Wednesday, December 26, 2012

reading: the wall & novecento & exploring libraries

my current reads are: a book i started in November and probably won't finish & a book i found in the library and finished in 2 days

The Wall ("Die Wand") by Marlen Haushofer
I first heard about "The Wall" through a cinema feature on a new German indie movie based on an apocalyptic story of the reflective kind. The trailer looks fascinating, and somehow when visiting my parents, the conversation turned to the film and the book, and they gave me their copy of it.
The author, Marlen Haushofer, is from Austria - and sadly, she isn't alive anymore to see the film and to witness this late popularity of her book that was first published in 1963, but could also be a new release.

Here's the official book note: "First published to acclaim in Germany, The Wall chronicles the life of the last surviving human on earth, an ordinary middle-aged woman who awakens one morning to find that everyone else has vanished. Assuming her isolation to be the result of a military experiment gone awry, she begins the terrifying work of survival and self-renewal. This novel is at once a simple and moving tale and a disturbing meditation on humanity."

I plan to see the film, which looks amazing and premiered at the Berlinale - it has many direct passages of the book included in narrative voice (here's a clip: The Wall/Die Wand), so i might only read half of the book and leave some freshness for the film.

Novecento by Alessandro Baricco
Last week, i visited the library - i havn't been there in a while, and missed its atmosphere, the browsing of books. I found one i didn't know of: "Novecento" by Alessandro Baricco, a lovely short novella with a philosophic touch, about a piano player who was born on an ocean liner and never left the ship: "Novecento". There don't seem to be an English version of the book - but the story was turned into a movie with the title: "Legend of 1900".

& a library visit and a far-borrow of Frozen Time
While at the library, i also asked about the "Fernleihe"-option they announce on their website: to borrow books indirectly through them. from the large library in Stuttgart city. "No problem at all, just write down the title and author, we check back and call you when it's here. This great extra-service comes at 2 Euro per order and lets books travel from library to library, to local reader, and then back to the home library.

On the way now for me is a book for the upcoming 7 continents reading challenge (more below) "Frozen Time" by South Korean author Anna Kim who lives in Austria and explores the backtracing of family history in this book, in a story that leads to war-torn Yugoslavia.


Previous reading blog entries are collected here: bookshelf: currently  reading... there also is a visual bookshelf, just click it to get there:

Reading Challenge 2013:
7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books (Link)
The idea of this reading challenge is to explore the world by books from different continents and countries, and by visiting various world lists while planning the reads, to encounter the one or other unknown angle and fact about our world.


Jim Murdoch said...

My wife and I saw The Legend of 1900 a few years back. A lovely, lovely film. I would’ve liked to read the source material. The Scottish publisher Canongate has published translations of a few of his books so I had a wee look at their back-catalogue. Without Blood looks interesting; I wonder if it will be anything like Ariel Dorfman’s play Death and the Maiden? Also I do like the look of The Wall and’ve added it to my Amazon wish list.

Dorothee said...

hi Jim. I will definitely look for the film now after readig the book. the book itself is a short novella, or rather the transcript for a theater play, so maybe after the film, maybe the publisher/editors were concerned that it wouldn't be a "book alike to the film", but rather an unusual format.