04 March, 2008

I don't update enough

I am keeping up with my reading, I am, I am... Much better than last year, actually. But I don't update enough.

I finished, and really enjoyed - not sure if 'enjoy' is the right word, but whatever - The hothouse by Wolfgang Koeppen, a loan from my friend N. I read Koeppen's book Death in Rome last year and thought it was superb and vicious. The hothouse is about the Bonn parliament in the fifties - which I am just in the middle of studying - and is sour and angry and despairing. The Bonn parliamentarians are the Christians and Social Democrats who have kept their hands clean during the Nazi period but are now middle-aged cynics, working for a public of self-satisfied, apolitical bourgeois. Short, but very powerful, sad and bitter.

It's translated by Michael Hofmann, who is such a good translator of German. His translations never jar, the way they can sometimes, and you can hear the German behind the English without it ever becoming intrusive. [9]

1 comment:

Phil said...

woo, new design.