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The Silent Angel (1992)

de Heinrich Böll

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293669,966 (3.66)13
"The Silent Angel is a haunting love story set amid the ruins of a bombed-out city, which is in fact Cologne but has been compared by the critics today to destroyed Sarajevo, Beirut, and Belfast. Suppressed in Germany for over forty-one years, the book has quickly become a major literary event and a bestseller in Europe, for it was Nobel laureate Heinrich Boll's first book, a work that was originally judged too strong for German readers still suffering from the ravages of war." "The story begins with the return of a hardened and cynical soldier, Hans Schnitzler, who quickly falls into a dangerous web of financial and personal intrigues as he searches for the widow of a comrade. He meets Regina Unger, another war widow who has just lost her baby, and their ensuing love story, set among the ruins of the city, will force readers to recall Nathan and Sophie in William Styron's Sophie's Choice. Yet Boll's characters reach a completely different ending, for in Regina and in his reexposure to the church, Hans Schnitzler finds a redemptive purpose for living, and his psychic and physical recovery take on heightened meaning as he wanders through the "naked destruction, desolate and terribly empty, as if the breath of the bomb still hung in the air."" "Fans of Boll's classic works and new readers alike will be startled by the power of the novel's language, particularly by Boll's use of irony and imagery. For the remarkable language for this book, so ably translated by Breon Mitchell, echoes the power of earlier German writers like Franz Kafka and Max Brod yet also serves as the first harbinger of a generation of postwar literature that was still to come."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (més)
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» Mira també 13 mencions

I must make a few notes here before I forget all about this book, read soon after finishing After Romulus and then Romulus, My Father. These books are written about life after escaping from Europe after WWII. The Silent Angel is about the first days in Cologne after Germany gave in. The town was particularly devastated by the Allied bombings.

It was Boll's first novel and he couldn't find a publisher. It is easy to point at the subject matter for that. I gather he is known as Germany's post-war conscience and it isn't clear that Germany wanted to have one. As a huge number of Nazis, as well as sympathisers must have done well politically and economically in the reconstruction, one can see that the market for such a book would be uncertain at best. And yet, one can't exactly say he gets stuck into his compatriots either. He portrays one wealthy bad man, bad before, during and after the war. But that's it. Everybody else is okay. As if the odd bad man were enough to explain the whole appalling rise and spread of the Nazis. I hope his conscience took stronger hold at some point in his work.

rest is here: https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/the-silent-angel-by-heinr... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
I must make a few notes here before I forget all about this book, read soon after finishing After Romulus and then Romulus, My Father. These books are written about life after escaping from Europe after WWII. The Silent Angel is about the first days in Cologne after Germany gave in. The town was particularly devastated by the Allied bombings.

It was Boll's first novel and he couldn't find a publisher. It is easy to point at the subject matter for that. I gather he is known as Germany's post-war conscience and it isn't clear that Germany wanted to have one. As a huge number of Nazis, as well as sympathisers must have done well politically and economically in the reconstruction, one can see that the market for such a book would be uncertain at best. And yet, one can't exactly say he gets stuck into his compatriots either. He portrays one wealthy bad man, bad before, during and after the war. But that's it. Everybody else is okay. As if the odd bad man were enough to explain the whole appalling rise and spread of the Nazis. I hope his conscience took stronger hold at some point in his work.

rest is here: https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/the-silent-angel-by-heinr... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
I must make a few notes here before I forget all about this book, read soon after finishing After Romulus and then Romulus, My Father. These books are written about life after escaping from Europe after WWII. The Silent Angel is about the first days in Cologne after Germany gave in. The town was particularly devastated by the Allied bombings.

It was Boll's first novel and he couldn't find a publisher. It is easy to point at the subject matter for that. I gather he is known as Germany's post-war conscience and it isn't clear that Germany wanted to have one. As a huge number of Nazis, as well as sympathisers must have done well politically and economically in the reconstruction, one can see that the market for such a book would be uncertain at best. And yet, one can't exactly say he gets stuck into his compatriots either. He portrays one wealthy bad man, bad before, during and after the war. But that's it. Everybody else is okay. As if the odd bad man were enough to explain the whole appalling rise and spread of the Nazis. I hope his conscience took stronger hold at some point in his work.

rest is here: https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/the-silent-angel-by-heinr... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Hans Schnitzler deserteerde uit het Duitse leger en op de dag van de capitulatie keert hij -met valse papieren- terug naar zijn geboortestad.
In het boek wordt nergens over oorlogshandelingen geschreven; het verhaal gaat over de bewoners en hun over overlevingsdrang. Hans ontmoet een vrouw en op de puinhopen ontluikt een liefdesrelatie.
Kort gezegd: dat is het verhaal. Maar er is meer. In een tijd van wederopbouw zat het Duitse volk -volgens de uitgever- niet te wachten op oorlogsliteratuur, dus werd het boek in 1950 niet uitgegeven. In 1992 gaf de weduwe Böll het volledige manuscript vrij.

De vertelling is anekdotisch opgezet met als samenhangend element de plaats waar het verhaal zich afspeelt. De pen is van een schrijver die gerekend mag worden tot de belangrijkste erflaters van de naoorlogse literatuur. Met een stem die nog steeds gehoord mag worden en naar mijn mening node wordt gemist.

Inmiddels diverse malen gelezen en steeds weer komt die leegte die na het overlijden van Böll is ontstaan weer “tot leven”. ( )
1 vota deklerk | Mar 21, 2019 |
It's out of print I believe, but worth picking up a copy on eBay if you can find it. Sad & touching. ( )
  JillNYC | Oct 26, 2014 |
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» Afegeix-hi altres autors (28 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Böll, Heinrichautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bellmann, WernerEpílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Macpherson, DonDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mitchell, BreonTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Schippers, EllyTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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"The Silent Angel is a haunting love story set amid the ruins of a bombed-out city, which is in fact Cologne but has been compared by the critics today to destroyed Sarajevo, Beirut, and Belfast. Suppressed in Germany for over forty-one years, the book has quickly become a major literary event and a bestseller in Europe, for it was Nobel laureate Heinrich Boll's first book, a work that was originally judged too strong for German readers still suffering from the ravages of war." "The story begins with the return of a hardened and cynical soldier, Hans Schnitzler, who quickly falls into a dangerous web of financial and personal intrigues as he searches for the widow of a comrade. He meets Regina Unger, another war widow who has just lost her baby, and their ensuing love story, set among the ruins of the city, will force readers to recall Nathan and Sophie in William Styron's Sophie's Choice. Yet Boll's characters reach a completely different ending, for in Regina and in his reexposure to the church, Hans Schnitzler finds a redemptive purpose for living, and his psychic and physical recovery take on heightened meaning as he wanders through the "naked destruction, desolate and terribly empty, as if the breath of the bomb still hung in the air."" "Fans of Boll's classic works and new readers alike will be startled by the power of the novel's language, particularly by Boll's use of irony and imagery. For the remarkable language for this book, so ably translated by Breon Mitchell, echoes the power of earlier German writers like Franz Kafka and Max Brod yet also serves as the first harbinger of a generation of postwar literature that was still to come."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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