Tagged: German

Lit rec #250: “Technology and comfort – having those, people speak of culture, but do not have it.” (1948)

Oh, that scene when the devil visits. And not surprisingly, Adorno wrote the philosophy behind the novel! DOCTOR FAUSTUS by Thomas Mann




Lit rec #240: This curious, mesmerising book, a hybrid of fiction and memoir which tells the life stories of four unhappy exiles, is the work of a German writer until now almost unknown in this country. – Jonathan Coe’s review (1992)

Read a difficult book for once. With old black and white photographs thrown in. My first Sebald. THE EMIGRANTS by W. G. Sebald


Lit rec #234: “Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. …live in the question.” (1934)

If you tote one book to read when you have a spare moment during your busy day, this is it. LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET by Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke Clara Rome


Lit rec #230: One of the Keys to Understanding Kafka (1922).

During these last decades the interest in professional fasting has markedly diminished. “THE HUNGER ARTIST” by Franz Kafka.



Lit rec #227: The Most Important Rebuke to Adorno’s There Can Be No More Poetry After the Holocaust (1948)

Black milk of morning we drink you at dusktime/we drink you at noontime and dawntime we drink you at night. “DEATH FUGUE” by Paul Celan



Lit rec #224: A trippy coming-of-age novel. “We who bore the mark might well be considered by the rest of the world as strange, even as insane and dangerous. We had awoken, or were awakening, and we were striving for an ever perfect state of wakefulness, whereas the ambition and quest for happiness of the others consisted of linking their opinions, ideals, and duties, their life and happiness, ever more closely with those of the herd. They, too, strove; they, too showed signs of strength and greatness. But as we saw it, whereas we marked men represented Nature’s determination to create something new, individual, and forward-looking, the others lived in the determination to stay the same. For them mankind–which they loved as much as we did–was a fully formed entity that had to be preserved and protected. For us mankind was a distant future toward which we were all journeying, whose aspect no one knew, whose laws weren’t written down anywhere.” (1919)

Number 1 book for ages in South Korea. Irritating bits made up for by the sheer weirdness. A page-turner too. DEMIAN by Herman Hesse.



Lit rec #198: One of the Most Important Theories in Modern Theater (1957).

Verfremdungseffekt aka alienation effect. One of the most influential aesthetic books in our time. BRECHT ON THEATER by Bertolt Brecht.