The question How German Is It underlies the conduct and actions of the characters in Walter Abish’s novel, an icy panorama of contemporary. The question HOW GERMAN IS IT underlies the conduct and actions of the characters in Walter Abish’s new novel, an icy panorama of contemporary Germany. The question implicit in the title of Walter Abish’s novel1 immediat alerts us to problems moment in German history, Abish plays with the familiar images such .

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It’s a compelling and entertaining and thoughtful take on the modern world, and the modern Germany, and asks a lot of questions about what the past is, and the present, and the future and all that.

I need to apply for a drivers’ license because there is no recirpocity between Germany and my home US state, despite the germqn that I gerrman been driving for 25 years. What qualities is it that makes something familiar? Penguin Modern Classics, pp. Jun 10, Rimas rated it really liked it. It has that same awe-inspiring feeling of being planned down to the last letter, while still seeming to reveal itself completely organically.

In the entire history of a culture, a culture in which Jews were a vital and important part, “How German” is one fifteen year period of time? Here the house as nation stripped of everything it could be proud of, art, culture and ideals: Franz sitting in their small wqlter, reading his Sunday paper, his back to the noisy neighbours next door, his back to the familiar scene of the neighbours playing cards, his back deliberately turned to their Sunday.

How does a person do this? And from there the plot and sub-plot becomes so multi-layered I wanted to hurt someone. Now, he is looked upon as a hero as Germany has shifted its identity to waltee against its Nazi past. Rather than coming back to a book you’ve read and loved once before This is the kind of book you start reading, and you immediately get very excited about. I guess that the limited audience for such a book awlter limited air time.


It stems from theif infamous ANGST– an all-pervasivd anguish and anxiety for and about life, of what cannot be controlled in life. Nov 04, Jerrod rated it it was amazing. People from all over came to see what we had to sell.

So far Abish has only published three novels, three collections of short stories, one book of poetry and one autobiography. Open Preview See a Problem? Feb 12, Paul rated it it was amazing. In he published Double Vision: Reading this for the second time. The book has a lot of punch. And they all live in Brumholdstein, a new town for the chic named after the Heidegger-like idealist philosopher Brumhold. A day of picnics, leisurely meals, newspapers on the sofa. The answers Abish finds to these questions are not always satisfactory, if only because Abish himself was uncertain of them.

HOW GERMAN IS IT by Walter Abish | Kirkus Reviews

His second novel, Alphabetical Africacemented his reputation. Erika, he called from the window. He did feel more at home, but that did not mean that he liked it. Do i then leave the fainting person there and do it myself, or do I take care of the fainting person first?

It is chiefly a character-driven story, and it’s through his skilled characterization that Abish is able to present such a layered portrait of post-war Germany.

How German Is It?

For Abish, How German Is It is a novel that questions the very identity of a nation in transition, trying to face up to its troubled past.

Throughout the book, staggered exposition on the Hargenau family also serves to distract from the sense of doom. All I’m saying is, remember that you’ve read it so you don’t get sucked into the vacuum that erases your memory of the thing. The question is “How German” was the holocaust? Only the present will not let them. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: So, during one of these, which I could only half follow with my very weak German, I waalter supposed to show how I’d lW down a fainting person on the ground.


What if I don’t have someone send off for the ambulance? I was worried the end would fizzle out stupidly but it did not. A User Manual by Perec. To this conundrum Abish adds much with his cinematic prose, prefigured by the quote from Jean-Luc Godard that opens his book: Each chapter of that book played pseudo-alliterative rules: Anyway–from ‘how German is it.?

Email required Address never germaj public. I’m saving those only for things that literally knock me over.

How German Is It – Wikipedia

I would very much recommend this to anyone interested in modern Germany or Germany’s take on its hoa fascist past– apparently not too much has changed in that regard since this book was written. Anyway, I am ger,an giving up and will update when done. Dec 13, L rated it it was ok Shelves: I would not rank it among my all-time favorite novels, but I think it is a great read, especially for anyone of German heritage. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. However it was a real yawn and took strength to press through and finish.

And then the family as a metaphor for heritage: So far Abish has only published three novels, three collections of short stories, one book of poetry and one autobiography. Not only the two brothers, but also their old butler and some of the women in their lives narrate.