Mai 1940, Berlin fête la campagne de France. La ferveur nazie est au plus haut. Derrière la façade triomphale du Reich se cache un monde de misère et de terreur. Seul dans Berlin raconte le quotidien d'un immeuble modeste de la rue Jablonski. Persécuteurs et persécutés y cohabitent. C'est Frau Rosenthal, Juive, dénoncée et pillée par ses voisins. C'est Baldur Persicke, jeune recrue des SS qui terrorise sa famille. Ce sont les Quangel, désespérés d'avoir perdu leur fils au front, qui inondent la ville de tracts contre Hitler et déjouent la Gestapo avant de connaître une terrifiante descente aux enfers.
Aucun roman n'a jamais décrit d'aussi près les conditions réelles de survie des citoyens allemands, juifs ou non, sous le IIIe Reich, avec un tel réalisme et une telle sincérité.
'Dans la rue il y a de la poulaille. "Dégagez, bande de salopards!" je hurle, et je tire. Ils se mettent à courir, et moi aussi je cours, je remonte la rue et je tourne au coin, je longe l'autre rue. Je me dis, je peux me cacher parmi les gens ; mais ils courent devant moi, ils se jettent sur
les côtés pour s'écarter, les rues se vident devant moi. Et quand je me retourne, ils sont derrière moi, une masse noire et compacte avec mille visages blancs, ils se mettent aussi à tirer.'
Cinq variations sur les errances de chapardeurs en fuite et de braqueurs sans le sou par l'auteur de Seul dans Berlin.
La Seconde Guerre mondiale s'achève à peine dans ce bout de campagne allemande lorsque Herr Doll, un écrivain d'âge mûr, est désigné par les Russes maire par intérim de son village. Le couple qu'il forme avec sa jeune épouse, riche veuve d'une précédente union, ne manque pas de susciter les médisances. Et son nouveau statut d'homme de pouvoir, au lendemain de la chute des nazis, n'arrange rien. Le couple persécuté fuit pour Berlin où tout n'est que ruines et désolation. Ils devront s'accrocher à chaque étincelle d'humanité pour se reconstruire au milieu des décombres.
Le Cauchemar dresse un sévère réquisitoire contre le peuple allemand tout en rendant compte de sa profonde souffrance. Cette oeuvre, la plus personnelle d'Hans Fallada, n'était plus disponible depuis plus de soixante ans. Elle est proposée ici dans une nouvelle traduction.
Dans ces nouvelles, Hans Fallada met en scène le quotidien d'un morphinomane. Un alcoolique cherche à se faire emprisonner pour arriver enfin à se désintoxiquer. Une paysanne au mari jaloux perd son alliance pendant la récolte des pommes de terre. Un cambrioleur rêve de retourner en prison où la vie est, finalement, si tranquille. Un mendiant vend sa salive porte-bonheur. Fallada nous offre une plongée passionnante dans son époque, qui tend un miroir singulier à la nôtre.
A powerful 1931 portrayal of a German town on the brink of chaos, from bestselling author Hans Fallada (writer of Alone in Berlin) It is summer, 1929, and in a small German town a storm is brewing. The shabby reporter Tredup leads a precarious existence working for the Pomeranian Chronicle - until he takes some photographs that offer the chance to make a fortune. In Krüger's bar, the farmers are plotting their revenge on greedy officials. A mysterious travelling salesman from Berlin , Henning, is stirring up trouble - but no one knows why. Meanwhile the Nazis grow stronger and the Communists fight them in the streets. And at the centre of it all, the Mayor, 'Fatty' Gareis, seeks the easy life even as events spiral beyond his control.
As tensions erupt between workers and bosses, town and country, Left and Right, alliances are broken, bribes are taken and plots are hatched, until the tension spills over into violence.
'Uncommonly vivid and original' Robert Musil 'Real love and real humanity' Hermann Hesse 'The best account of small-town Germany ... so terribly genuine, it is frightening' Kurt Tucholsky 'This novel's genius ... lies in Fallada's ability to reveal ... as well as to analyse the macabre game of musical chairs that was the Weimar Republic. Fallada gives us front-row seats to Germany's decade-long quest for a sacrificial scapegoat that culminated in the Nazi takeover ... Two years after Alone in Berlin's runaway success, A Small Circus continues the Fallada revival that owes so much to the efforts of its translator, the poet Michael Hofmann' André Naffis-Sahely, Independent 'Fallada creates characters with Dickensian prodigality, each yokel, hack, pig and pen-pusher brought to life in Michael Hofmann's beautifully judged translation ... a generous, life-affirming treat' Jake Kerridge, Telegraph 'Michael Hofmann ... comes as close as possible to giving us Fallada's work in all its coarse, humorous, immediate, tragic glory' Charlotte Moore, Spectator 'Not for the first time, all praise is due to Michael Hofmann's art and feel for nuance. His translation catches the many voices - some exasperated, others bewildered, a few downright angry - that make this bold, exuberant and candid narrative sizzle with life and the relentlessly shocking reality of it all' Irish Times 'Fallada's own experiences as a regional journalist in north Germany underlie the action, and it is this sense of realism, combined with an ear for dialogue and an acute understanding of human frailty, that make the novel such an authentic portrayal of an imploding era' Ben Hutchinson, Observer
Written in an encrypted notebook while incarcerated in a Nazi insane asylum and discovered after his death, The Drinker may be Hans Fallada’s most breathtaking piece of craftsmanship. It is an intense yet absorbing study of the descent into drunkenness by an intelligent man who fears he’s lost it all.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Wolf Among Wolves is a sprawling saga of the collapse of a cultureits economy and governmentand the common man's struggle to survive it all. Set in Weimar Germany soon after Germany's catastrophic loss of World War I, the story follows a young gambler who loses all in Berlin, then flees the chaotic city, where worthless money and shortages are causing pandemonium. Once in the countryside, however, he finds a defeated German army that has deamped there to foment insurrection. Somehow, amidst it all, he finds romanceit's The Year of Living Dangerously in a European setting. Fastmoving as a thriller, fascinating as the best historical fiction, and with lyrical prose that packs a powerful emotional punch, Wolf Among Wolves is the equal of Fallada's acclaimed Every Man Dies Alone as an immensely absorbing work of important literature.
This is the book that led to Hans Falladas downfall with the Nazis. The story of a young couple struggling to survive the German economic collapse was a worldwide sensation and was made into an acclaimed Hollywood movie produced by Jews, leading Hitler to ban Falladas work from being translated.
Nonetheless, it remains, as The Times Literary Supplement notes, the novel of a time in which public and private merged even for those whowanted to stay at home and mind their own business." *** This is a Hybrid Book.
Melville House HybridBooks combine print and digital media into an enhanced reading experience by including with each title additional curated material called Illuminations -- maps, photographs, illustrations, and further writing about the author and the book.
The Melville House Illuminations are free with the purchase of any title in the HybridBook series, no matter the format.
Purchasers of the print version can obtain the Illuminations for a given title simply by scanning the QR code found in the back of each book, or by following the url also given in the back of the print book, then downloading the Illumination in whatever format works best for you.
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From the Trade Paperback edition.
For Willi Kufult, prison life means staying out of trouble, keeping his cell clean, snagging a precious piece of tobacco - and dreaming of the day of his release.
Then he gets out.
As Willi tries to make a new life for himself in Hamburg, finding a job and even love, he still cannot escape his past. Gradually he becomes sucked into a world of drink, desperation and deceit, and with one terrible act, he is ensnared in a noose of his own making...
Hans Fallada's dark and moving 1934 novel brilliantly describes a seedy criminal underworld of shabby lives and violent deeds, showing how our actions always catch up with us.
Berlin, 1940, and the city is filled with fear. At the house on 55 Jablonski Strasse, its various occupants try to live under Nazi rule in their different ways: the bullying Hitler loyalists the Persickes, the retired judge Fromm and the unassuming couple Otto and Anna Quangel. Then the Quangels receive the news that their beloved son has been killed fighting in France. Shocked out of their quiet existence, they begin a silent campaign of defiance, and a deadly game of cat and mouse develops between the Quangels and the ambitious Gestapo inspector Escherich. When petty criminals Kluge and Borkhausen also become involved, deception, betrayal and murder ensue, tightening the noose around the Quangels' necks ...
Afterword written by Geoff Wilkes. Includes scans of the original documents from the investigation, as well as explanatory footnotes.
Darkly funny, searingly honest short stories from Hans Fallada, author of bestselling Alone in Berlin In these stories, criminals lament how hard it is to scrape a living by breaking and entering; families measure their daily struggles in marks and pfennigs; a convict makes a desperate leap from a moving train; a ring - and with it a marriage - is lost in a basket of potatoes.
Here, as in his novels, Fallada is by turns tough, darkly funny, streetwise and effortlessly engaging, writing with acute feeling about ordinary lives shaped by forces larger than themselves: addiction, love, money.
'...I stare at the coffee I poured myself, and I think: caffeine is a poison that stimulates the heart. There are plenty of instances of people killing themselves with coffee, hundreds and thousands of them. Caffeine is a deadly poison, maybe almost as deadly as morphine. Why didn't it ever occur to me before: coffee is my friend!' Drawing on Hans Fallada's own history of addiction, these two stories and are written with a remarkable, tough, spartan clarity. As a man desperately, haplessly tries to get enough morphine to make it through the day and a drunk embezzler struggles to get himself arrested, they are at one second crushing, the next darkly comic.
This book includes A Short Treatise on the Joys of Morphinism and Three Years of Life.
'It was what we call in the trade a potato...' Tales of low-lifes and grifters trying to make ends meet in pre-War Germany. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
"I lived the same life as everyone else, the life of ordinary people, the masses." Sitting in a prison cell in the autumn of 1944, the German author Hans Fallada sums up his life under the National Socialist dictatorship, the time of "inward emigration". Under conditions of close confinement, in constant fear of discovery, he writes himself free from the nightmare of the Nazi years. He records his thoughts about spying and denunciation, about the threat to his livelihood and his literary work and about the fate of many friends and contemporaries. The confessional mode did not come naturally to Fallada, but in the mental and emotional distress of 1944, self-reflection became a survival strategy. Fallada's frank and sometimes provocative memoirs were thought for many years to have been lost. They are published here for the first time.
Le livre Le Buveur est l'un des romans les plus personnels de l'auteur du célèbre Seul dans Berlin, Hans Fallada. Il a été écrit secrètement en 1944, alors que Fallada se trouvait en prison, présumé coupable du meurtre de sa femme. Ses propres expériences avec l'alcool et l'histoire de ses échecs répétés constituent la matière première du livre. Rien d'illégitime, dès lors, à combiner le récit de la déchéance de son héros, Erwin Sommer, un homme banal qui se met à boire à l'occasion d'une crise existentielle et entreprend de sacrifier sa femme et sa vie à son addiction, et la véritable biographie de Fallada. L'artiste allemand Jakob Hinrichs, à qui l'on doit déjà l'adaptation graphique du Traum Novel de Schnitzler, qui servit de base à Kubrick pour son Eyes Wide Shut, a méticuleusement étudié la vie et l'oeuvre de l'écrivain. Il mêle de façon convaincante la mise en lumière crue des pathologies du commis-voyageur alcoolique Sommer avec l'histoire bouleversante d'un écrivain de premier plan qui n'abandonna sa dépendance à l'alcool et à la morphine qu'à sa mort, en 1947. Le trait extrêmement libre et expressionniste de Jakob Hinrichs, traversé de multiples influences - de George Grosz et Otto Dix à Joost Swarte, Ever Meulen ou Henning Wagenbreth - excelle à représenter cette descente dans un enfer personnel au sein d'une Allemagne tenaillée par les tourments d'un mal infiniment plus grand.
`I lived the same life as everyone else, the life of ordinary people, the masses.' Sitting in a prison cell in the autumn of 1944, Hans Fallada sums up his life under the National Socialist dictatorship, the time of `inward emigration'. Under conditions of close confinement, in constant fear of discovery, he writes himself free from the nightmare of the Nazi years. His frank and sometimes provocative memoirs were thought for many years to have been lost. They are published here in English for the first time.
The confessional mode did not come naturally to Fallada the writer of fiction, but in the mental and emotional distress of 1944, self-reflection became a survival strategy. In the `house of the dead' he exacts his political revenge on paper. `I know that I am crazy. I'm risking not only my own life, I'm also risking ... the lives of many of the people I am writing about', he notes, driven by the compulsion to write. And write he does - about spying and denunciation, about the threat to his livelihood and his literary work, about the fate of many friends and contemporaries such as Ernst Rowohlt and Emil Jannings. To conceal his intentions and to save paper, he uses abbreviations. His notes, constantly exposed to the gaze of the prison warders, become a kind of secret code. He finally succeeds in smuggling the manuscript out of the prison, although it remained unpublished for half a century.
These revealing memoirs by one of the best-known German writers of the 20th century will be of great interest to all readers of modern literature.