Heinrich Böll, Postwar Penitent

Posted on | May 25, 2011 | Comments Off real gambling systems

I have a piece on Heinrich Böll up at the Barnes & Noble Review, prompted by Melville House’s re-release of his “essential” works.  If you have to pick one, read The Clown.

The German Nobel Laureate Heinrich Böll, for whatever reason, has never enjoyed wide recognition on American shores. No less political than Grass, no less a historian of German collective memory than Sebald, Böll writes with a plucked-from-the-headlines quality that perhaps doesn’t translate readily for an American readership. Rooted in the Catholic world of the Ruhr valley, where a deeply held religious tradition battles with the more recent legacy of the Nazis, Böll’s novels root out the secrets lurking underneath the placid exterior of domestic life. As much as the spectre of World War II hangs in the background of his novels, it isn’t the war for which Böll wishes to hold Germany to account; rather, it’s the speed with which the country has moved on. [More here.]

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