- 9,49 €
Beschreibung des Verlags
'A great writer' Ali Smith
Newly translated by Michael Hofmann, the touching final novel from the author of Child of All Nations
'I don't think I'm that unusual, and I don't think I'm crazy either'
Bombed-out Cologne after the war is a strange place to be. The black market in jam and corsets is booming, half-destroyed houses offer opportunities for stealing doors and eggcups, and de-Nazification parties are all the rage. Ferdinand - daydreamer, former prisoner of war, wearer of a curious jerkin - drifts around the city, observing life's absurdities, strenuously avoiding his fiancée and drinking brandy with his fabulous cousin. When he gets a job as a 'cheerful adviser' to those down on their luck, will Ferdinand's fortunes change too?
Irmgard Keun's exuberantly funny and touching final novel takes the tiny moments of triumph and defeat in one man's life, and turns them into a moving portrait of the human spirit.
A German man drifts through his days a couple of years after WWII in Keun's droll satire (after Gilgi), originally published in 1950. Ferdinand Timpe returns to Cologne after his release from a POW camp. He rents a room from a landlady who sells jam on the black market while he struggles to write a story for his acquaintance Heinrich's newspaper before learning Heinrich had drunkenly mistaken him for a different, more literary Ferdinand. He feels trapped in his engagement to Luise, which he agreed to at a low point during the war, and attempts to find Luise a different suitor, but his "loose" cousin Johanna steals the men's attention. Ferdinand takes a job at an occult clinic, doling out advice to clients who participate in a color therapy program ("Find the color of your soul," reads the inspirational wall text). Ferdinand's frequent digressions turn to his acquaintances, patients, and family, including his mother, Laura, "a genius of sleep" who avoided problems by taking serene naps, and his determination to find a way out of his engagement climaxes with a fraught family reunion. Keun (1905 1982) shows a sure hand in this biting sendup of postwar Germany, full of absurd moments and amusing foibles. It's a genuinely funny, ambling story full of sharp character studies.