On the subjects of philosophy, society, biographies, literary + cultural history

Peter Walther
Hans Fallada. Die Biographie

© Aufbau Verlag, Berlin, 2017 Peter Walther: Hans Fallada. Die Biographie © Aufbau Verlag, Berlin, 2017The life of Rudolf Ditzen, who came to be known by the pseudonym Hans Fallada, is one of the great mysteries of twentieth-century German literature. German scholar Peter Walther has approached this brilliant and likeable figure, and has processed a great deal of new material (…). Walther describes a highly gifted, driven man. A man without equilibrium who sought extremes. (…)
Fallada had a sharp eye and a sensationally good ear for the underdogs and misfits of his time, and he succeeded in making the worries and wishes of so-called ordinary people appear great and existential. He often accompanied his characters with a warm, tongue-in-cheek and philanthropic tone. (…)
The rediscovery and renaissance of Fallada is due to the foreign success of his last novel Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone) in the first decade of the twenty-first century. (…)
New readers, like his contemporaries, repeatedly emphasised Fallada’s humanism. As far as he himself was concerned, however, he knew no mercy. His life was reeling self-destruction. Only in his manic writing did he appear to find moments of clarity. Fallada’s life can also be read as a narrative of the abysses of the modern era with instability all around.

Thomas Hüetlin: „Jeder fixt für sich allein“
© Der Spiegel, 14 January 2017

Peter Walther
Hans Fallada. Die Biographie
Aufbau Verlag, Berlin, 2017
ISBN 978-3-351-03669-8
527 pages


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