Category: Auf Deutsch

Softcore by Tirdad Zolghadr

Softcore by Tordad Zolghadr

In Softcore a first-person narrator, annoyingly also named Tirday Zolghadr, relates the weeks and days before the opening of a new and arty nightclub in contemporary Tehran, interspersed with his remembrances of earlier times in and around Iran’s capital city. The book has some funny bits, such as a running gag about the splittist tendencies …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/27/softcore-by-tirdad-zolghadr/

Die Leiden des jungen Werthers by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Die Leiden des jungen Werthers by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Finally reading The Sorrows of Young Werther closes a gap in my education as a German major, a mere thirty years or so after I earned my degree. Because my institution only had two professors of German, an upper-level course in Goethe was only offered periodically. And the one time it was offered when I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/15/die-leiden-des-jungen-werthers-by-johann-wolfgang-von-goethe/

Das Haus an der Moskwa by Yuri Trifonov

Das Haus an der Moskwa by Yuri Trifonov

Das Haus an der Moskwa, known in English as The House on the Embankment and with the original title Дом на набережной, poses a question that it doesn’t really answer, or at least not directly. On a hot August day in 1972 Vadim Glebow has traveled out to a distant corner of Moscow to get …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/13/das-haus-an-der-moskwa-by-yuri-trifonov/

Heisser Sommer by Uwe Timm

Heisser Sommer by Uwe Timm

I came to Heisser Sommer prepared not to like it. A book by a male author in his forties, looking back on his glorious youth twenty years previous. That Timm chose not to use quotation marks for characters’ speech added to my annoyance. Worse, it’s set in the overexposed late 1960s, featuring a male protagonist …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/07/heisser-sommer-by-uwe-timm/

Reading Munich — München erlesen

München erlesen 1

The first great virtue of the 20-volume “München erlesen” (Selected Munich, with a bit of a pun on the German word for reading) series is the simple fact of its existence. There are not many provincial capitals that could support a literary series that runs to 20 books, let alone one with the quality of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/04/02/reading-munich-munchen-erlesen/

Wir sind Gefangene by Oskar Maria Graf

Wir sind Gefangene by Oskar Maria Graf

For about the first eighty percent of Wir sind Gefangene (We Are Prisoners), my assessment of the book was that I could see why it was a sensation in the 1920s but couldn’t see much to recommend it for readers of the 2020s. It begins with Graf is at school in the small Bavarian town …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/03/18/wir-sind-gefangene-by-oskar-maria-graf/

Das Erwachen by Josef Ruederer

Das Erwachen by Josef Ruederer

I admired the conception of Das Erwachen (The Awakening) more than I enjoyed its execution. As Josef Ruederer’s widow Elisabeth wrote in an brief introductory note, “[He] wanted to portray life — history and people — in his home city through the nineteenth century up to the present [1916] in a four-volume novel.” Unfortunately, he …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/17/das-erwachen-by-josef-ruederer/

Die Jugendstreiche des Knaben Karl by Karl Valentin

Jugendstreiche des Knaben Karl

The editors of the Süddeutsche Zeitung began their series of 20 books in or involving Munich with a local icon, Siegfried Sommer. They finished the set with Karl Valentin, who was born in Munich and grew up in the city but went on to become a national icon as a comedic star on stage, in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/05/29/die-jugendstreiche-des-knaben-karl-by-karl-valentin/

Münchnerinnen by Ludwig Thoma

Münchnerinnen by Ludwig Thoma

It will not surprise a contemporary reader that a young housewife, neglected by her husband, will find affection elsewhere. Nor did it likely surprise Ludwig Thoma’s audience in 1919 when Münchnerinnen (Munich Ladies) was published. The book is set in the late 1800s, when people would have felt it necessary to affect surprise, though given …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/04/28/munchnerinnen-by-ludwig-thoma/

Die Olympiasiegerin by Herbert Achternbusch

There’s a scene in “Before Sunrise” where the young couple encounters two Austrian guys who tell the visitors about a play they are putting on, an eye-rolling bit of Continental pretension. Man with tie: This is a play we’re both in, and we would like to invite you. Céline: You’re actors? Man with tie: No, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/03/21/die-olympiasiegerin-by-herbert-achternbusch/