How German Is It by Walter AbishHow German Is It by Walter Abish

How German Is It

byWalter Abish

Paperback | January 6, 1981

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Winner of the 1980 PEN/Faulkner AwardThe question How German Is It underlies the conduct and actions of the characters in Walter Abish's novel, an icy panorama of contemporary Germany, in which the tradition of order and obedience, the patrimony of the saber and the castle on the Rhine, give way to the present, indiscriminate fascination with all things American. On his return from Paris to his home city of Wurtenburg, Ulrich Hargenau, whose father was executed for his involvement in the 1944 plot against Hitler, is compelled to ask himself, How German am l?" - as he compares his own recent attempt to save his life, and his wife Paula's, by testifying against fellow members of a terrorist group, with his father's selfless heroism. Through Ulrich - privileged, upper class - we confront the incongruities of the new democratic Germany, in particular the flourishing community of Brumholdstein, named after the country's greatest thinker, Brumhold, and built on the former site of a concentration camp. Paula's participation in the destruction of a police station; the State's cynical response to crush the terrorists; two attempts on Ulrich's life; the discovery in Brumholdstein of a mass grave of death camp inmates - all these, with subtle irony, are presented as pieces of a puzzle spelling out the turmoil of a society's endeavor to avoid the implications of its menacing heritage."
Walter Abish was born in Vienna in 1931. After moving to the United States in 1957, he taught at several universities in the US, served on the International PEN board, and won Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships. He lives in New York City.
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Title:How German Is ItFormat:PaperbackDimensions:1 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.68 inPublished:January 6, 1981Publisher:WW Norton

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0811207765

ISBN - 13:9780811207768

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok some postmodernism hasn't aged well - this seemed a bit dated to me
Date published: 2018-05-05

From Our Editors

The question How German Is It underlies the conduct and actions of the characters in Walter Abish's novel, an icy panorama of contemporary Germany, in which the tradition of order and obedience, the patrimony of the saber and the castle on the Rhine, give way to the present, indiscriminate fascination with all things American.