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Berlijn 1989-2009

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  231 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Eind jaren tachtig vestigde Cees Nooteboom zich in Berlijn, aan de vooravond van de historische omwenteling die de hereniging van West- en Oost-Duitsland inluidde. Nooit voor mogelijk gehouden gebeurtenissen kwamen met ongehoorde snelheid tot uitbarsting. Het was een periode waarin iedereen opeens het gevoel kreeg een beetje belangrijker te zijn geworden omdat niemand de g ...more
Hardcover, 413 pages
Published October 2009 by De Bezige Bij (first published 1990)
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Hugh
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is something of a curious mixture, as it was written over a period of more than 20 years, but the whole is rather brilliant, and Nooteboom's perspective seems especially persuasive when read in the chaos of Brexit Britain.

The first part of the book is a sort of diary of a year Nooteboom spent living in Berlin, which turned out to be a particularly momentous one because in started in 1989 and included the fall of the Berlin wall and the first steps towards German reunification. Nooteboo
...more
Henk
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Erudiet maar te meanderend en ongefocust
“Als er één plek op de wereld is waar het verleden zich thuis voelt moet het Berlijn zijn.”

Erudiet, met veel meanderende zijstappen naar culturele en politieke gebeurtenissen rondom de val van de Muur. Nooteboom brengt de tijd dat de Muur er nog stond tot leven via korte anekdotes over hoe het was om de grens over te steken, door verslag te doen van een bezoek van Gorbatsjov en door overdenkingen over de geschiedenis van Berlijn tijdens museumbezoeken.

Noot
...more
Sini
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1989 voltrok zich "Die Wende", waarbij de Berlijnse muur viel zodat Oost- en West- Duitsland één konden worden. Cees Nooteboom was daar bij, als betrokken buitenstaander die met open oog keek, met lenige geest mijmerde en met ongelofelijk soepele pen schreef.

In "Berlijn 1989-2009" zijn Nootebooms in Duitsland bekroonde Berlijnse notities uit 1989 opgenomen, alsook zijn beschouwingen over andere steden in Duitsland, en de notities die hij schreef over zijn latere verblijf in Berlijn. Resultaa
...more
Tom
(nb: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss)

“Whoever writes a book in a fluid political situation is writing on an icefloe.”

In many ways, that’s the most telling line in Dutch author Cees Nooteboom’s new work, “Roads to Berlin,” for in this book, he does just that.

“Roads to Berlin” is a collection of essays from three of Nooteboom’s extended stays in Germany, at the end of the 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s, respectively, plus some additional observations since then.
...more
Kirsten
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pops, non-fiction
I feel like I've been reading this in real time. These are generally good essays with a lot of things I have to stop and think about.There were many moments I lost the thread through references I didn't know and often am not compelled to seek out. In the more Berlin-focused pieces, there are plenty of moments marked with flags that I will have reason to come back to, but also some that I felt too disconnected from. I came away with the impression this is someone I would've enjoyed running into i ...more
Marc
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: germany, berlin
Impressies van zijn verblijf in Berlijn en reizen door Duitsland in de periode febvruari 1989 tot mei 1990; eerder al verschenen in het tijdschrift Elsevier. Aanvankelijk vrij rustige beschouwingen, maar uiteraard opgaand in de Wende vanaf oktober 1989; beschrijving van de extase maar vooral ook de vertwijfeling van de Duitsers over zichzelf.
Zeer nuchter-hollands kijkend naar de historische gebeurtenissen en vooral verwonderd over de vertwijfeling van de Duitsers. Zeer beeldrijke taal, maar zuin
...more
René-Raphael
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nicht nur ist Cees Nooteboom einer der großartigsten Reiseschriftsteller der Gegenwart und ein notorischer Nobelpreiskandidat, ihm ist die deutsche Geschichte des letzten Jahrhunderts auch tief eingeschrieben – der Niederländer kam 1933 zur Welt und erlebte den brutalen Einmarsch von Hitlers Truppen selbst als Kind mit, im Buch kurz nur als eine Schreckensvision gleich einem apokalyptischem Brueghel-Gemälde geschildert, das diesem Berliner Tagebuch irgendwie immer unterliegt. Nooteboom hat ein T ...more
Simon J Alvey
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book that is one writers reflections on the city of Berlin and its role in history - both the world's, literature's and the writer's. The first part of the book is a collection of columns written between the early autmn of 1989 and the summer of 1990. As such it provided an ongoing account of the fall of the wall and its consequences, in a way that is insightful, interesting and occasionally deeply moving. The second and third parts, written at various times between 1991 and 2012 we ...more
Hilde
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Verhalenverteller en krasse 80er Cees Nooteboom neemt je mee naar Berlijn
en zijn omgeving. Jaren 80 en erna, heerlijk ronddwalen in zijn woordenpracht in deze fabelhaftige wereldstad.
Zelf ben ik met Stephen naar Berlijn in september gereisd.
De commerciële plaatsen bezocht: Brandenburger Tor en Reichstag enz.
We vertoefden langs de Berliner Mauer en werden er stil van.
Aan het Mauerpark logeerden we, zeer gezellige buurt en mitte de bewoners
genoten we van een Weisser beer and homemade pizza uit het
...more
GONZA
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebk
Berlin just after the wall was built, Berlin during the cold war with the wall between east block and west block and Berlin after the Mauerfall (as the German calls it). Super cool book, mostly because I live here and I know what he is talking about.

Berlino appena prima e appena dopo la costruzione del muro, Berlino durante il muro come posto diviso tra il blocco occidentale e quello orientale e Berlino dopo la caduta del muro. Libro figo, soprattutto perché vivo qui e so di cosa parla l'autore.
Ann
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-history
Meh. The prose is beautiful, but I found myself yawning and sleeping through the book.
Jente
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Niet enkel een gids voor, maar vooral een ode aan Duitsland, Europa en het schrijverschap.
Anna
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ich habe dieses Buch sehr genossen. Es öffnet den Blick für diese Stadt und ihre nicht einfache Vergangenheit. Es enthält sehr schöne Betrachtungen über Zeit, Vergänglichkeit und Geschichte.
Iana
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nooteboom writes in a very elliptic way. Many abstract considerations, few real people. Pleasant and interesting snapshot of Germany in 1990.
jm
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-politics
At times this gets way too intellectual for me, and his musings on politics often stay pointless. But when describing the average citizen, Nooteboom really shines!
Felicitas
Interessantes Zeitzeugnis, zu fragmentiert für mich.
Ad
Cees Nooteboom (1933) is a Dutch poet, novelist and above all, writer about travel and culture, whose name regularly turns up on those mysterious short lists of Nobel Prize contenders. Nooteboom has written impressive novels as Rituals (1980), All Souls Day (1998) and Lost Paradise (2004). His travel writing is always of a philosophical and historical bent and has appeared in such collections as Roads to Santiago (1997) and Nomad's Hotel (2009).

Nooteboom's work has been extensively translated in
...more
Christian
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
[English version - scroll down]
Ik ben gefascineerd door 20ste eeuwse geschiedenis en helemaal door ooggetuigenverslagen daar van. Berlijn is de hoofdstad van een land dat hoewel het voor mij, als Twentenaar, op een steenworp afstand ligt en het feit dat ik me redelijk kan redden in de taal toch nog altijd een grote onbekende buurman is. Toen mijn oog op de titel viel bij een doelloos bezoek aan een lokale boekenwinkel, werd ik nieuwsgierig en begon de eerste bladzijden te lezen puur om te zien o
...more
Gadi
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I ended up skimming the second half of the book. The writing was gorgeous, the sentences fluid, thoughtful, Nooteboom's thought processes complex yet still crystal clear. I remember looking him up in Amsterdam; it's obvious why he's famous there -- he writes as a normal person who can give readers an all-encompassing view into insightful, beautifully-crafted observations. Especially in this book, where he constantly presents himself as a foreigner visiting Berlin and other German cities during a ...more
Shawn
This is quite a marvelous book, the heart of which is a series of essays about Nooteboom's year-plus stay in Berlin in 1989-90, when he observed the fall of the Wall and the run-up to reunification. But he'd been there before, the first time in 1963, and he returned often over the years, with the last essay in the book dated April 2012. In addition, some of the essays recount his thoughts on travels in other parts of Germany, most notably Bavaria and Munich.

I can't speak to the original Dutch-la
...more
Amy
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because I thought it would be more about DDR life and a teary recollection of the fall of the Wall. Of course it's not what I expected, but what i got was breathtaking- gorgeous writing, unfairly talented! The atmosphere he creates, you are there, from watching the guards in the towers watching him, to border crossings, to dilapidated hotels in villages previously off limits, and that it's translated to English seems even more remarkable!

My favourite bit: "...if you heard
...more
Tuck
nooteboom is a respected and likable observer and writer of euro history and especially perhaps german recent history, he has a particular skill at intertwining personal and broader social and historical themes and happenings into both reportorial and historical dispatches.
this book uses berlin as a centerpoint for his travels and analysis and firsthand reporting of the years of 80's, 90's, 00's, and 09 .

here is a detailed and well written review if curious. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show
...more
David
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anything Nooteboom writes is worth attention. He is a remarkably perceptive novelist and this account of his visits to Berlin, when the wall was coming down and later, have a brooding wisdom to them that is rare indeed. He has a sense of place, a sense of history, a view of culture, and as a Dutchman, a man from a small European country, he describes this large European country with the ambivalence we'd expect. One of his earliest childhood memories is of the light in the sky from the burning of ...more
World Literature Today
"Because of his long experience with the city and his outsider perspective on Germany, Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom is able to offer us some trenchant insights into the history of the formerly divided cities, divided countries, and the new united one." - Ulf Zimmermann, Kennesaw State University

This book was reviewed in the May 2013 issue of World Literature Today. Read the full review by visiting our site: http://bit.ly/YPqrIZ
...more
Charlene
Interesting to read about Europe, with an emphasis on Germany, from a non-American perspective. Author is a Dutch journalist/novelist who has visited and lived in Germany several times over the last 45 years. Longest section of book concerns the year of 1989 when he was living in Berlin during the fall of the wall. Last section of the book is the shortest but the most interesting to me . . . includes the author's reflections on the possible future of the European Union.
Erika
Dec 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book of essays. I had a completely different idea of what the book would be about going into it. It's best to just take each essay as they are and really read the words Nooteboom is writing. He is very gifted with words. I found some essays to be powerful and exciting and others difficult to move through. Interesting pieces of writing none the less.
Arie Kok
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Verschillende perioden woonde Nooteboom in Duitsland, vooral in Berlijn. Zijn stukken, die hij in een tijdsbestek van een kwart eeuw schreef, vormen toch een eenheid. Nooteboom peilt diep, kent de Duitsers misschien wel beter dan zij zichzelf kennen. Stilistisch is het allemaal even prachtig en raak.
Janet
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dense read, perhaps because translated from a dense language, and I found myself crying out for full stops and paragraph markers. But an interesting insight into a period of German history that quite literally changed the world, assuming you have the background knowledge to understand all the people and events that are mentioned but never quite explained.
Ruby
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was like a lovely lecture about literature, history, Germany, art and change. I think it portrays Berlin around November 9th 1989 very well and Nooteboom gives rather amazing book recommendations.
Tonwallast
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it
interessant boek, maar zo nu en dan wel lastig te volgen.
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Cees Nooteboom (born Cornelis Johannes Jacobus Maria Nooteboom, 31 July 1933, in the Hague) is a Dutch author. He has won the Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren, the P.C. Hooft Award, the Pegasus Prize, the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prijs for Rituelen, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature and the Constantijn Huygens Prize, and has frequently been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in l ...more

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