November is German Literature Month

October was quite a slow month reading-wise. Life took over to such an extent that I simply could not focus on the printed word for too long. I managed to review a couple of books for R.I.P. XThe Ruins by Scott Smith and The Birth of Venus by Jarl Nicholl, both perfect for this event.

I’ve also participated for the first time in writing the Stephen King Message Board Halloween Story, a great project in which a few message board members contribute a segment to a story that gets posted on the forums on Halloween. This year the story had werewolves, gypsies, some great fighting scenes, an evil dwarf and, of course, a cemetery. I had a lot of fun and hope to replicate that next year as well.

German Lit Month big

This month I will be participating in German Literature Month, an event hosted by Caroline from Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Lizzy from Lizzy’s Literary Life. I knew about the event for a few years but the last two were taken up with NaNoWriMo. This year however, I’m not joining in the mad, wonderful, exhilarating rush to write 50,000 words in 30 days so I decided it was about time to broaden my horizons by reading German literature. So far I’ve finished a collection of short stories by Franz Kafka, which includes “The Metamorphosis”, a story I’ve wanted to read for a very long time. It was one of the best stories I’ve read. I’ve also completed “A Time to Love and a Time to Die” by Erich Maria Remarque, whose wonderful dialogue will probably stay with me for a long time. Reviews coming soon.
As for future reading plans, I have The Black Obelisk by Erich Maria Remarque and The Trial by Franz Kafka. I’m rather favoring the former but we’ll see if time allows for both of them.

Are you participating in German Literature Month? What do you plan on reading?

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10 Responses to November is German Literature Month

  1. Brian Joseph says:

    I am a little tied up this month so I likely will not be able to participate this year.

    I am looking forward to your commentary. I have not read the Trial but I really want to.

    • Delia says:

      Hi Brian,

      There’s also next year, right? It would be great to actually read and talk about the same books. I think we have different tastes most of the time so that would be something.
      I hope whatever is keeping you busy this time is on the positive side.

  2. Deb Atwood says:

    Interesting how the same works at different times affect you. I first read “The Metamorphosis” when I was in my twenties and found it ironic and funny. When I re-read it in my forties, I found it so sad and disheartening. The difference was that at that point I was a mother, and I so hated the way his parents treated him.

    I’ve started reading The Trial with some of my students–it’s one of those books that will make you feel sort of unsettled, like the ground beneath your feet is inexplicably unstable. Very interesting work of literature. I’ll look for your comments!

    • Delia says:

      Hi Deb,

      That’s very true, reading the same book at different times in life can make us feel different things. I hated that too about his parents and his sister. I also think this is one of the best horror stories I’ve read.
      I’m not sure about reading The Trial, for some reason Orwell’s 1984 keeps popping into my head every time I think about this.

  3. Vishy says:

    So wonderful to know that you will be participating in German Literature Month this year, Delia! You have read some wonderful books already. I read the graphic novel version of Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’ and liked it very much. Hoping to read the original some day. I have read some of his short stories and wasn’t really able to connect. I hope to try them again sometime. So glad to know that you liked Remarque’s book. He is one of my favourite writers. I haven’t read this book yet. Hoping to read it later this month. Happy reading! Looking forward to following your reading adventures during GLM!

    • Delia says:

      I’m excited about this too, Vishy. I couldn’t juggle NaNo and GLM at the same time so this year I’m glad to get acquainted with some new German authors.

      A graphic novel version of The Metamorphosis – now that must have been something! Glad you liked it.
      I am curious to see why the other stories didn’t really work out for you but when I post my review maybe you can recognize some of them and can remember why you couldn’t connect. I found them fascinating and totally engrossing.
      I loved Remarque’s book, so much heartbreak but also beauty… I hope you get to read it this month.

  4. Hi Delia, feels so great to hear from you again. 🙂 Stephen King Message Board Activity sounds interesting. Hope you had great fun.

    And, I didn’t know about German Literature Month. I read Vishy’s review on ‘Venus in Furs’. I was naturally intrigued, and finished reading the book in a couple of hours. I liked it. If I am in the mood, I shall try reading one or two more German literature this month.

    And, I haven’t read any of Kafka’s. Which one do you think I should start with? 🙂 Thank you.

    • Delia says:

      Hi Deepika,
      The Stephen King Message Board is a great place to visit. Writing the story with other people was a lot of fun, mostly because I had something to start from and then it was exciting to see what the next writer would do. I really enjoyed the experience.

      Glad to see you’re joining in the GLM. I loved Vishy’s review, it made me want to read the book. Good luck with your plans, I’ll come visit soon.

      As for Kafka, I recommend The Metamorphosis which is a short story. I loved it even though it made me sad.

  5. Caroline says:

    I’m so glad you’re participating this year. I’m looking forward to discussing the Remarque novel with you. I just finished Erebis and think you’d like it. It was so gripping. Thanks for the links.

    • Delia says:

      I’m glad I was finally able to, Caroline. I think I’ve been wanting to do that for a couple of years now. There’s so much beauty in Remarque’s novel, I was truly impressed. Looking forward to your thoughts on it as well.
      Thanks for recommending Erebis.

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