Category: Germany

Mar 21 2021

Die Olympiasiegerin by Herbert Achternbusch

There’s 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, not …

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

Mar 14 2021

Der ewige Spießer by Ödön von Horváth

Ödön von Horváth was born in 1901 in what was then the Austro-Hungarian port city of Fiume and is now known as Rijeka, Croatia. His name and his family background reflect a Mitteleuropa that was thriving (at least for some people) when he was born, was damaged by the First World War, and practically destroyed …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/03/14/der-ewige-spieser-by-odon-von-horvath/

Sep 20 2020

Und keiner weint mir nach by Siegfried Sommer

Und keiner weint mir nach

When the editors of the Süddeutsche Zeitung planned out their 20-book set “Selected Munich,” Siegfried Sommer must have seemed a natural to kick off the series. He had been born in the city in 1914, died there in 1996, lived practically all of his life in Munich except for his time in the army during …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/09/20/und-keiner-weint-mir-nach-by-siegfried-sommer/

Aug 11 2020

Die Schaukel by Annette Kolb

Die Schaukel

As the story of an artistic family in a materialistic time, Die Schaukel reminded me of The Family Fang, though of course Kolb’s work predates Kevin Wilson’s novel by more than three quarters of a century. The Lautenschlags are a Franco-German family who moved from Paris to Munich not long after the Franco-Prussian War led …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/11/die-schaukel-by-annette-kolb/

Apr 15 2020

D-Day Through German Eyes by Holger Eckhertz

D-Day Through German Eyes

Holger Eckhertz’s grandfather, Dieter Eckhertz, was a wartime correspondent for German army publications such as Signal and Die Wehrmacht (The Army). Shortly before the Allied landings in Normandy, he visited that sector and interviewed quite a number of soldiers while preparing articles for the army’s magazines. After the war, he left journalism, but ten years …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/04/15/d-day-through-german-eyes-by-holger-eckhertz/

Nov 12 2019

Süden und der Strassenbahntrinker by Friedrich Ani

Süden und der Straßenbahntrinker

Tabor Süden works for the Munich police in the missing persons bureau. One day, a man turns up in their offices and says he is back, they don’t need to look for him anymore. Problem is, no one had reported him missing. That would be odd, but relatively easy to dismiss except that over the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/12/suden-und-der-strassenbahntrinker-by-friedrich-ani/

Nov 09 2019

Speaking of Revolutions

“Another young woman, an employee of the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, was on her way home from a visit to a sauna when the news of the night inspired her to head for Bornholmer [Strasse]. Her name was Angela Merkel. She had chosen a career in chemistry, not in politics, but [November 9, 1989] …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/09/speaking-of-revolutions/

Oct 03 2019

Structuring the State by Daniel Ziblatt

Structuring the State

At the start of the nineteenth century’s second half, Germany and Italy were both patchworks of states; by century’s end, both were united kingdoms taking their place among Europe’s great powers. Similar ideas drove the leaders of unification in both regions, yet the states that emerged from the wars and negotiations were quite different. Though …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/10/03/structuring-the-state-by-daniel-ziblatt/

Sep 21 2019

Schellingstrasse 48 by Walter Kolbenhoff

Schellingstrasse 48

For all that it is a Millionenstadt, Munich can also be quite a small town. Literary and artistic Munich even more so. Thus it’s not very surprising that in Schellingstrasse 48 (48 Schelling St.), Walter Kolbenhoff’s memoir of the Nazi era, POW internment in America, and early post-war Munich, other authors from the Süddeutsche Zeitung‘s …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/09/21/schellingstrasse-48-by-walter-kolbenhoff/

Jul 21 2019

Tauben im Gras by Wolfgang Koeppen

Tauben im Gras by Wolfgang Koeppen

Wolfgang Koeppen was born in 1906 and thus grew up in Germany’s Weimar years. He published his first two novels after the Nazi takeover but before the war began. At first, his work as a scriptwriter for film studios in Munich made him exempt from the draft. Following a bomb attack, he went underground and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/21/tauben-im-gras-by-wolfgang-koeppen/