Looking Forward to June



Saturday, November 1, 2014

German Literature Month Blast-Off

First: My apologies to everyone who has left comments in the past 2+ weeks and has not had a response. I've replied now, but my October 30 post shows where my head's been at, and I wish it could have been with you!

Yesterday I tucked in to my first German Literature Month novel. (Yes, a day early, but I was desperate to begin.) Christine Nöstlinger is a highly acclaimed Austrian children's novelist, winner of many prizes, and the author of a multitude of books for children. Many, many of her most beloved works have not been translated into English, but Fly Away Home, the novelized version of her experiences as a child at the end of World War II in the city of Vienna, and later, in the Vienna suburbs, was published in an English translation in 1975, in Britain and the U.S.

Although I'm only 40 pages into the novel, I'm so taken with her honesty and lack of self-censorship--she portrays children as they really, truly are, complete with the full scope of their tumultuous feelings, intense curiosities, passions, and inexplicable (to adults) idiosyncrasies. I prize her writing for that! And the novel has made me realize how valuable to history are the memories and recollections of children in any given period. Their observations are so acute as to what is happening around them, even when they don't have the knowledge to decipher what their observations mean. I will write much more about this book when I finish.

Next: I am eager to read Julia Franck's latest novel, West. Lizzy has written about it on her blog, and I must order it immediately from The Book Depository or it will not arrive in time for GLM IV because the English translation is a UK title. By the way, the English translation was released on October 30, 2014.

Because of Thomas at Mytwostostinki.com (see my blogroll), I have in my hands a YA novel by Ralf Rothmann, Young Light. Since I ordered it, I discovered that Rothmann has written many other novels that also sound like must-reads. As soon as I finish Fly Away Home, I'll be devouring Young Light.

At the end of the month, I am participating in Caroline's GLM IV Joseph Roth readalong. I have in my hands Flight without End, a novel of post-World War I Germany. Because it's only 135 pages, I may very well have time to squeeze in another German novel this month. I do hope so, and will let you know.

I wish every GLM IV participant an enlightening and inspiring month of reading! Best wishes!

5 comments:

  1. Interesting reading plans, Judith. I am looking forward to your reviews. Hope you like the Rothmann book too.

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    1. Thank you, Thomas,
      I'm sure I'm going to like Young Light--I've taken lengthy glimpses already. Will be starting it tonight, I think.
      Judith

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  2. Ah, Nostlinger - a childhood favourite - I'll have to seek out this book of ... would you say these are memoirs? essays? fiction?

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    1. The original title published by Beltz Verlag in 1973 is Maikafer flieg. There is an umlaut over the second letter "a" in Maikafer. I hope this helps you find it.
      I would define it as a slightly fictionalized version of Nöstlinger's experiences at the end of World War II and just after.
      Happy reading!
      Judith

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    2. Oops, Marina Sophia,
      An enjoyable visit to your blog made me realize that you live in the UK, at least I think so--not totally sure.
      Nöstlinger's book was published in Britain in 1975 by Abelard-Schuman Limited. It seems that the title is the same as in the U.S.: Fly Away Home.
      I hope you can find it!
      Judith

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