Martin's Reviews > Ereignisse: Kleine Erzählungen und Novellen

Ereignisse by H.G. Adler
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's review
Sep 28, 2008

Read in August, 2008

Outstanding collection of very diverse stories--with some focused on an individual's inner life while others portray social and political relationships almost to the exclusion of the individual. Stories often deal with content which could not be more serious--but with an edge of irony or humor to make it bearable.

This volume contains the stock statement, "Alle Begegenheiten und Personen sind frei erfunden"--and yet I believe one might feel aspects of Adler's friendship with Elias and Veza Canetii and with Franz Baermann Steiner made their way into "Friedo wird aermer" (as also is the case with the Adler's novel, "Die Unsichtbarer Wand.") Part of the charm, of course, is one doesn't know where "accurate" portrayal leaves off and invention (or even inversion?) begins.

In a similar way, one only needs to turn to Adler's non-fiction study of Theresienstadt and review its treatment of potatoes to find precedent for the situation described in the story "Kartoffeln." Not only are there statistical treatments of the quality, quantity, and rationing procedures governing the distribution of food (including potatoes) in the historical documentation--but also the impact of conditions on the individual and the social structure. This content, destilled into fiction, clearly forms the basis of "Kartoffeln."
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