Title: The Demons, 2 Volumes
Publication Date: 1961
Edition: 1st Edition.
New York. 1961. Knopf. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjackets With Some Tears & Slipcase. Translated from the German by Richard & Clara Winston. 1335 pages. hardcover. Typography, binding, and jacket design by George Salter. keywords: Literature Translated Germany Austria. inventory # 7176. FROM THE PUBLISHER - The Demons is one of the most important novels about city life to be written in this century. Figures from the Viennese upper middle class and the nobility, workers and intellectuals, mingle with characters from the demi-monde and the underworld and are woven into an ambivalent social web. Behind the elegant charms of tea parties and tennis tournaments lurk insecurity, political instability and sexual dissoluteness. The action is squeezed between the autumn of 1926 and the summer of 1927 and, from the first moment on, the events lead up to the burning down of the Ministry of Justice, to which Doderer refers as a ‘crushing blow for Austrian freedom.‘ Although the destinies of the individual characters are connected mostly indirectly with this historic event, it is part of Doderer’s creative composition that several of their life’s problems are solved on this day. Doderer himself regarded The Demons, on which he worked from 1931 to 1940 and then again from 1951 to 1956, as his main work and constructed Die Strudlhofstiege (1951) especially to serve as a ‘ramp’ for it. In The Demons we meet many characters from the Strudlhofstiege again but the novel also describes the fire at the Ministry of Justice, which marked the beginning of an increasingly serious conflict between the Conservative and Socialist parties of the time, culminating in the civil war of 1934 and the ensuing authoritarianism of the corporate state. Doderer,as in all his novels, weaves in a second layer of philosophical, astonishingly direct reflections. For his own orientation through the complicated network of the plot, he prepared ‘blueprints’ on a piece of paper, which he then fixed onto a wooden board. Doderer’s novels are also romans à clef. The main characters in the Strudlhofstiege were drawn from his own immediate surroundings. His vivacious and temperamental sister Helga reappears in the novel as Etelka, his sister Astri, of whom he was particularly fond, is encountered as Asta. Ernö Hauer, Helga’s Hungarian diplomat husband, becomes Pista Grauermann, while his friend, Countess Lotte Paumgarten, is portrayed as the young violinist Quapp and Doderer’s short-term wife, Gusti Hasterlik, appears as Grete Siebenschein. Doderer himself, as already mentioned, is disguised as René Stangeler. With their local color and spirit of the age, the Strudlhofstiege and Die Dämonen, which was to become a great historical novel dealing with the events around the fire at the Ministry of Justice on 15 July 1927, both reflect the typically Austrian mood and flavor of the cultivated and wealthy Viennese society of the Ringstrasse era. Doderer masterfully creates a world rich in details and emotions, which succeeds in fully enveloping his readers. For Doderer, too, was part of that world, even in the fifties, which had long since heralded the dawning of a new age, and when he, a gentleman of the old school, had already become an anachronistic figure. But precisely this feature made him so distinctive. Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjackets With Some Tears & Slipcase. Bookseller Inventory # 7176
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