Discovering German literature

134 posts in this topic

Posted

Right so I'd like to get to know some German authors. Translated in English natch. I got the dead guys in my rolodex but Im pretty sketchy on the modern writers. Saw a nice write up on children's author, Cornelia Funke. She's apparently the German version of JK Rowlings. She's got a couple of movie deals inked in hollywood. Im going to check her out before the silver screen ruins it for me.

Anyone else got a good rec for a modern German writer? Any genre.

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Posted

Christa Wolf. East German writer (ok, when I moved here there was still an East Germany).

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Posted

I heard that Das Parfum by Suesskind was a good book, but haven't read it myself, as I prefer to read in the original language, but can't read German books at all.. not enough patience to read half a page of 1 sentence, finding 4 verbs and a 'nicht' at the end of it.

I heard the English translation wasn't too bad.

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Posted

I loved reading Michael Ende when I was younger.

Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story)

Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivfuehrer

Momo

All the above have been translated into English and would still provide an entertaining read for an adult though I would recommend reading these in German to those who want to become more comfortable with the language.

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Posted

I second momo, a good first read.

I am currently finishing 'Generation Golf' by Florian Illies. A harmless and humourous look at the current generation 20-40s i.e. those who grew up in the well off 70s and 80s.

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Posted

My better half studied German Literature and she says 'tell them to read Max Frisch'.

When I asked for more guidance she wasn't too forthcoming. Then she said something about a guy named Stiller. Then I found out that was actually a book by aforementioned Frisch.

Stiller is more for guys, no, now it's for both. She's drunk.

"Oder Heinrich Böll, aber er ist tot." So I don't know if that qualifies.

"Do they want German writers?" "Yeah, and not dead ones". "Oh, these are both dead. If he wants a 'shocker', it's called Lust - aber sie ist Swiss. Okay, if he wants a German writer, read Günther Grass, Blechtrommel, this is the klassik."

So there you are.

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Posted

Don't know much about modern authors but I also studied German literature and I enjoyed the romantics like Tieck and the post-war period as mentioned with Max Frisch. You could also try Heinrich Böll, Zuckmayer, Stefan Zweig etc. My favourite is Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse) which was once given to me as a present and I read it again and again.

Regarding Momo - is Momo really German and not Scandinavian? Because Momo's house is in Finland, I believe???

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Posted

"The Tin Drum" from Günther Grass. It's a cracker. War, Love, Midgets, Destruction, Sex, it's got it all.

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Posted

Anything by Wolf Haas. 'Komm süßer Tod' - The darkest, blackest Austrian humour based around the murderous exploits of a paramedic in Vienna, and 'Silentium!'.

Is it lucky or unlucky if the black cat crosses the road in front of you from the left or the right?

...and if you run over it?

I also loved the black-haired babe describing herself as a "Cemetery Blonde" :lol:

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Posted

I liked "Der Vorleser" ("The Reader") by Bernhard Schlink.

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Posted

Schlink is definitely a good one. I also like Günther Grass.

I am glad you started this thread as I was asking recently for recommendations and my colleagues/friends came up with the following...

Marlen Haushofer - Die Wand (not my cup of tea really)

Martin Suter - Lila Lila

Leonie Ossawsky - Die Maklerin

Peter Prange - Das Bernstein Amulett

Peter Stamm - Agnes

none of these I have read yet though, apart from Die Wand...that was odd.

I also like Dürrenmatt. Der Richter und sein Henker was a great Krimi as was the follow up, the name of which escapes me...

edit: Der Verdacht it's called

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Posted

Hermann Hesse is excellent, you should try Siddhartha or Narzis & Goldmund which is one of my favorite books.

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Posted

Isn't Max Frisch Swiss?

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Posted

May i recommend Patrick Sueskind's Perfume. Fantastic translation and i've heard they are making the film of it soon. It is a must read and he is alive and living in Starnberg. Also a good transaltion is Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, however he is Austrian.

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Posted

The movie "Das Parfüm" is being filmed here and now in Munich with Dustin Hoffmann (happy belated 69th birthday!).

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Posted

A recommendation to suit the weather:

"Der Regenroman" by Karen Duve

(the title of the English translation is simply "Rain")

Quite a funny book in a morbid sort of way. For a description, see http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/0747...4647131-8953604

Another book by Karen Duve which I liked (and which was quite a bestseller here recently) is called "Das ist kein Liebeslied", the English version "This is not a love song" will be out this fall.

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Posted

Dustin Hoffman? As the young Grenouille?? How on earth is that one going to work?

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Posted

read Herbert Rosendorfer "Briefe in der chineschischen Vergangenheit" or however grammatically it should read. quite funny of an ancient china man landing in modern day munich.

p.s. dustin hoffman plays the parfumist master, not the murderer.

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Posted

Wiglaf Droste, "am Arsch der Raueber" a book of short essays about inner city life in berlin in the 1990s/2000s. It's funny and he writes well but it isn't high literature like Grass or someone (I told german friends I read a couple of Grass novels and they laughed and said that was the sort of thing you read in high school)

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Posted

I see, yes, that would make sense. And do you know who plays Grenouille?

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Posted

read Herbert Rosendorfer "Briefe in der chineschischen Vergangenheit" or however grammatically it should read. quite funny of an ancient china man landing in modern day munich.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Liked that one, too. But the sequel was terrible.

Thought it was totally artifical and uninspired.

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Posted

read Herbert Rosendorfer "Briefe in der chineschischen Vergangenheit" ... quite funny of an ancient china man landing in modern day munich.

This was also recommended to me by my bavarian practising chinese medicine artzin...it is now *supposedly* available from Hugendubel in English. I'm sooo looking forward to getting it. :)

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Posted

Amazon offers it for 10.95 Euros. Apparently, it'll be available from January 31.

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Posted

i think bubblegum recomended siddhartha by herman hesse. not too long either.

and der vorleser, by ? schlink... erm, can't remember. also a short book. not too difficult read, although subject matter can be depressing.

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