Reading: Week 1

January 8, 2012 by Rieshy

I read Hildebrandslied over Christmas and my 17 yo was reading our copy of Niebelungenlied so I skipped ahead from my list and picked up All's Quiet On The Western Front.  Nothing like skipping ahead almost 1,000 years in a supposedly chronological study of German literature...

Remarque Im Westen nichts Neues 1929.jpg

All's Quiet was most impressive.  Well written and shocking.  Yet compared to so many current novels that seem to want to titillate with shock, the book rang honest. Warfare portrayed without a sentimental overlay and yet honor and humanity was a constant subtext.

I found it interesting that the book was almost entirely without enemies. In Remarque's telling one takes the villains with you into war.

This line really struck me, "It is very queer that the unhappiness of the world is so often brought on by small men.  They are so much more energetic and uncompromising than the big fellows."

I'm also currently reading Parzival by Wolfram Von Eschenback.  The contrast of a medieval tale full of single-hand combat and Remarque's WWI was jarring.

To muddy up the chronology even more I finished Undine by Fouqué.
Undine (novella) - cover - Project Gutenberg eText 18752.jpg

 My fist impression at the beginning of the story was that Undine would have benefitted by a good spanking from her fisher-parents.  I only continued reading because my 17 year old encouraged me.  As an imaginative fairy-tale/ghost story I can appreciate it.

I actually like the movie Ondine  better.

Happy Reading!

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Unknown said...

good gravy, you're so cultured!

Rieshy said...

I'm merely pretending, and only on Sundays.

I also reread the first chapters of Twilight.

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