Dana's Reviews > Little Man, What Now?

Little Man, What Now? by Hans Fallada
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Aug 22, 10

Read in August, 2010

Hans Fallada must have been a lover, because he hits every detail. The babytalk, the little spats and the guilt that follows, the waffling from boundless optimism to despondency over the course of the day, the overwhelming sense of well-being and accomplishment two people get from making dinner or the budget together - or from forgiving each other (the story of the dressing table!).

Fallada wants to defend the lovers' right to their naivete, to their apolitical existence - to defend the "little man" from the Nazis' politicization of daily life. He is actually optimistic (of course he is, he doesn't know what's going to happen, who ever does?), which inspires a deep sadness and, if read late at night, sense of doom in the contemporary reader - especially one who has already read Every Man Dies Alone, Fallada's final & postwar novel, and who realizes that Fallada's faith in the lovers will give way to his faith in death.
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