Caroline and Lizzy are once again hosting German Literature Month. I’m looking forward to it, but the multitude of unread books on my shelf has made it difficult for me to pick which books to read. Heinrich Böll, Max Frisch, Herman Hesse, Günter Grass, Ingeborg Bachmann, Peter Handke, Christa Wolf, Erich Kästner, Theodor Fontane, Anna Seghers… the list goes on and on.
I finally decided to keep it small. I want to finish The Jews’ Beech Tree, a novella that claims to be the first published murder mystery, and W. G. Sebald’s On the Natural History of Destruction, a “meditation on national guilt, national victimhood, and the universal consequences of denying the past.” Sebald’s first talk on why the allied bombings of German cities are hardly ever mentioned in German post-war literature led to explosive discussions not only among Germans, so I am very interested in reading this collection.
This will hardly make a dent into my pile of German literature, so I am mulling over a year-long reading event. I’m a little hesitant to make a 12-month commitment and I haven’t yet checked whether the books I have in mind have all been translated, but I would finally be able to knock a few books of the TBR list.
Are you planning to participate in German Literature Month?