Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Accident / Störfall (global reading challenge #15)

The previous book in the reading challenge lead to the Czechoslovakia of 1989. This one leads to East Germany - and to the year of the Tschernobyl disaster in 1986. The author of it is Christa Wolf, probably one of the most influential and known writers from the former East Germany.

Wolf wrote the book in the months that followed the accident - the "Störfall". It's a slim book, the paperback counts 112 pages, but from theme, Wolf adresses the looming questions of our civilization and its trust in technology and science.

i returned to the book after blogging twice about Christa Wolf in the last year: in March 2011, after the accident of Fukushima, she was interviewed in the "Zeit". here's the line i quoted back then, it also refers to the Störfall-novel: "The more comfortable we live, also based on the mass production of partly unneeded industrial goods, the closer we move towards the destruction of our world. We finally need to discuss the dilemma of our society." (link)

sadly, her voice won't be an active part in the discussion: this is the note from December: "Christa Wolf died. i read about it in the news this morning, and what followed during the days were the memories of her books - her diary, her novel on Tschernobyl, and the essay she wrote earlier this year in the Zeit, at age 82, her mind still bright and clear. she's seen so many sides of Germany - born in 1929, she witnessed the second world war, and lived in East Germany - and always spoke her own mind."

back to "Störfall" - there also is an English version of the book, "Accident: A Day's News". Description: "In the space of a single day, in a potent, lyrical stream of thought, the narrator confronts both mortality and life and above all, the import of each moment lived-open, as Wolf reveals, to infinite analysis."

Global + European Reading Challenge
In the read this year, i am taking part in a global and in an european reading challenge. the idea: to read books from each continent of the world / several countries of europe. so far i've been to:
- book 14: Possessed by Shadows (Czechoslovakia/Europe)
- book 13: A Walk in the Woods (USA/America)
- book 12: Deep Country (UK/Europe)
- detour: World Book Day - books, reviews, links
- book 11: Stone Age Venus (Germany/Europe)
- book 10: Journal of  a Solitude (USA/America)
- book 9: Mexican Lives (Mexico/America)
- detour: the world in 7 books
- book 8: Tagore (India/Asia)
- book 7: Zarzura (Egypt/Africa)
- book 6: Jericho (Israel/Middle East)
- book 5: Ledra Street (Cyprus/Europe)
- book 4: Disappearance. A Map (Alaska/America)
- book 3: Paris was Ours (France/Europe)
- book 2: Anar (Middle East)
- book 1: The Tigers's Wife (former Yugoslavia/Europe)
- more books: virtual bookshelf
- about: the Global Reading Challenge

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