Hans Fallada – Peter Walther

It’s bibliography time! I love reading bibliographies. Last year I read ones about Coco Chanel, Grace Kelly and Kurt Tucholsky. As I did not have this blog last year, I can’t link you to them. I always find it so interesting how ‚famous‘ people lived their lives and how to got to the point that made them well-known and or successful. Many times, you can get some piece of advise out of it and even if you don’t, you gain enough trivia for small talk at parties XD This blog entry is about the bibliography about Hans Fallada a German author that lived between 1893 and 1947. Actually, I did not know about him until two years before when I read ‚The Book of Forgotten Authors‘, a fun read about authors that once were very successful in Great Britain but got forgotten. It had an entry about Fallada because apparently the English translation of his book Kleiner Mann, was nun? (Little Man, What Now?) was quite the hit back in the days? Anyhow, I wrote the book down on my never-ending tbr list and then when I injured my shoulder and my doctor prohibited me from carrying books around, a friend gave me his reader and I found the collected works of Fallada for 99 cents at Amazon (yes, yes, I know…. ). For the next six months, I read nothing but Fallada (he published a lot. A. lot.). I really enjoyed his books, especially Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone), Der eiserne Gustav (Iron Gustav), Der Alpdruck (Nightmare in Berlin) and Der Trinker (The Drinker). I really like books that play between 1900 and 1950 and capture the political and societal changes of that time and Fallada really excels at that. His characters (although his women are quite flat, but I blame that on the time?) are also very well thought-out and entertaining. He is sometimes rambling a bit but in the end, I can really enjoy him.

I had to squat a little to take this picture after just having leg day today… My legs hurt so much!!

Now, I found this book one day at a book shop and knew immediately that I need it because I really wanted to learn more about Fallada. And I must say, I really really liked this. I had my problems with the Chanel bibliography that I read because it was more like a novel, but this one was more like an academic work with quotes from his books and letters he wrote and received and it really got the reader close to the person Fallada was. Turns out, he wasn’t all that nice. Starting with killing his friend in what was planned as a suicide-murder kind of thing to his morphine addiction to how he treated his wives. After the Nazi’s came into power, he continued writing but changed his novels to avoid trouble with them. It said in the bibliography that Iron Gustav had a very different ending at first, but the publishing house changed it to its intended ending after the war (the ending I read). I found this very interesting, I would like to compare the two of them. I was also very unaware how much of his own life turned into books. Wer einmal aus dem Blechnapf frisst (not published in English as far as I know) is about a man who goes to prison, then gets released and even though he tries to get a proper life he fails time and time again and ends up in prison again. Turns out, Fallada was in prison too and his experiences inspired him to this novel. I love getting background like this, but I need to read about it after I read the books. If I had read the bibliography before his books, I wouldn’t have enjoyed them as much.

Also, the books says that Fallada’s son went to a Nazi elite school in Templin, my hometown! I actually know which school they are referring to. I always get sort of excited when my home town is mentioned and it’s not about Angela Merkel (jup, also from my hometown) or neo-Nazi crimes. People that are from Berlin or other bigger cities can probably not understand this, but when you come from such a small small small city, it being mentioned outside the city is a big thing. I randomly have home pride, but sometimes I do, okay XD

So, if you know Hans Fallada and would like to know more about his life, I would really recommend this bibliography, if not, well… thanks for reading anyways!

On a personal note:

Game of Thrones ended… oh my… It was so bad. So many interesting story lines completely wasted, so much fan service so many special effects for the sake of special effects… ugghh… I hope that Martin eventually finishes the books so we get an ending that is not a six episode long cringe fest. And no, I am not mad because Dany got mad or the person I wanted to sit on the iron throne did not in the end, I’m a not a twelve year old. I am mad because they butchered what started out as a great tv show with unusual plot developments, strong female leads and morals (and dragons!) and turned it into…. this. Okay, I made the promise to myself to not let my entries be too negative, so I’ll say this, meeting my friend every day for six weeks and drink Gin with her while cringing about the episodes was so much fun!! Without this, I would be so much more frustrated XD Here’s to you, Lisa *kanpai*

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