Jakob und sein Herr (German Edition)
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Obviously I'll have to reread this.
Some parts will only make sense at the third pass. Some will never do. If there is a "beginning", a "middle" and whatever else belongs to a narrative, it is not linearly arrangeable, and I do not even mean chronology. It is a dense wad of strands, which, when thrown even at the most reasonable of readers, may produce a bout of dyslexia sublimated by commonplace expectorations and blame-it-on-the-author kind of criticism.
So, if you expect a "tale well told" and Obviously I'll have to reread this. So, if you expect a "tale well told" and a page-turner, turn away. If, on the other hand, you want to see the ripped backside of language German! Johnson is one of the few truly accursed fiction writers who combines astonishing technique, inconceivable structural solutions and the bleeding truth of history, which he is able to see with a clear perspective as if he were generations away, even as it is smothering him.
It is a mystery much more disturbing than the fact that one has to dig deep into the text to excavate the chronology and aetiology of events. Johnson tells the tale of a meticulous, brilliant train dispatcher who gets hit by a train - if you get the irony and the allegorical meaning of the plot revealing the works of the evolving GDR socialism , you will not follow the blurb's guesswork advice: is it a suicide?
There is nothing solid about the case: all is speculation, ideology turns everyone into a spy, whatever you know reaches you through the grapevine, any person is a dossier, a paper trail of disparate font faces and handwriting samples which is, thankfully, not played out in the book's typography. And a whole range of strikingly variegated personalities naturally disrupt the flow of the text, incorporate the inevitable conflict of the individual with the ideological, convert the book into a kind of chaotic explosion diagram of the time and place that expelled and eventually destroyed the writer.
And yes, it is very autobiographical, and, yes, some characters even have close prototypes with similar fates. Speculations About Jakob may be my favorite book that I have ever read. It is definitely up there, at any rate. The plot of Johnson's novel is very twisted an convoluted, and therefore it is difficult to follow for a while. I believe that this is actually part of the plan, since it was written in a time when no one was really sure how anything would work in society.
From the confusion of a divided Germany to the speculations about international spies, the novel is shrouded in mystery. About halfwa Speculations About Jakob may be my favorite book that I have ever read. About halfway through, passages start clearing up, and the reader is let in on a few secrets. You're not told everything even in the end of the novel, there is no pretty packaged product here , but you are given some key details to start putting names to passages.
Speculations About Jakob is a postmodern masterpiece that bridges East and West Germany, and it is a prime example of literature. This one definitely warrants a second read, in fact it deserves it. Wort- und Satzspiele sind extrem spannend. Dec 08, Astrid rated it it was amazing. A lot of people here have criticized the writing style of Johnson. This is no book where the omniscient author tells you the story. It is told by different voices and from different perspectives.
But the style is just necessary for what Johnson wants to tell and show. It's not there to discourage or create barriers. There are a lot of things we all can't know. If you don't always understand everything in this book, it is just because that's life.
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Don't try. This is a different reading experience A lot of people here have criticized the writing style of Johnson. This is a different reading experience, just let the text touch and affect you. And see what this does to you. It creates a very delicate intimacy with the persons in the book, and with the author.
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There is a deep respect in there for human beings and their stories and for the fact that they all have their own dignity. And that not understanding everything AND accepting that you don't understand, is part of this respect. Maybe that's what I found the most astounding and touching in this lecture. Then, this is again a book which made me "see" scenes, persons, landscapes; and it made me reflect a lot about the role and influence that politics have in the lives of us human beings.
This is a very personal and at the same time very political book. It shows how politics writes into the bodies of people. It made me reflect a lot about capitalism and the alternatives we may have or not have to this economical and political system. This was a subject dear to Johnson. Then, you think: These people he describes, they are not pragmatic enough. Too exact, too honest, want to be too much themselves without too many contradictions. Because we all make compromises with our values, in order to make a living. But this Jakob is very real, like all persons in the book.
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The choices he had to make were not easy and he didn't make them easily or light-heartened. Maybe this is a very German approach to life, though. So earnest. I read this book on the recommendation of a smart German friend who mentioned it as his favorite book. Unfortunately my German is not yet at the point where reading this in the original would be practical, so I read it in Molinaro's rendition. This is a strange and challenging book, all the more so in translation - I believe it would be slightly more "coherent" in the original German, as much of the writing has the sound of experimental.
The first part of the book was quite difficult for me to ge I read this book on the recommendation of a smart German friend who mentioned it as his favorite book. The first part of the book was quite difficult for me to get into but gradually about halfway I started to enjoy and appreciate it more. Nevertheless this is a book where a lot happens and not much is made totally clear.
I learned what this book is "about" at least as much from the back cover description as from actually reading those occurrences! The word "speculations" in the title is most apt - a lot of stuff including historical context is quite indirect and I suppose part of the joy of reading this is trying to piece together what the hell is happening it has the feel of Faulkner or Joyce at many points.
The mood Johnson's speculations create is rather compelling and unique. This is a book that would benefit from multiple readings, preferably in the original language, from a patient, intelligent reader who is ok not getting everything.
Mutmassungen über Jakob by Uwe Johnson
Maybe one day I'll be able to make more sense of it! Dit boek na jaren opnieuw gelezen, omdat het de voorloper is van "Anniversaries". Ik vond het destijds best een moeilijk boek. Dezelfde hoofdpersonen nu in de tijd van de Hongaarse revolutie. Interessanter is het leven in de DDR van de 50er jaren.
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- auf jdm böse sein - Translation from German into English | PONS.
Ook hier weer een op het eerste gezicht onsamenhangend verhaal, maar geleidelijk wordt het wel duidelijker. Het is vaak niet helder welk personage er aan het woord is. Het boek is me dit keer een stuk duide Dit boek na jaren opnieuw gelezen, omdat het de voorloper is van "Anniversaries".
Het boek is me dit keer een stuk duidelijker, omdat ik de personen al ken uit "Anniversaries". While in college, I was granted the opportunity to create an independent study on German literature. I was able to create my own curriculum, and as part of that I knew that I needed an East German writer, to represent the turmoil of the country's split.
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That led me to Uwe Johnson, who I added to the list because and I kid you not his name sounded cool. What I was given is probably one of the best spy novels that I have ever read. It is just fantastic.
At first, Speculations is a little hard to f While in college, I was granted the opportunity to create an independent study on German literature. At first, Speculations is a little hard to follow. The threads don't seem to connect. I feel that I something of a point to make, however, because of the crisis of identity at the time.