Mittwoch, 20. Oktober 2010

How exotic - it's from a German author!!

AFTER MIDNIGHT (Orig.: Nach Mitternacht, 1937) by Irmgard Keun is - again - very small: ca. 199 pages.

If you have read my Top Ten List with my Ten favourite authors (like every list of mine this one is "fluent" - always changing.. Today I was on the verge to redo my Top Ten fictional crushes list.. *sigh*) you know that I like Irmgard Keun VERY much. She is one of my really alltime favourites. Call her a steady name for my list of authors..

Some information for them of you, who may never have heard of her:

She was born in 1905 in Berlin and died in 1982 in Cologne. In the early 1930ies she became very succesful as an author of novels. She wrote in a very direct language - just the way people (esp. uneducated girls from lower middle class, who mainly were her heroines) - would talk.

Her most famous works were GILGI - ONE OF US (Gilgi - eine von uns, 1931) and THE ARTIFICIAL SILK GIRL (Das kunstseidene Mädchen, 1932). Her books were blacklisted when the Nazis came into power. She emigrated with Joseph Roth - who was her lover at that time - to the Netherlands. (Roth and she split up in 1938.) In 1940 when the Nazis invated the Netherlands, she went back to Germany. She lived with wrong papers - it helped that there were several announcements of her death. She was almost forgotten when in the late 1970ies/ early 1980ies the feminist movement rediscovered her works.

After midnight is therefor a special book because it really shows how live was in 1936:

It is about Susanne, everybody calls her Sanne, a 19 year old girl. She left her hometown and went to her aunt in Cologne. She worked in the stationary shop of her aunt and fell in love with Franz, her aunt's quiet son. Franz and Sanne wanted to establish a tobaccos shop - but the aunt pressed charges against Sanne at the Gestapo. So Sanne goes to her stepbrother Algin, who lives with his wife Liska in Frankfurt on the Main. Algin is a former successful author but now he struggles with the new government and his beliefs. Time goes on and all over sudden Franz comes to Sanne - and it seems that he is on the run...

In this novel Sanne is telling her story herself. She doesn't always understand what is happening and what the new rules really mean. Partly this novel is kind of gruesome - in the second chapter is a case of death who simply sticks in my mind - though it is no violent death.

I think I will do some more post about Irmgard Keun's books - but not immediately. ;")

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