Arno Who? Library stash a whole heap of german books

Arno Schmidt

I Promise I will review a book next but as ever time has runaway this evening so , I decide to show you the nine books I just ordered that had come to the library today , I’ve a few more in the pipeline . First off this is one of two I really got excited about when I ordered it from the library ,The eggplant republic is a book by the writer that has been compared to Joyce amongst others Arno Schimdt is best known for his epic novel Zettels Traum (which is huge and is currently being translated into English and is due out on Dalkey Archive a some point in the next couple of years) .This book is about a journalist visiting  a jet power island .I can’t wait this is one of the names I want on this blog .

Christa wolf

What remains is a collection of stories by the late East german writer Christa Wolf , the title story is described as a East German writers journey into a Kafkaesque world .

Marie Jaolowicz Simon

Gone to Ground by Marie Jaolwicz Simon a true story ,She disappeeared into Berlin in 1941 removing her yellow star and becoming someone else for the rest of the war .I was reminded of a film I saw years ago were a Jewish boy joined the Hitler youth in Berlin during the war Europa , Europa I think it was called .

Juli Zeh

I had tried  a previous Juli Zeh book , but didn’t get into it so left it , but this love triangle story of a couple that are  learning to dive whilst on holiday  and the wife falling for the diving instructor .

W G Sebald

Sebald talks about the six writers the influenced him as a writer in this book , I read all his novels as they came out and not read a book by him for a few years,so this will be one I will savour I think.I may also find a new writer to try from his six writers .

peter stamm

Another novel by Peter Stamm , I reviewed seven years a couple of years ago ,I like his sparse style but only just got round to him again .A women who became a widow in a car crash and has horrific injuries trying to get her life back together.

Bernhard Aichner

The story of Blum whose husband is killed by the men he is investigating , this sends her on a killing spree as her dark past is unlocked . A crime novel for German lit month .

Joesph Brodsky

One of two none German books for after German lit month Watermark is Nobel winner Joseph Brodsky prose piece about his visit to Venice .built around 48 short chapters .

Claude simon

Another of the Noveau Roman writers Claude Simon conducting bodies another experimental novel .

So one of my two surprise finds from the library the other is even better than Arno Schimdt .

Reading Europe German Lit on the radio



Look who's back

Today saw one of my favourite books get on the radio , Look who’s back by Timur Vermes  I reviewed this book last year .The book is a satire about Hitler returning to Germany in 2011 , 66 after the last day he remembered was in 1945 , as we see him tackling the new world that surrounds him . He finds people have forgotten who he is or thing he is a comic that does Hitler on the german tv .The amount of turkish people now in Berlin and things like TV , Starbucks or Herr Starbuck’s as he calls it the rise of his coffee shops . I’m so happy this was choosen to as part of the BBC reading europe series . For me when I reviewed this I said how well Jaime the translator of the book   had caught the  voice of hitler , this has been carried over in the performance of David Threlfall  which is  just perfect .He has  long been one of my favourite actors and in this performance he  captures what we feel Hitler must have been like if he spoke english in the 1940’s , that madness that is just below the surface of him  ,.He has the feel of a man on the edge but just on the edge . we see how Hitler becomes a star of the new media age  on a comedy show (presented by a Turkish comedian ), The TV folk think he is actually a very clever comedy  act , not the real person . Some great lines , where he takes some one to pieces about their knowledge of Poland , his constant thoughts about  what he would do to people around him  and looking for his  new Bormann .The final discovery the internet a wonder to him  .You can find this the first episode here  .If you want to see how Hitler finds modern Germany .Another triumph for Jamie Bulloch , he also translated Every seventh wave and forever yours which were also on the radio .


German lit month planning

Still a month to go to this years German lit month but I have already two books read this year ready for November .I have a number of books I have taken down of the shelves of winstonsdad’s towers .I am always adding books with german lit month in mind when I find them .


20150926_145757The first pic Gregor Von Rezzoris snows of yesterday one I have want to read for a while , the tale of the writers life and his family .The a Gunter Grass one of two pictured , I also have a third book by him that I have to choose from .Then we have two classics of German lit The sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe he is considered the grandfather of german Literature I read Faust his most famous play years ago , I love this cover of the one world classic edition then also from one world classics is The devil’s elixirs by Hoffman a monk tries to… need I say more .


Then I have the Oxford collection of stories from Vienna including names like Roth, Schnitzler and Canetti .Then a collection of three novellas by Peter Handke Slow homecoming The same character Valentin Sorger is in all three books they focus on alienation through getting back into society then feeling inner harmony .Then the other Grass the huge Flounder is told over space of nine months as a father tells the story of his life and the fish the flounder , whilst his wife is expecting their child .


Then I looked back at the last four issues of New books in German the journal that deals with German translations and books available for translation to find a few books from Library to order , which  have done also the new system on derbyshire libraries will let you search for translators and via this I have turned up a few gems from the 70’s that I can’t wait to read including one that left me shocked going really got read that  (I think everyone will be same as me just hope it is there )  .I also managed to order a  Frederich Schiller , Christa wolf  and Remarque books that Lizzy and Caroline are doing during German lit Month , I sly said I may do a couple of books . I did 8 books in 2014 and 2013 ,9 in 2012 , 6 in 2011 so I hope to maybe get into double figures this year for German lit month .I always get excited for German lit month , rather sad I not been sent many new German books this last few months , but great books I have brought with german lit month in mind make up for that .

What you planning to read ?

A Nobel weekend reading


Here again with my choices for a weekend off reading wise .First up just about to start this classic of African fiction A grain of wheat by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o .The Kenyan is a name that has been in the list of the top ten writers in the nobel betting the last few years .This is his most well-known work ,  he is also a writer I should had on here before now and also carrying on the tradition on this blog of picking a couple of hopefuls that I haven’t read in the months just before the prize is announced .


Also on this weekends pile is this , as I say I like to plan and last year hadn’t planned my german lit month reading so well .But this year as my books read list shows I have a few books already read from the IFFP list that just didn’t get to review .Then I’m starting with this throwing a couple of books in the next few weeks of my reading plans .The Prodigy by Herman Hesse is a short novella about how a boy is broken by the teachers and system of teaching the success driven school system brings . He was very keen on Eastern ideas and systems at the time he wrote this book and a number of his later books .

What are you reading ? How far in front do yo plan ?


Carol Brown Janeway RIP

mrs sartoris

I was sad to read of the Passing of this well known German translator , I have reviewed a number of books by her over the years even this year her translation of F by Daniel Kehlman made the IFFP list .I share two of my favourite translations she did the first is Mrs Sartoris a lost gem  and also a little gem from Thomas Bernhard My prizes a translation of the speeches he gave to the prizes he won .The bookseller has a piece and a comment from Daniel Hahn about her .

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