Reading German Books in 2020 discussion


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message 2: by Alwynne (new)

Alwynne | 69 comments I'm not sure which of the books on my list I'll definitely manage to read - or in what order - in time to finish the challenge. They're all ones I already own: the Keun is the last one of hers in translation I have left to read; Wolf is a favourite author and this one's also very short; Haushofer's The Wall is one of my favourite novels and one I've given to friends but I've never tried any of her others; I've seen the film version of the Boll more than once but realised I'd never read the novel; and Mayrocker is someone I'm intrigued by so would like to try.

message 3: by Alwynne (last edited Sep 21, 2020 02:57PM) (new)

Alwynne | 69 comments I've just finished Irmgard Keun's Child of All Nations

I took a while to respond to this one, the pacing of the first half is slow, there's no real narrative momentum, then I realised it was a deliberate strategy because it mirrored the mental states of the refugees she's representing. And the change in gear for the second half is impressively handled. I also found the criticism of America's response to events in Europe quite striking. This one works well in terms of structure, the images really stand out, and I ended up liking it far more than I'd anticipated. I also thought the device of the child narrator was a successful one.

The version I read was translated by Michael Hoffmann, I can't judge the accuracy but it had a fluency/coherence that was lacking in the recent Penguin edition of The Artificial Silk Girl which had a different translator.

Link to my review

message 4: by Alwynne (new)

Alwynne | 69 comments I'm going to pause my challenge and catch up in November as per Lizzy's suggestion for joining in during German Literature Month, which means I can use the time between for challenges I'm taking on in other groups.

message 5: by Alwynne (last edited Nov 19, 2020 07:49AM) (new)

Alwynne | 69 comments Recently finished my second book for this challenge, Joseph Roth's Hotel Savoy, had quite mixed feelings about this one, although it was definitely worth reading.

Link to my review:

message 6: by Alwynne (new)

Alwynne | 69 comments A surprisingly engaging, affecting memoir of time spent with Swiss writer Robert Walser, Carl Seelig's Walks with Walser

Link to my review:

message 7: by Alwynne (last edited Nov 29, 2020 02:05PM) (new)

Alwynne | 69 comments My fourth book is Uwe Johnson's novella Two Views written in the early 60s, a fascinating version of a Cold-War relationship between a couple on different sides of the Berlin Wall. I read this in an English translation published in 1967, the translator is not named.

Link to my review:

message 8: by Alwynne (last edited Dec 04, 2020 09:45PM) (new)

Alwynne | 69 comments I just finished my fifth book for this challenge Marlen Haushofer's Nowhere Ending Sky translated into English by Amanda Prantera. Loosely based on the author's childhood, it's set in rural Austria in the 1920s. I loved this one, beautifully written, really impressive. Now moving to Seewinkel.

Link to my review:

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