Some Ideas for German Literature Month 2013

By (very) popular demand, November sees the return of German Literature Month, Lizzy and Caroline’s third annual festival of all things originally written in the German language.  As you may have guessed, I’ll be participating in a major way, with all of my November posts to be dedicated to the event 🙂

A notable feature of this third edition is an attempt by the host(esse)s to even up the gender imbalance of the past two years.  The month has been divided up as follows in an attempt to get more people to review books by female writers:

Week 1 (1-7/11): Ladies Week
Week 2 (8-14/11): Gents Week
Week 3 (15-21/11): Ladies Week
Week 4 (22-28/11): Gents Week
Weekend (29-30/11): Read as you please

I’m not sure my reading will be a fifty-fifty split, but I have no doubt that a few female writers will be featured on the blog over the course of the month.

So what will I be reading and reviewing in November?  Well, the first port of call is my German bookshelf, where I have a few neglected works itching to be read.  I have a couple from Peter Stamm (Agnes and Wir Fliegen/We’re Flying) to choose from, and there’s more contemporary fiction in the form of Alois Hotschnig’s Leonardos Hände (Leonardo’s Hands) and Judith Hermann’s collection Nichts als Gespenster (Nothing but Ghosts).  Rounding off this selection is Sebald’s Austerlitz (a book I’ve just finished reading and reviewing).

There are also several older books up there, including Eduard von Keyserling’s Wellen (Waves), one of Caroline’s recommendations from a couple of years back, Robert Walser’s novel Jakob von Gunten, Hans Keilson’s Das Leben geht weiter (Life Goes On) and Peter Handke’s Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter (The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty) – a book I’ve been meaning to get to for quite some time now…

Then, naturally, there are the books I’ve bought from The Book Depository, which are winging their way to Australia as we speak to join the rest of my collection.  I’ve ordered Christa Wolf’s Was Bleibt (What Remains) and Thomas Bernhard’s Holzfällen (The Woodcutters), both books I’m keen to get stuck into for November.  I also have one more which might just sneak in – my preordered copy of the paperback version of Anna Kim’s Anatomie einer Nacht (Anatomy of a Night) is being released on the 11th of November…

The fun doesn’t end there.  Thanks to my Kindle and the evil nice people at Amazon, I have a whole host of out-of-copyright classics loaded up ready to read.  To even up the gender balance, I might try something by Lena Christ or Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach.  But then, there’s also Theodor Storm, Theodor Fontane, Adalbert Stifter, Gottfried Keller

Well, there are definitely a lot of ideas amongst that lot, but there’s only one thing I can promise about my choices – there’s absolutely no way I’ll get through all of them in one month.  Now, about December…

14 thoughts on “Some Ideas for German Literature Month 2013

  1. I dropped by to see if I could twist your arm into telling me what you planned to review, but no rough stuff needed–you already spilled the beans. I have several I'd like to read but not sure how many I'll get to and which ones will make the final cut. But I'm really looking forward to this.


  2. Caroline – I wasn't really paying attention and didn't realise the readalong was so early… It'll be interesting to see what other readers will make of it though 🙂


  3. You've given me quite a few ideas here. I'll see what books I'll be able to squeeze in, but given my inability to stick to any sort of reading plan… ehrm, uh, ahem…


  4. Nice selection Tony, I've finished a reread of Bernhard's Holzfällen a few days ago and now I am all fired up for more Bernhard rereading 🙂 one of all time favorite authors… and Sebald's Austerlitz is one of my favorites of the 2000s. Still have not read Judith Hermann at all, need to change this…


  5. Peter Handke's book was my Bible in my late teens – I wonder how it would bear up to rereading – look forward to hearing your opinion of it. Do try some Ebner-Eschenbach, although I am happy to see you have Christa Wolf and a couple of other women writers as well.


  6. Birne – This will be my first, and I'm looking forward to it a lot. I actualy have a copy of 'The Emigrants' coming too, but I think I'll delay that pleasure for another time…


  7. Marina Sofia – I read 'Das Gemeindekind' last year(?), and I thought that was great, so I'll try to fit in another by Ebner-Eschenbach. I do hope to read a few women writers, but I have to stress that I'll be reading what appeals to me at the time – so if I feel like Thomas Mann or Joseph Roth instead… 😉


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