German Literature Month | 2019

Hi, folks!

German Lit Month ist fast wieder da! Just like in previous years, Lizzy and Caroline will host the 9th GLM this coming November. During the month, their blogs will be dedicated to literature originally written in German.

2019 is a special year: it marks 30 years since the Fall of the Berlin Wall; 100 years since the Weimar Republic was de jure founded; and 200 years since the publication of Goethe’s West-East Divan. So, Lizzy and Caroline have devised the following reading plan to commemorate each of these events:

  • The Fall of the Wall: ex-DDR week (03.11.2019 – 09.11.19 )
  • The founding of the Weimar Republic: readalong of Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929);
  • The publication of Goethe’s West-East Divan: Goethe Reading Week (17.11.19-23.11.19).

The schedule for the readalong is as follows:

  • Saturday 9.11.2019: Chapters 1-2
  • Saturday 16.11.2019: Chapters 3-5
  • Saturday 23.11.2019: Chapters 6-7
  • Saturday 30.11.2019: Chapters 8-9

As always, to participate in German Literature Month you don’t need to follow the plan: the only rule is to simply enjoy reading something originally written in German (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, essays, comics, graphic novels, you name it!).

I’ve been participating in GLM since 2014, and it already belongs to my annual literary calendar. Here you can find some of the books reviewed in the past GLM events. Here and here you find a list of German women writers; here and here a list of Austrian women writers; here a list of Swiss women writers. And, finally, here a list of German language authors!

Below is my list of potential reads for the event:

Fall of the Wall/ Ex-DDR Week:

  • Nachdenken über Christa T., by Christa Wolf (1968)
    • English: The Quest for Christa T.,  tr. Christopher Middleton (Virago, 1982, 100BestWIT)

Weimar Republic

  • Käsebier erobert den Kurfürstendamm, by Gabriele Tergit (1931)
    • English: Käsebier takes Berlin, tr. Sophie Duvernoy (NYRB, 2019)
  • Das kunstseidene Mädchen, by Irmgard Keun (1932)
    • English: The Artificial Silk Girl, tr. Kathie von Ankum (Penguin Classics, 2019)
  • Menschen im Hotel, by Vicki Baum (1929)
    • English: Grand Hotel, tr. Basil Creighton (NYRB, 2016)
  • Das Mädchen Manuela, by Christa Winsloe (1933, also known as Mädchen in Uniform)
    • English: The Child Manuela, tr. Agnes Neill Scott (Virago, 1994)
    • I am also planning to watch the second movie adaptation of this book, directed by Géza von Radványi, starring Romy Schneider 💘 (IMDb, 1958):


Goethe Reading Week

  • Die Wahlverwandschaften, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1809)
    • English: Elective Affinities, tr. David Constatine (Oxford World’s Classics, 1999)

Random choices

  • Effi Briest, by Theodor Fontane (1894)
    • English: Effi Briest, tr. Walter Wallich (Persephone Books, 2017)
    • Other translations:
      • Hugh Rorrison and Helen Chambers (Penguin Classics, 2000, Goodreads);
      • Mike Mitchell (Oxford University Press, 2015, Goodreads)
  • Überseezungen: Literarische Essays, by Yoko Tawada, not translated (2002)
  • Das siebte Kreuz, by Anna Seghers (1942)
    • English: The Seventh Cross, tr. Margot Bettauer Dembo (NYRB, 2018, 100BestWIT)
  • Am Fluß, by Esther Kinsky (2014)
    • River, tr. Iain Galbraith (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2018)

That’s all for now, folks! What will you be reading in November? 😊

Yours truly.


‘Reading’, by Charlemagne-Oscar Guet

4 thoughts on “German Literature Month | 2019

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