The question How German Is It underlies the conduct and actions of the characters in Walter Abish’s novel, an icy panorama of contemporary. The question HOW GERMAN IS IT underlies the conduct and actions of the characters in Walter Abish’s new novel, an icy panorama of contemporary Germany. The question implicit in the title of Walter Abish’s novel1 immediat alerts us to problems moment in German history, Abish plays with the familiar images such .

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I was worried the end would fizzle out stupidly but it did not. In the entire history of a culture, a culture in which Jews were a vital and important part, “How German” is one fifteen year period of time?

And probably the irony and the power of the very essence of Germanness is that it can be both a fascinating and a terrifying thing. Anyway–from ‘how German is it.?

Now I reread it years and years later and I find it devastating Books by Walter Abish. Dec 13, L rated it it was ok Shelves: Feb 12, Paul rated it it was amazing. How German Is It is quite German. The simplicity of the writing is deceptive.

How German Is It?

They have this obsessive, compulsive, at times all-consuming need go control everything. The plot focuses on the two sons of Ulrich von Hargenau, an anti-Nazi activist executed for his role in the plot to assassinate Hitler. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

Nov 10, Emi Bevacqua rated it really liked it Shelves: A day of pleasant exchanges. Overall, I’m just left with the astonished feeling that Abish totally out-White Noise’d DeLillo five years in advance. Meanwhile, the satire in the novel is dark and relentless, events taking place against a backdrop of terrorist cells, social stratification, the burgeoning post-war economy, an influx of “guest workers,” and the discovery of a mass grave under the main street of a new town built over the site of a “small” and therefore insignificant concentration camp.


The ‘teacher’ was this tall, slim, incredibly attractive–in a German sort of way–twentysomething guy whose intensity was both fascinati and grotesque. People from all over came to see what we had to sell. Wish I’d read this years ago. German self-satisfaction, violence, self–abasement, rigidity, idealism–all ruffle the pieces walted.

The prose is brilliant—at times fluid and long-reaching, but mostly abiding by a stark, matter-of-factness that is delivered in short, standalone paragraphs throughout the novel’s entirety. This act forces Ulrich to face up to his responsibility and to himself, and leads to the devastatingly aalter end.

How German Is It – Wikipedia

I am the target audience! Apr 22, Bob rated it it was amazing. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: The book’s narrative structure features internal monologues and different authorial viewpoints by many of the characters. What if I don’t have someone send off for the ambulance? I need to apply for a drivers’ license because there is no recirpocity between Germany and my home US state, des How German is ‘it’ — meaning: And they all live in Brumholdstein, a new town for the chic named after the Heidegger-like idealist philosopher Brumhold.

More recent novelists have turned their attention to this question with equally unsure conclusions: Email required Address never made public. He moved to the United States in and became an American citizen in Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Notify me of new comments via email. Now, I’m not saying don’t read it.


This act forces Ulrich to face up to his responsibility and to himself, and leads to the devastatingly satirical end. With a title like this and a last name like minehow could I not read this book?

The overall question seems to be, how can we move forward without accepting our past? His postmodern flourishes serve to accentuate the newness and uncertainty of the moments in time he writes about, while also raising larger questions about humanity and the Holocaust. Some part of the human condition is finding a way to live through and past difficult events. I also read somewhere that Abish hadn’t even been to Germany when he wrote this, though his Austrian descent probably helped.

How German is it?

Not a book for every taste, but definitely for anyone who appreciates Brecht and enjoys watching and rewatching abisn. A Tale of Passion this may also crank your dial. Helmuth has designed many of the town’s civic landmarks, regularly lunches with the mayor, and revels in the deference given him by his fellow citizens. So far Abish has only published three novels, three collections of short stories, one book of poetry and dalter autobiography.

Reading this for the second time.