The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum: Or How Violence Develops and Where It Can Lead
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The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum: Or How Violence Develops and Where It Can Lead

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  4,809 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Katharina Blum is pretty, bright, hard-working. After falling in love with a young radical on the run from the police, she is portrayed by the city's leading newspaper as a whore, a communist and an athiest, and becomes the target of anonymous phone calls. Her life ruined by the distortions of a corrupt press, she shoots the offending journalist. . .
Paperback, 144 pages
Published August 11th 1998 by Vintage Classics (first published January 1st 1974)
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K.D. Absolutely
May 22, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core
My first book by the 1972 Nobel Prize for Literature, Heinrich Boll (1917-1985). I am extremely impressed.

This tells the story of a 22-y/o household help and a divorcee, Katharina Blum who at the start of the 4-day Carnival asks her employer for a leave. On the first day, she goes to her friend's party and there meets a mysterious man Ludwig Gotten and falls in love with him. They spend a night in Katharina's apartment and early in the morning Ludwig leaves. Later in the morning, police authorit...more
This is an astonishing little novella. The most striking contrast to the Flanagan The Unknown Terrorist which treats the same subject of a woman exposed to the savagery of the media after it turns out that the man she spent the night with is a wanted criminal, is the tone. Flanagan wrote a competent thriller, but Böll uses the reports of the state prosecution, the police and Katharina's defence lawyers to create a dry, meticulous, straight narrative of the events of four days. But despite this s...more
The voice of this novel was something new to me: it is written in the form of a report, apparently reserved and unbiased, which presents the slow but effective process of Katharina Blum's public humiliation by police and press.

It all begins with a murder (I'm not sure this may be considered a spoiler, because it comes in the first pages of the novel):
On Sunday evening at almost the same hour (to be precise, at about 7:04 P.M.) she rings the front door bell at the home of Walter Moeding, Crime
Over the past year, I have developed a disturbing addiction to one of America's most popular TV shows. Not American Idol. No, it's NCIS . Nothing pleases me more than when Channel 42 runs one of their sporadic Saturday NCIS marathons, because I've come late to a series that's about to finish its seventh season, so there's a heap of old episodes I have yet to see.

There are aspects of this new enthusiasm that I prefer not to analyze too closely, because every addiction has its dark side. With NC...more
Petra X
Irresponsible journalism turns a maid into a murderer. Shock! Horror! It would have been much better written by a 'source' from the National Enquirer. As it is Heinrich Boll is too dry and literary and all the shock and horror is sucked out of it leaving just a competently-written, slightly disturbing story.
گرچه همون‌طور که پیش‌تر هم گفته بودم، از نثر نویسنده‌هایی که خودشون رو جای خواننده می‌ذارن و ثانیه به ثانیه‌ی داستان رو از ابعاد و نظر‌گاه‌های مختلف تحلیل می‌کنند خوشم نمی‌یاد، اما کتاب «آبروی از دست رفته‌ی کاترینا بلوم» با وجود سبک مشابه، همچین حسی رو بهم نداد. یعنی به‌واقع انقدر در کنه داستان فرو رفته بودم که فرصت فکر کردن به این مسائل رو نداشتم. هنوز که هنوزه تحت تاثیر ماجرای کتاب، عصبانی ام و اگه اغراق نباشه به اندازه‌ی خود کاترینا مشتاق انتقام! البته گمونم شبیه همچین حسی به همه‌ی کسانی که د...more
Philippe Malzieu
This book of Böll created sensation. How oldest, the most respected (Nobel Prize), more venerated German authors wrote a novel talking on the same subjects than his turbulents youngs colleagues. Germany of Années de Plomb was one period extraordinary culturally in literature, cinema and music. Böll is the statute of the commander. He delivers a wild portrait of the media. An young woman binds with suspect. She becomes also suspected and the press breaks out against her.
There is a dimensioned vis...more
Quite a 'black' story and I get how it's a more intellectualised form of a detective or mystery story. The predominant thing I notice is that there's little of the interior life and descriptive prose here, so it's quite bare bones, and the aim is to present it in a documentary style.

It's about a young woman who is suspected of harbouring a criminal and about what happens then as detectives and a reporter try to unpick the story. Her life and associations are gone into - the family she works wit...more
Someone must have slandered Katharina Blum for, one morning, without having done anything wrong, she was brought in for questioning by the police. But no, it appeared the police are questioning Miss Blum for her involvement with a man who stayed in her place the previous night. The man was accused of murder, most wanted by the authorities, and by all indications, it looked like she helped him escape the police stakeout around her place.

At the outset this looked like a simple crime investigation,...more
As I had nothing else to read back home at my parent's place, I decided to reread this slim volume I found on my brother's shelves. I had to read this back at school and I remember I was rather bored by it back then and not seduced to read any more Böll.

Some years older, I could appreciate "Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum" much better. Heinrich Böll acts as always as sharp critics of society and politics in Germany, and here attacks the powerful "Bild"-Zeitung, one of the worst tabloids t...more

وعند الصفحة ٦٦ تنتهي رحلتي مع كاتارينا بلوم ... بطلة الرواية اللعينة - اللعينة هنا وصف من الممكن أن يسري على كل من بطلة الرواية والرواية ككل- وسبب التوقف عن القراءة - التي كانت تتم بدافع الفضول لا اكثر- هو عدم وجود الصفحات من ٦٧ إلى ٨٢ من النسخة التي في يدي

تبدأ الرواية بحادث انتقام تقوم بها بطلة الرواية اللعينة ... وبالقراءة يتضح أن تلك البطلة قد أسيء إليها بشكل ما عندما تورطت في علاقة مع مجرم ومن ثم فقد دخلت دائرة الاتهام وكذلك دائرة الاهتمام الشعبي وأصبحت حياتها محل تناول إعلامي ظالم وفاسد في
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Believe, believe, believe. This seemed to me was the constant silent refrain in this novel while I was reading it, half-expecting that Heinrich Boll would stumble some place and be waylaid by a non-credible twist in his plot and make me gleefully tick the paragraph, or page, with an x-mark, the novel's Waterloo, the justification for my 1-star rating.

But I didn't find any. Here is the innocent Katharina Blum confessing to a crime she didn't commit, a falsehood created by a relentless pursuit of...more
Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
Blackly comic novella about the power of language. The equating of innocence with a certain precision of lexical choice and tone is sharply contrasted with the supposedly dispassionate yet nonetheless insinuating language of police investigations and newspaper reports thereby demonstrating how words and their meanings can be subverted to protect vested interest and cause much harm.
Francesco Fantuzzi
Un libro emblematico, scritto in modo eccellente. Mi piacerebbe conoscere molto bene il tedesco per poter apprezzare la sua prosa più da vicino. Peccato. :-(
The day I write this review, coincides with two events: Five years ago, on 3/3/2009 the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne collapsed, two people died and many historical treasures kept in the building are believed to be destroyed forever. Today is also Rosenmontag, the highlight of the German carnival season and Cologne being one of the carnival hot spots in Germany.

So, why am I telling you this?

First of all, Heinrich Böll was born in Cologne and lived there or nearby his whole life. Afte...more
This powerfully affecting short novel was written in 1974
and is a searching but bitter analysis of urban German
society. Katharina is young, sensitive, competent and
hard-working. She is scrupulously honest, she keeps herself
to herself, she is well respected. There is a chance
meeting with an exciting young man, dancing, a night
together. Then her world is shattered. She turns herself in
- confesses to the murder of a journalist. She is

This is her story, told in the form of an arid...more
KJ Lipkey
Lost in translation? Too much like listening to my father's side of the family? Too "German"? Mayhap. Or it may be that this annoying dude next to me at the gym kept trying to talk to me when I was reading the section that kind of explained a lot of the background. It's hard to put in to words what I mean by "too German." Only another person who is a surviving and socially functioning descendant of a German family in America (and trust me, there aren't many of us) may be able to understand what...more
The pamphlet - as the Heinrich Böll defines his work in the epilogue - is about how defamations and lies of the tabloid press can destroy the lives of ordinary citizens and drive them to acts of desperation and violence. To blame is not only the tabloid press, but also the people who buy the so-called newspapers and help spreading false information. This work was written as a reaction to the attacks of the tabloid newspaper "Bild" against the Red Army Fraction in Western Germany at the beginning...more
Apr 08, 2014 Lobstergirl rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Charlotte Casiraghi
Shelves: fiction
I'm glad to see others rated this more highly. I found it fairly ridiculous.
Ayman  Agour
كارتينا بلوم تكره صفاقات الرجال، تقع فى ورطة. الفارق بيننا وبين الغرب أن الشرف عندهم هو الصدق، الأمانة، الإنسانية، بينما الشرف عندنا نراه فقط فى قطعة قماش على جسد الأنثى، وغشاء العذرية. تتعرض كاترينا لأزمة عنيفة، تنتقم فى النهاية لشرفها.

الرواية أفسدها المترجم الذى لا يفقه أى شئ فى فنون الترجمة، مترجم متواضع جداً اعتمد على ترجمة الكلمات فقط ورصها بجانب بعضها البعض.

Esraa Kamal
Jul 01, 2014 Esraa Kamal marked it as gave-up-reading  ·  review of another edition
اسلوب المترجم غير شيق بالمره .. الروايه مزدحمه بالشخصيات ..الكاتب يقفز من موضوع الى اخر بهمجيه مما ادى بى الى ذهن مشتت .. يميل الى استخدام الالفاظ بطريقه سيئه بغرض الامتاع ولكنه فشل فى تحقيق مراده
.. كذلك الخوض فى بعض التفاصيل التافهة مما ينسينى الموضوع الاساسى الذى تدور حوله الروايه
قررت التوقف عن القراءه...
Jim Leckband
Devastating and amazing book. This is a modern day retelling of The Scarlet Letter, but one in which Hester Prynne takes her revenge a little more "redily" (symbolic pun for those Hawthorne readers).

Boll's writing is pithy and if you dive under the surface detachment, you can see a boiling outrage at the way society can be stacked against the innocent and powerless. The collusion between the media and the state makes a mockery of freedom - Boll's irony when he has a character state that West Ger...more
محمد  الخواص
تلك الفتاة التى عانت فى بداية حياتها بقدر لو اصاب انسانا ناجحا فى منتصف نجاحه وازدهاره لوجدته يولول ويصرخ ويندب كالنساء الا انها تخلصت من ذاك المعوق الذى قد يكون فى بعض الاحيان حافزا لتحدى النفس
علمت نفسها وعملت لحياتها التى بها تساعد الاخرون من عجائز و ضعفاء
الا انها عندما تلقت بعض الصفعات المتتالية التى لم يكن بينها اى فترات مستقطعة التى لم تسمح لها بتجاوز اياهن سواء من الجريدة او اصحاب التليفوانات المشاكسين اوالتى اصابتها بشئ من المفاجأة والانذهال والصدمة كانما نومت مغناطيسيا لتفعل فعلتها تلك...more
This book pissed me off!! Not Mr Heinrich Böll... not his language... not the story. The damn press that is the central 'bad guy' in this book! Böll did an excellent job presenting his case. I could feel his anger, his disdain. It was tangible. And did I mention... it pissed me off? I think I would have done the exact same thing if I were wearing her heels.

One thing i found evident, Böll did hold contempt for the press, for politics, for religion (but thought highly of art). It came out in this...more
Lauren Hopkins
The book reads in a way like a police procedural...think Law and Order. Facts are presented in an incredibly straightforward manner, almost as if you are reading a police report rather than a novel. I understand the reasoning behind this, though it didn't make for an exciting read. I was much more interested in its historical context in relation to sensationalist journalism and the red scare panic in 1970s West Germany. That side of the novel is there underneath the police investigation, though...more
This was a quick read, and it was actually quite interesting. Heinrich Böll wrote the book originally in German in 1974 when tabloid obsession with the Red Army Faction was in full swing in Germany. His novel is a character study of an innocent woman as she is investigated for a crime and subsequently ruined through tabloid media. I kept trying to think of the book as it may have been read in the 1970s when it was more controversial and shocking. For the contemporary reader, however, it is bette...more
Prix Nobel de Littérature 1972
L'action se situe à Cologne, la ville natale de l'auteur, durant le carnaval de 1974.

Chez des amis, Katharina Blum, une jeune femme divorcée, fait la connaissance d'un homme recherché pour ses activités terroristes.

Elle l'héberge pour la nuit et se trouve dès lors prise dans un terrible engrenage. Arrêtée et interrogée sans ménagements par la police, elle est relâchée quatre jours plus tard.

Mais ce délai a suffi pour que la presse à sensation s'empare de l'infor...more
Aric Cushing
Strange book in the vein of Death in Venice, but not as good in its telling. Definitely worth reading for the last chapter, as well as the resignation, fear, and personal redemption by the main character at the end of the novel. The book tells the story of a girl hounded by the press because of her chance encounter with a criminal, and the effects it has on everyone who knows her, including her employers. The book builds up to a fantastic last chapter, which delivers a satisfying punch.
338. The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, Heinrich Böll
ادبیات آلمانی - آبروی از دست رفته کاترینا بلوم - هاینریش بل، ترجمه: حسن نقره چی، نشر: نیلوفر
ترجمه دیگری نیز از شریف لنکرانی، چاپ اول 1357، چاپ دوم بهمن ماه 1363، از: انتشارات خوارزمی

شیوه نگارش رئالیستی «هاینریش بل» و درونمایه ی انسانی آثارش، ایشان را پیشگام ادبیات رئالیستی آلمان کرد. زندگی دوران جنگ، دردهای روزانه مردم و تاثیر جنگ بر زندگی دستمایه ایشان در بیشتر آثار اوست. کارهای «هاینریش بل» جنبه های مختلف نیز دارد. طنزنویش است، گاه نمایشنامه...more
Ebrahim Geranpayeh
May 13, 2014 Ebrahim Geranpayeh rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ebrahim by: Saman Fattahi
موضوع انتقام نیست، ولی شاید به این خاطر که درک چنین شرایطی الان برای من کمی سخته چیزی بیشتر از انتقام توجهم رو جلب نکرد.
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یه کم دقت کنید لطفاً 1 48 Jun 30, 2007 05:21AM  
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Heinrich Böll became a full-time writer at the age of 30. His first novel, Der Zug war pünktlich (The Train Was on Time), was published in 1949. Many other novels, short stories, radio plays and essay collections followed, and in 1972 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his writing which through its combination of a broad perspective on his time and a sensitive skill in characterizatio...more
More about Heinrich Böll...
The Clown Billiards at Half-Past Nine Group Portrait with Lady The Train Was on Time نان سال‌های جوانی

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“One would like to know, for most people, being denied reliable telepathic communication, reach for the phone, which they feel is more reliable.” 5 likes
“... she said she would not sign any deposition containing the word "amorous" instead of "advances". For her the difference was of crucial significance, and one of the reasons she had separated from her husband was that he had never been amorous but had consistently made advances.” 2 likes
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