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Sara Marsh @smarshymarsh
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16/ NOTE: I seem to have waited too long to add more tweets to my previous thread - Thus, this is a continuation of my prior thread below. Read on for more German language literary recommendations! :D
2.9 “Deutschlandlied" by Fallersleben (1841). The text of the anthem since 1922 & w/ a history of (mis)use (from the Nazis 'DE Über Alles' to 'Einigkeit, Recht & Freiheit' now as Germany’s unofficial motto), this poem is a divisive national(istic) symbol
2.10 „Deutschland. Ein Wintermärchen“ by Heine (1844). For advanced readers, this epic political satire on an emigrant's trip to Hamburg (censored for ‘betraying the Fatherland’ -only increasing its fame!) uses witty+figurative lang. to craft a masterpiece
2.11 „Das Nibelungenlied“ (1200/2011). This medieval epic poem, written in Middle High German (but modern German version is recommended - don’t worry!) tells the mythical story of Siegfried & Kriemhild – incl. courtship, rivalry, betrayal & revenge. As an e.g. of an oral Germanic
...-speaking tradition (connected to Norse/Scandinavian) that inspired generations of heroic epic poetry, to its revival by Nationalists (later Nazis) as the “German National Epic” and later (partly) as inspiration for Wagner’s operas, it has a long and storied history!
--Projekt Gutenberg-DE (free online):
--Gutenberg free E-Books:
--Dual Language Version: (if you are curious about Mittelhochdeutsch, try reading it aloud - you'll be surprised how that helps!)
So that is it for Part 2! Stay tuned sometime soon for the 3rd and final Part (Novels, Novellas, Plays and Everything else!)
18/ PART 3 – Novels & More! Get ready to dive in: identity, alienation, belonging, society, love, sex, passion, murder, crime, emotions v. logic, sanity, survival, war, guilt, culpability, scientific & intellectual ethics, dreams v. reality, fate, freedom + more!#lernendurchlesen
19/ These works are for intermediate-->advanced learners. I encourage beginners interested in longer works to begin in the middle and up of Parts 1-2 above, then work down this list. Also, for short stories see: + #lernendurchlesen
3.1 „Die Physiker“ by F. Dürrenmatt (1961). In this satirical play about 3 physicists in a sanatorium, no one is who they seem & simple dialogue belies a twisting tale of (in)sanity, intrigue & the big ethical Qs/threats knowledge can pose (HM in pic!)
3.2 “Homo Faber: Ein Bericht“ by Max Frisch (1959). By a Swiss author, this novel tells of travelling engineer Walter Faber. He approaches life with facts, logic, and data rather than emotions but a series of crazy events make him re-assess his whole life.
3.3 "Ruhm" by D. Kehlmann (2009). A philosophical but easy to read ‚novel in 9 stories‘ that addresses fame, (mistaken) identity, & modern technology’s influence, in a series of separate narratives that nonetheless intersect in unexpected ways (HM in Pic!)
3.4 „Der Steppenwolf“ by Hesse (1927). A cult classic novel, Harry sees himself as ½ wolf ½ man, causing internal struggle b/w his 2 selves, human & animal: a longing 4 societal belonging & human love VS. freedom & independence of abormality (HM-->Pics!)
3.5 „Weiter leben: Eine Jugend“ by R. Klüger (1992). Age 7 when Hitler annexed Austria, Ruth's Vienna childhood changed forever. Her memoir tells of survival-coping via poetry-of war, deportation, internment, flight, emigration. Check out English & HM(pics)
3.6 “Im Westen Nichts Neues” by E.M. Remarque (1929). This famous novel tells of a simple WWI soldier, whose hopes of glorious service are soon dashed by the alternating boredom and suffering of war. Burned by the Nazis, it became an anti-war world classic
3.7 „Der geteilte Himmel” by C. Wolf (1963) In this short novel, unlikely pair Rita & Manfred fall in love; they're happy in their (realistically shown) everyday life in the DDR, but fateful decisions & political realities seek to divide them (HM in pic!)
3.8 “Der Richter und sein Henker” by F. Dürrenmatt (1950-51). This classic Krimi follows a terminally ill police detective as he confronts an enemy & battles with the question: should you do evil in the service of justice? Do good ends justify evil means?
3.9 “Die Schachnovelle“ by S. Zweig (1942). If you like Chess, this is for u! In this ‘Novelle’ (pic), a solitary prisoner retreats in2 his mind, playing chess 2 stay sane. When released 4 'insanity', he meets a chess star, leading 2 a psych. confrontation
3.10 „Das Parfum: Die Geschichte eines Mörders“ by P. Süskind (1985). Full of sensual vocab, this historical/mystery/Bildungsroman tells of an 18thC Paris orphan w/ supernatural smell who follows his nose - seeking the perfect scent, no matter the cost
3.11 „Der Vorleser“ by B. Schlink (1995). In the 50s young Michael has an affair w/ a mysterious older woman. After their trysts he reads aloud at her request. One day she disappears w/o trace–only to meet again years later, when he learns her true past
3.12 „Die Verwandlung“ by F. Kafka (1915). W/ the famous 1st line “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed [...] into a gigantic insect-like creature” this classic 20thC Novelle sucks you in. Short but worthwhile!
3.13 “Effi Briest” by T. Fontane (1895). This novel tells the story of the vibrant Effi, a Prussian noblewoman married off young to an older official. Neglected by him, she strays from trad’l societal norms. Its realist style makes this subtly critical tragedy easy to read.
3.14 "Reigen" by A. Schnitzler (1900). This long-censored play of 10 erotic dialogues b/w lovers b4/after sex pithily goes behind the scenes 2 show give-&-take b/w ppl across class, incl. interplay of power, seduction, longing, disappointment & desire 4❤
3.15 “Berlin Alexanderplatz” by A. Döblin (1929). Published at the peak of the Weimar Republic, in this novel ex-felon Franz Biberkopf swears he’s changed his ways: but diverse, liberal & often sinful Berlin sucks him into its seedy but exciting underworld
3.16 “Die leiden des jungen Werthers“ by Goethe (1774). This novel made Goethe famous & exemplifies the passionate Sturm&Drang movement. Told in letters, young Werther is passionately in❤w. orphaned Charlotte, but she's engaged 2 Alfred: Drama ensues!(HM)
20/ Wow, if you read this far, thanks for reading!! I hope this list gave you some food for thought. Now, a few concluding thoughts. You might think, why would I read literature, and not just a textbook or Easy Reader? #lernerndurchlesen
21/ Research shows the enrichment that comes from reading literature helps you learn if it is *enjoyable*: but what makes literature enjoyable? Research (Carroli 2008) that asked students found:
22/ unlike Easy Readers, which often have superficial & simple stories, literature not only has great stories but makes you think – both about if there is a German-language way of being but also universal themes of the human condition. Lit offers all of this! #lernerndurchlesen
23/ A few resources for you to find books, including in translation, if you aren’t yet ready to try reading in German, but want to discover German lit; graphic novels; summaries & reviews; free e-books of non-copyrighted works; & more: (live links here:
24/ I welcome your comments and suggestions for improvement on this project!! Is there a work I missed that you think I should have included? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! 😀📝🗨💭📚📖 #lernendurchlesen
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