On the Death of Siegfried Lenz ? ?You have to justify your life?

Siegfried Lenz, one of the great writers of German post-war literature is dead. He died on 7 October 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old.... more more

GoetheInstitute

No one is indestructible

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TeaserPicA precision engineer of the emotions, Peter Nadas traces the European upheavals of the past century in his colossal and epic novel "Parallel Stories", which was published in English in December. The core and epicentre of the novel is the body, which bears the marks of history and trauma. In his seemingly chaotic intertwining of lives and stories, Nadas penetrates the depths of the human animal with unique insight. A review by Joachim Sartorius
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Road tripping across the ideological divide

Wednesday 1 February, 2012

TeaserPicThe USA and the USSR should not simply be thought of as arch enemies of the Cold War. Beyond ideology, the two nations were deeply interested in one another. Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov were thrilled by the American Way of Life in 1935/6, John Steinbeck and Robert Capa praised the sheer vitality of the Russian people in 1947. Historian Karl Schlögel reviews a perfect pair of travel journals. Photo by Ilf and Petrov.
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Friendship in the time of terror

Monday 9 January 2012

Nadezhda Mandelstam's personal memories of the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, her intimate friend, offer a unique and moving testimony to friendship and resistance over decades of persecution. Published only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the text is still unavailable in English but has recently been translated into German. A unique historical document, celebrating an intellectual icon in an age of horror. Portrait of Akhmatova by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin.
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A country on the edge of time

Monday 4 April, 2011

TeaserPicSerbia was the country in focus at this year's Leipzig Book Fair – its extensive literature seems to be bound up in the straitjacket of politics. Serbia is having a hard time with Europe, and Europe is having a hard time with Serbia. Although there are signs of a softening stance, the country is still locked up in the self-imposed nationalist isolation into which it manoeuvred itself as the aggressor in the Yugoslavian war of secession. A visit there inspires mixed feelings. By Jörg Plath
Photo: Sreten Ugricic
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Sceptically, lyrically, buoyantly now

Monday 25 October, 2010

TeaserPicGerman contemporary literature has emerged from the post-ideological vacuum to deliver punch-packing and exacting miniatures that go straight to the heart of the unknown society in which we live. Ina Hartwig highlights a group of writers who all have their fingers firmly on the pulse.
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Magic and guilt

Thursday 4 September, 2008

TeaserPicTeaserPicThe legendary German poets, Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan, met and fell in love in Vienna 1948. Their electric and torturous correspondence, which continued until 1961, has now been collected in book form for the first time. Ina Hartwig on what was probably the most complicated love story in post-war Germany.
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Evil dead

Wednesday 13 March, 2008

An SS man reflects on mass murder - and there's a pigeon hole for every vile deed. Novelist Georg Klein on the Holocaust and the enlightened harmony of trivial realism in Jonathan Littell's novel "The Kindly Ones".

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Rationalising the irrational

Wednesday 13 March, 2008

The 400-page German translation of Jonathan Littell's corpse-littered SS novel, "The Kindly Ones," has put the German-language feuilletons into a critical frenzy, despite the general consensus that the book is bad. We have compiled a selection of the accusations hurled.
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Double life is the drug

Wednesday 16 January, 2008

Kurt von Hammerstein was head of the Reichswehr, a grand seigneur, and an implacable opponent of National Socialism. In his new book "Hammerstein oder Der Eigensinn" (Hammerstein or idiosycrasy), Hans Magnus Enzensberger engages in dialogues with the dead to deliver a literary and lunatic precipitate of German history.
By Ina Hartwig
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The spell of the poet führer

Wednesday 7 November, 2007

Come cruising in the park they say is dead. In his biography of Stefan George, Thomas Karlauf reveals the charismatic German poet's authoritarian practices and the homoerotic core of his work. By Alexander Cammann


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The enchantment of the world

Monday 22 October, 2007

Rüdiger Safranski has pulled off the improbable: his book on Romanticism is a genuinely exciting account of German intellectual history. By Ulrich Greiner
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Let us now read about famous men

Wednesday 10 October, 2007

Germany's book market is being flooded this autumn by biographies of dead male writers. Ina Hartwig examines the whys, wherefores and potential pitfalls of this latest literary craze.
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Slovenian saga of beauty and cruelty

Monday 2 July, 2007

Truly a novel of the century. With his "Die Zugereisten" (the newcomers), an autobiographical trilogy of reminiscence, Lojze Kovacic bequeathed a masterpiece to the Slovenians, as brilliant as it is bulky. By Wolfgang Schneider
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The magician of the banal

Thursday 5 April, 2007

Ingo Schulze has reached new literary heights in his latest collection of short stories. Full of digressions and distractions, full of calculated humility, Schulze turns what seems to be non-art into art in its highest form. By Ulrich Greiner

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The feeling that came in from the cold

Thursday 15 March, 2007

With her first novel "The Hour Between Dog and Wolf," Silke Scheuermann has written her way into the top league of young authors. The story is, once again, of young women saddled with privilege and boredom. But the language is cool, underwater movement and its author as intelligent as she is subtle. By Ulrich Greiner
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