A Tentative Plan for some Teutonic Texts…

As some of you may already know, November, courtesy of Lizzy and Caroline, is going to be German Literature Month, and while I had my own little G-Lit fest back in August, I’m more than willing to join in the fun 🙂  So what am I going to be reading for the event?  Well, I reserve the right to change my mind, but here are a few books I may be looking at over the next couple of months…

Although I’ve been reading a fair bit of nineteenth-century G-Lit, I want to read a few more modern books as well, so Jenny Erpenbeck’s Heimsuchung (Visitation) and Alois Hotschnig’s Die Kinder beruhigte das nicht (Maybe This Time) look likely contenders for this challenge.  Erpenbeck’s short novel has got a lot of press recently, some glowing, some not so, and as for Hotschnig’s collection of stories, well, anything Peirene Press chooses to translate must have something going for it 😉

Going back a few decades, I have acquired a couple of interesting works from Nobel-Prize-winning authors.  Heinrich Böll is one of my favourite writers, and I’m looking forward to reading Und sagte kein einziges Wort (And Didn’t Say A Word), another of his post-war dramas.  In contrast, I’ve only read one Günter Grass book so far, but I’ve been thinking about reading Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) for some time now – although it is rather long…

Moving away from prose (and a lot further back in time), I’ve put a couple of examples of different genres on my list.  I’m not a big fan of plays, but I thought it would only be fair to try one during the month, and what better piece of drama is there to choose than Schiller’s Kabale und Liebe (Love and Intrigue)?  And where there’s some Schiller, there has to be some Goethe too, so the bilingual copy of the maestro’s Erotic Poems which I won recently will come in very handy indeed.

Finally, we’ll head back to the (German) Victorian era for a couple more classics.  I recently read the first half of Gottfried Keller’s collection of novellas, Die Leute von Seldwyla (The People of Seldwyla), and I have the second half on my Kindle, fully loaded and ready to go.  And, of course, the icing on the cake, the most famous novel by one of Germany’s best-loved writers – Theodor Fontane’s Effi Briest.

I think that’s enough to be going on with for now 🙂  So, dear reader, what are you planning to read for German Literature Month?  Please do drop me a line, and let me know…


10 thoughts on “A Tentative Plan for some Teutonic Texts…

  1. The more I read about this the more I want to join in. But I'm sure I'll be knee deep in Murakami's 1000 page novel which comes out the end of this month. If I can though, I have a volume of short stories by Christa Wolf that I'd like to get to….


  2. Do you read them in German or are they translations? I always wished I was fluent in another language. I know a smattering in a couple, mainly French

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out


  3. Thanks Tony, for the post. The list looks very good. I'm alawys please to see people choose one of the three 19th century Swiss authors.
    Die Blechtrommel is a must, of course. i didn't think it was all that long. I can't get into the Erpenbeck. I started it three times. That isn't something that usually happens to me. Another German speaking person who joins the event told me the same.
    It's a bit like Sebald. The translation makes some authors smoother. Sebald in German is another writer.

    @parrish. At least one little book?


  4. Ah, there you go! I'm currently reading VISITATION — its lushness, its denseness is so inebriating. And I've read a few of the Hotschnig short stories.

    Maybe I can cheat and read now and post on November? Heh. 😉


  5. Stu – Sounds like you'll be doing a lot of reviewing in November – I hope you'll be posting your intentions too 🙂

    CB – Yes, I'm not sure how I'll fit it all in either. Who needs sleep anyway? 😉

    Shellyrae – Yes, I'll be reading them all in German. I always read French- and German-language books in the original (makes me feel my BA wasn't a complete waste of time!).

    Gary – One book is all you need to read and review to take part…

    Caroline – Hmm, my edition is about 775 pages – for me, in German, that's long… Yes, I saw what you said about 'Heimsuchung' – I hope I'll disagree 🙂

    Sasha – There you go – just schedule your posts for November, and you're done 🙂 Believe me, I may be starting a little early with the reading side too…


  6. Sadly, I couldn't find a German-language version of 'The Silent Angel' – in fact The Book Depository seems to have lost a lot of original Böll texts 😦

    I'm sure the Erpenbeck book will be one of the most read – let's hope it's good 🙂


  7. For anyone interested, despite reading fifteen works for German Literature Month, I only managed to read three of my eight selections here – slight fail 😦


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