Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Usually I will try to stick to reading my way through books in German one at a time but now and again I find myself with two or three on the go at once. I'm currently working my way slowly through Halbzeit, Martin Walser, Knaur. It's not an easy read and last night I realised I had turned a couple of pages without finding a full stop. The 'sentence' actually stretched to five pages.
I'm also reading something slightly easier: Kleiner Mann - Großer Mann - alles vertauscht, Hans Fallada, rororo. I started into that because I had to wait for someone not long after I had bought it in a second hand book shop in Barnstaple. I also had a book of short autobiographical pieces: Mein Elternhaus, Herausgegeben von Rudolf Portner, dtv, which I finished at the weekend. People of some prominence born mainly between 1900 and 1930 write something of their childhood memories. I very much enjoyed insights into a completely different world and its values and difficulties. I like to have something with lots of short pieces while I'm working with something more difficult like Walser.

Around the end of last year I read Aldo Zargani's Für Violine solo: Meine Kindheit im Diesseits 1938-1945, Fischer. Although the sequence of the chapters is broadly chronological, each could be regarded as a self-standing story.

I set myself a reading target for this year - ten complete German books. I do also read a lot online and occasional newspapers and magazines. My target now looks too easy to achieve. When I set a target I always record what I've achieved as I find recording positives gives me encouragement. My memory tends to dwell on the negatives. Looking at what I've written down I find eight books.
  • Houwelandt, John von Düffel, dtv
  • Draußen vor der Tür, Wolfgang Borchert, dtv (this included a series of short stories as well as the play that gives the book its title)
  • Der Kalte Engel, Horst Bosetsky
  • Die Rosenzüchterin, Charlotte Link, Goldmann
  • Die Täuschung, Charlotte Link, Goldmann
  • Der Fangshuß, Marguerite Yourcenar, Süddeutsche Zeitung Bibliothek
  • Traumatische Tropen, Nigel Barley, Klett-Cotta
  • Mein Elternhaus as mentioned above
Perhaps others could share their reading lists.

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