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9780811207768

How German Is It

Abish, Walter

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9780811207768: How German Is It

Ulrich Hargenau testifies against fellow members of a German terrorist group in order to save himself and his wife, Paula, and contemplates the nature of his German heritage.

The question How German Is It underlies the conduct and actions of the characters in Walter Abish's novel, an icy panorama of contemporary Germany, in which the tradition of order and obedience, the patrimony of the saber and the castle on the Rhine, give way to the present, indiscriminate fascination with all things American. On his return from Paris to his home city of Würtenburg, Ulrich Hargenau, whose father was executed for his involvement in the 1944 plot against Hitler, is compelled to ask himself, "How German am l?"––as he compares his own recent attempt to save his life, and his wife Paula's, by testifying against fellow members of a terrorist group, with his father's selfless heroism. Through Ulrich––privileged, upper class––we confront the incongruities of the new democratic Germany, in particular the flourishing community of Brumholdstein, named after the country's greatest thinker, Brumhold, and built on the former site of a concentration camp. Paula's participation in the destruction of a police station; the State's cynical response to crush the terrorists; two attempts on Ulrich's life; the discovery in Brumholdstein of a mass grave of death camp inmates––all these, with subtle irony, are presented as pieces of a puzzle spelling out the turmoil of a society's endeavor to avoid the implications of its menacing heritage.

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About the Author:

Walter Abish (1931- ) was born in Vienna but fled from the Nazis to Italy and later to Nice with his family while still a young child. They settled in Shanghai for most of the 1940s, and then relocated to Israel in 1949, where Abish served in the army and developed an interest in literature and writing. He moved to the United States in 1957 and became an American citizen in 1960. He's taught at several universities in the US, served on the International PEN board, and has won Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships. His experimental, cerebral works are not empty intellectual gestures but attempts to find fictional forms with which to express his reactions to the politically and socially unstable moment in which he was born and raised. Of his first book, Alphabetical Africa he wrote, "Feeling a distrust of the understanding that is intrinsic to any communication, I decided to write a book in which my distrust became a determining factor upon which the flow of the narrative was largely predicated."

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Book Description New Directions Publishing Corporation, United States, 1980. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The questionHow German Is Itunderlies the conduct and actions of the characters in Walter Abish s novel, an icy panorama of contemporary Germany, in which the tradition of order and obedience, the patrimony of the saber and the castle on the Rhine, give way to the present, indiscriminate fascination with all things American. On his return from Paris to his home city of Wurtenburg, Ulrich Hargenau, whose father was executed for his involvement in the 1944 plot against Hitler, is compelled to ask himself, How German am l? as he compares his own recent attempt to save his life, and his wife Paula s, by testifying against fellow members of a terrorist group, with his father s selfless heroism. Through Ulrich privileged, upper class we confront the incongruities of the new democratic Germany, in particular the flourishing community of Brumholdstein, named after the country s greatest thinker, Brumhold, and built on the former site of a concentration camp. Paula s participation in the destruction of a police station; the State s cynical response to crush the terrorists; two attempts on Ulrich s life; the discovery in Brumholdstein of a mass grave of death camp inmates all these, with subtle irony, are presented as pieces of a puzzle spelling out the turmoil of a society s endeavor to avoid the implications of its menacing heritage. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780811207768

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Book Description New Directions Publishing Corporation, United States, 1980. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The questionHow German Is Itunderlies the conduct and actions of the characters in Walter Abish s novel, an icy panorama of contemporary Germany, in which the tradition of order and obedience, the patrimony of the saber and the castle on the Rhine, give way to the present, indiscriminate fascination with all things American. On his return from Paris to his home city of Wurtenburg, Ulrich Hargenau, whose father was executed for his involvement in the 1944 plot against Hitler, is compelled to ask himself, How German am l? as he compares his own recent attempt to save his life, and his wife Paula s, by testifying against fellow members of a terrorist group, with his father s selfless heroism. Through Ulrich privileged, upper class we confront the incongruities of the new democratic Germany, in particular the flourishing community of Brumholdstein, named after the country s greatest thinker, Brumhold, and built on the former site of a concentration camp. Paula s participation in the destruction of a police station; the State s cynical response to crush the terrorists; two attempts on Ulrich s life; the discovery in Brumholdstein of a mass grave of death camp inmates all these, with subtle irony, are presented as pieces of a puzzle spelling out the turmoil of a society s endeavor to avoid the implications of its menacing heritage. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780811207768

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