the war, but a genuine openness to discuss the legacies of the war.
Well, now I have to find a copy! But I'll have to wait until Monday as tomorrow is a holiday. I've started a thread asking for everyone's ideas on how to structure next year's theme reads. Der geteilte Himmel Divided Heaven , by Christa Wolf Up to now in this thread I've been making an effort to read books by authors who are new to me.
Wolf is an author I already know fairly well, but this particular book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for quite some time. Although she often criticised the way it was run and got into many conflicts with the authorities, she seems to have believed firmly in the idea of a socialist state in Germany, and she was one of those who spoke out publicly against the absorption of the DDR into the Federal Republic after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Der geteilte Himmel is a very early work — only her second novel to be published, in — and is set in an industrial city in East Germany in the period immediately before the building of the Berlin Wall.
But of course, it's a lot more complicated and rewarding than that. Wolf draws on her experience of a period she and her husband spent working in a railway carriage works to show us what the socialist state looks like in practice for industrial workers, students and academics, and explains how the realities of personal ambition, bullying, weakness — and above all, the dangerously recent legacy of the Nazi period — make it difficult to achieve its ideals. With hindsight, it's easy to see what's missing from the picture: her version of the DDR may have its fair share of pollution, inefficiencies, pettiness, and incompetence, but its policemen confine their efforts to directing traffic, there don't appear to be any prisons or censorship, and the existence of the Stasi is only very indirectly hinted at.
When things go wrong, they are resolved by workers' meetings and self-criticism, not by the forcible intervention of state agencies. And of course we wouldn't really expect anything else. Not only would it have been difficult and dangerous to speak out about state terror, but it would probably also have been redundant: none of her readers in East or West would have been under any illusions in that respect. Certainly not in And she wants us to see that it's a complicated question that goes beyond simplistic ideas about native soil, economics, or abstract loyalty to a political ideal.
Her central character, Rita, is someone who was born outside the DDR and fled there at the end of the war like Wolf herself ; she lives in an unattractive industrial city where she has no family ties, and she's not a fanatical communist. She is well aware of the problems in the running of the factory where she works and the institute where she studies; she sees good people being frustrated in their ambitions and bad ones profiting. Moreover, she feels for a long time that her love for Manfred is the most important thing that's ever happened to her.
But nonetheless, she feels a loyalty to the common project of building a better world that she shares with her co-workers and fellow students, and she sees how she is losing Manfred to his all-consuming hatred for his fellow-travelling ex-Nazi father and his scheming bourgeois mother. In the end, it is the loyalty to her friends that wins, as we know from the start of the book, but it's not an easy decision. And it's probably no coincidence that she takes that decision on the Sunday before the Wall went up I want to add some other German, Swiss and Austrian books I read over the past few years.
Most were worth the read but I highly recommend the Lewinsky-books. Gerron CH, German Lesson plus Tin drum is probably as near as you can get to a two-book crash-course in post-war German literature. I've read each of them several times, but I'm not sure if I'd want to read them back to back. I've been thinking of reading either Rummelplatz or In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts as a follow-up to the Christa Wolf. But I've got a business trip to Berlin coming up: maybe I'll come back with something altogether different.
I hadn't realised that Charles Lewinsky is Swiss - he seems to be much better known in Dutch than in German if LT is anything to go by, which it usually isn't on that sort of point. Thanks for mentioning Die Vermessung der Welt - I hadn't thought about it, because it's set in the 18th century, but it is an excellent read, and it ties in - in an oblique sort of way - with what RidgewayGirl was saying about a change in attitudes to the past. Being prepared to poke a certain amount of respectable fun at the "good" bits of German history probably means that you're getting past the point where everything you write about the past has to involve breast-beating about the Third Reich cf.
Das Parfum. I was really taken with her writing. It was her last book and made me wonder a lot about her. The question your review addresses about why people would choose to stay is one she was still addressing in , long after the fall of the wall, which was 25 years ago. Wolf's books are somewhat hard to find in English, but your review makes me want to start at the beginning and work my way through.
As noted above, I am usually reading just ahead or more often somewhat behind with the quarterly read in Reading Globally. This quarter's theme has induced me to read three books so far this year that fit in this quarter, but none were actually read in this quarter.
Following thorold's review of Divided Heaven in 30 above, I thought it might be interesting to add a Wolf book from the end of her life. I first put this in the Club Read group back in August. Christa Wolf won the Thomas Mann award for her body of work. What would happen to your identity? The nameless narrator of City of Angels is faced with just such questions. Arriving in Los Angeles in , not that long after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, she made her own small but defiant gesture of solidarity with her country of East Germany, wondering " The immigration officer asked "Are you sure this country still exists?
This is a complex novel, told in layers like an archeological exploration of the narrator's life, shifting back and forth in time as all recollection does. The narration is done in the present tense about that era twenty odd years ago. The trip to Los Angeles was at the invitation of The Center, an organization which brought small groups of intellectuals and artists from outside the US together for several months at a time, supporting them while they pursued their individual projects.
This woman had written a series of letters over more than thirty years, from , to a woman in East Germany who had bequeathed them in turn to the narrator. The letters were signed only "L". There were no envelopes, only the date and Los Angeles, for sender and recipient were careful not to incriminate each other in the paranoid world of the GDR. During the narrator's time in Los Angeles, the former East Germany was going through turmoil as police and party records were opened, informers were identified and files were made public.
Families and friendships fell apart. Getting the news from Germany each day was troubling, but then one day the narrator's own name appeared in news reports. Can you forget things you did long ago that have unintended consequences? This question came to haunt her. Trying to unravel the chain of events took the narrator further back in time. Distance is required and is obtained for this painful process by shifting from "I" to "you" in the narration, separating the self into now and then. In such ways are our fates decided. Reflections on the US and its citizens echo the puzzled reactions so many have in discussions with Americans.
She is struck by "This bottomless need Americans have for safety, certainty, security" ; the morning ritual of "How are you today? She came to dread the questions that assumed she would not go back home, had been lucky to escape, as if one's country could be shrugged off like its out of date clothes. City of Angels or, the Overcoat of Dr Freud is an autobiographical novel digging as far into the soul as possible without quite reaching Eventually Wolf comes to the conclusion "I want to live in a world where there are still secrets".
In the end would it be too painful to find out who we really are? Please put your thinking caps on and come on over. So, it's high time I actually read their books. I'm looking forward to reading Ruge's next book Cabo de Gata , but I don't think I'll manage to squeeze it in this challenge in time.
I've been thinking about your comments on a change in attitudes to the past. I don't know enough of German literature to really say anything meaningful, but I've wondered if the translation of German literature is representative of German literature itself. Do we get a good overview of German literature or do we only see a small selection that is influenced by what non-German speakers expect from German literature with topics like the Third Reich or die Wende? Interesting: your review made me think of The ministry of pain , which is about a group of expatriate ex-Yugoslavians coming to terms with the disappearance of the country they grew up in.
They obviously must exist, but they may well have a hard job persuading publishers to take them seriously, and they risk being beaten about the head with the collected works of Theodore Adorno if they are published I came back from Berlin with a stack of books, and started reading Rummelplatz on the plane. Very impressed so far.
Less impressed with my own planning, since I inadvertently managed to time my trip so that I just missed the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, but got the full benefit of the train strike I have been slow to read anything for this group! This is Mann's last novel, left unfinished at his death. From what may have been the old poet's isolated and disillusioned position, he hits the mark time and again, as this well-crafted study shows.
It is the quintessence of scholarship: meticulously researched, methodologically sound and lucidly written It goes without saying that the notes, bibliography and indices are impeccably produced. Modern Language Review Crameri provides us with a valuable new tool for enhancing our understanding of these important and ongoing processes. It has been suggested that the seductive beauty of Foucault's language masks the frailty of some of his positions, and Beer provides close analysis of the stylistic strategies he deploys.
A strong commitment to the power of the image runs through his screen work, however paradoxical this might seem in a writer famed for his sparring dialogue. Renton argues that the image was central to his approach to film, suggesting that there is an "an object of desire" at the heart of all Pinter's screenplays: one which is often barely visible - or even invisible - to the characters in the story.
It is that he offers a way to put that ambiguity and mystery into the context of some modern thinking. As such it represents an important contribution to the urgent discussion of community and the fraught relationship between "singular-plural" beings and the collectivities they form. In the analysis of silence and the unsaid it provides a key for interpretation, which works well although not infallibly , and which highlights fundamental issues in Italian literature of the second half of the twentieth century.
An impressive contribution to the study, at undergraduate level and beyond, of contemporary Italian literature. With wit, exuberance and theoretical sure-footedness, Milne takes us through a series of close readings. It fits his oeuvre that in place of a formal biography we have this border-crossing miscellany in which comment may be free but facts are indeed sacred. Michael Hulse, his equally gifted translator before Anthea Bell, reprints the correspondence in which he asked Sebald to confirm that the quartet of exiles' testimonies so artfully braided into The Emigrants tell real stories about real people The wonderful alchemy via which Sebald transmuted the found material of actual biography and history into fiction that kept faith with truth explains much of his appeal.
If the reader wants to see what Sebald said about, say, Theodor Adorno, Jane Austen, Henry Ford, Jean Genet, Gruppe 47, Ernest Hemingway, Adolf Hitler, Herman Melville, Virginia Woolf, animals, butterflies and moths, depression, irony, the Treblinka trials, or countless other names or topics, the index will direct you to the appropriate interviews. Two of my favorite topics in the index were: 'surgery, fear of' and 'greatest wish: to live outside of time'. Hats off to the crew who have given us this monumental bibliographic record! As with so much of this volume characterized by how many of its contributors knew Sebald personally , it is clear that these indexes and bibliographies are labours of love; they will stand scholarship in good stead in years to come An invaluable resource for future research.
Max Sebald in recent time. A book which will underpin further work on his writing for decades to come. Sebald' is not a simple question. The degree to which he incorporated not just the texts, but also the lives of others into his fictions is greater than we can now Although Sebald suggests that finding the solutions would be worthwhile, he is suspiciously vague about the effort involved.
The Handbook's great value is that it does an immense amount of work for us without revealing too much. It should immediately become the first port of call for anyone setting out to write on Sebald. Long, Journal of European Studies Hipkins assumes the challenging task of applying feminist literary theory to a complex form and attendant writing practice.
The discrediting of autobiographical attempts has been paralleled by an increasing demand for first-person testimony narratives. If we had thought that autobiography had had its day, Boyle demonstrates both that the genre itself is dynamic in ways we might not have previously imagined, and that the theory of autobiography continues to evolve in challenging and provocative ways.
The striking photograph shows us an empty world with a bleak railway line and its sidetracks, making their way into the fearful forested world that was Auschwitz, practically a symbol of the Final Solution. And with this in mind, Kathryn Jones's study is a success. Journeys of Remembrance is a valuable introduction to a body of post-WWII French and German writing concerned with the intergenerational transmission of memory and the relation between personal identity and cultural legacy.
Offers much to consider concerning the development and transmission of memory, generational continuity and rupture, and fictional representation in Holocaust literature. Sutton, French Review She also demonstrates a great deal of familiarity with both Spanish and Portuguese bibliographical sources in her studies of each of the writers A valuable contribution to the field of Latin-American poetry, especially in its discussion of the question of gender and the place of female intellectuals in Latin America.
This is a compelling volume for Calvino scholars; it should also have a strong appeal for those more generally interested in the relation between the verbal and the visual. Thorough, erudite, and readable, with interesting photographs. A well-informed and instructive survey of both utopia and poetry. An important resource that should open up new means of addressing the ever-changing "'idea' of poetry". It is a well-researched and informative account of how women writers in the Netherlands shaped the self at a time when self-realization was a male prerogative. And it makes you want to reread Carry van Bruggen, and that is surely a good thing.
The range of these essays is the more astonishing at a time when most critics prided themselves on their specialisms rather than their diversity. Medcalf wanted us to see things that could only be understood against the whole gamut of European literary history Ellis, Katharine.
Evans, Dylan. An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis. Fiddler, Allyson. Oxford; Providence, RI: Berg, Fineman, Joel. Jonathan D. Oxford: Blackwell, Fink, Bruce. Freud, Sigmund. James Strachey. In collaboration with Anna Freud. London: The Hogarth Press, — Fuchs, Gerhard. Vom Klang der Worte. Gerhard Melzer and Paul Pechmann. Vienna: Sonderzahl, Goethe, Johann Wolfgang.
Erich Trunz. Munich: DTV, Harari, Robert. Luke Thurston. New York: Other Press, Hass, Ulrike. Heidegger, Martin. On the Way to Language. Heine, Heinrich. Christoph Siegrist. Hoffmann, Yasmin. Werke und Briefe. Jakobson, Roman.
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- Charlotte Bensons Highland Fling: Romance Passion and Self Discovery set in Highland Scotland and Texas.
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Thomas Sebeok. On Language. Linda R. Waugh and Monique Monville-Burston. Janke, Pia. Versuch einer ersten Bestandsaufnahme. Janz, Marlies. Elfriede Jelinek. Stuttgart: Metzler, Jelinek, Elfriede. Anthony Vivis. Modern Women Playwrights of Europe. Alan P. Ute Nyssen. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, Berlin: Berliner Taschenbuch Verlag, Die Klavierspielerin. Michael Hulse. The Piano Teacher. Joachim Neugroschel. Kecht, Maria-Regina. Mitgutsch and E. Kleist, Heinrich von. Philip B. New York: Dutton, Helmut Sembdner. Munich: C. Hanser, — Kosta, Barbara. Kristeva, Julia. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection.
Leon Roudiez. New York: Columbia UP, Lacan, Jacques. Bruce Fink. Jacques Aubert. Paris: Navarin, Jacques-Alain Miller. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Luhmann, Niklas. Die Kunst der Gesellschaft. Gesellschaftsstrukture und Semantik. Mahler-Bungers, Annegret. Johannes Cremerius, et al. Miller, Jacques-Alain. Parakilas, James, and others. Pater, Walter. The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry. London: Macmillan, Jacques Lacan: Psychoanalysis and the Subject of Literature. New York: Palgrave, Paris: Calmann Levy, Rose, Jacqueline.
Sexuality in the Field of Vision. The Romantic Generation.