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The cow, the shoe, then you

Philip Oltermann: Hans Fallada, 8 March 2012

More Lives than One: A Biography of Hans Fallada 
by Jenny Williams.
Penguin, 320 pp., £12.99, February 2012, 978 0 241 95267 2
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A Small Circus 
by Hans Fallada, translated by Michael Hofmann.
Penguin, 577 pp., £20, February 2012, 978 0 14 119655 8
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... On Tuesday, 17 October 1911, 18-year-old Rudolf Ditzen, the future Hans Fallada, got up before dawn to meet his schoolfriend Hanns Dietrich von Necker at a tourist spot outside Rudolstadt in Thuringia. Some weeks beforehand, they had agreed to take each other’s lives in a double suicide, though they hadn’t been able to decide how to do it ...


Mike Jay: Opium, 21 June 2012

Opium: Reality’s Dark Dream 
by Thomas Dormandy.
Yale, 366 pp., £25, March 2012, 978 0 300 17532 5
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... presents for friends at the front’. But war continued to be a powerful recruiting sergeant: as Hans Fallada observed of the Second World War, ‘morphine was the only ministering angel who, without ideology or war aims, served mankind impartially in its madness.’ ‘Is it a sin, a crime, a vice or a disease?’ asked the Society for the Study and ...


James MacGibbon: Fashionable Radicals, 22 January 1987

... I blessed them. Putnam published many novelists in translation after All Quiet: for example, Hans Fallada, Sholokhov and Italo Svevo. Of these three, Fallada is forgotten, Sholokhov in disrepute, and Svevo, but only after repeated failures, is established as an author of Penguin Modern Classics. His Confessions of ...

Dead Ends

Christopher Tayler: ‘Not a Novel’, 7 October 2021

Not a Novel: Collected Writings and Reflections 
by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Kurt Beals.
Granta, 208 pp., £14.99, November 2020, 978 1 78378 609 1
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... of the original. It contains memoir, pieces on writers Anglophone editors might have heard of (Hans Fallada, Thomas Mann, Walter Kempowski, Ovid) and two forays into social criticism. It’s a useful introduction to a body of work in which what isn’t being said, or isn’t being said in the expected way, can be as significant as what is. ‘Open ...

Men He Could Trust

Richard J. Evans: Hitler’s Stormtroopers, 22 February 2018

Stormtroopers: A New History of Hitler’s Brownshirts 
by Daniel Siemens.
Yale, 459 pp., £25, October 2017, 978 0 300 19681 8
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... Jews and Poles from villages and communities behind the front.On the home front, stormtroopers, as Hans Fallada noted in his novel Alone in Berlin (1946), seemed omnipresent, controlling public space, intimidating German workers when they protested against the conditions they were forced to endure in the factories, even sending refractory elements to the ...

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