The Black Obelisk

January 5, 2017 Novel

The Black Obelisk is a masterpiece of artistic creation written by Erich Maria Remarque. Time has no hold on the eternal values ​​of classical literature...

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The Decline of the West

January 2, 2017 Philosopher work

Oswald Spengler is a famous German philosopher, historian, one of the founders of modern philosophy of culture, creator of the cyclic theory, publicist.

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The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr

December 31, 2016 Novel

The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr is the last, almost autobiographical novel of the great German writer E. T. A. Hoffmann, the brilliant result of his work, combining reality and fantasy, a romantic impulse and satire. This unusual, novel is written in a form of a note of a self-taugh cat, a pragmatist and an epicurean Murr. According to the writer, Murr had a prototype: “It is a cat of marvelous beauty and even greater intelligence, which I raised, and he gave me a reason for this amusing mystification.” I understand why literature scholars especially highlight this novel in Hoffmann’s work and in the history of literature. For example, the structure of the novel is very interesting, two storylines alternating one another; each part ends literally in the middle of a sentence… For us, accustomed to postmodernism, it is not particularly surprising, but for the beginning of the 19th century it was unusually and boldly. Romantic ideals are combined with the satirical depicting of real society, a twisted plot – with ageless morality. It is magnificent work of art. It should be mentioned that this novel itself is not independent, but it is part of the Kreisleriana – a small cycle of individual texts consisting mainly of stories about the life and work...

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Demian

December 28, 2016 Growing-up novel, Novel

Demian is a philosophical novel, gloomy and mystical. We can consider it autobiographical as well – it is said in the foreword to the novel. It is a famous work, which had a huge impact on the writer’s further work, and the great Thomas Mann compared this book with The Sorrows of Young Werther. It is the story about a human being and how he is growing up and becoming a young man, who step by step moves farther away from the hypocritical norms of public morality and more and more reveals for himself his deep, dark personality. He is assisted by a mysterious friend of Demian – either the devil, or the mysterious deity, or just  the product of the imagination of the main character… In the book, in theory, there are two main characters, as well as those who appear only for a couple of chapters, but also plays an important role and makes some changes. But missing the fact that the narrative is conducted only from one of the main characters – my attention was definitely focused on the second one. In any case, the title of the novel is his name – Demian. Who is Demian? Who knows. From the first pages he is a mystery and the word...

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The Tin Drum

December 25, 2016 Novel

Günter Grass became popular after the publication of the novel The Tin Drum. In the novel the author criticizes the German policy of the first half of the 20th century. In the novel there is also the theme of human vices – those ones that the main character Oskar tries to escape, trying to remain a child. The most difficult thing when you talk about this book is to write about what it is. If we talk about what’s on the surface, I shall try to write briefly. In the 1930s, a family lives in the city of Danzig, relationships in the family are very complicated. And a boy named Oskar lives in this famil . The boy is amazing in all respects. When he was three years old, he received a red-and-white tin drum, he keeps it with him all the time. The drum became his best friend, his eternal passion and his damnation at the same time. With his drum he can tell you any story, describe any person, take you through the years, move to another city, to another life. And Oskar is very little boy. In Oscar there are a lot of unusual and strange things. People who surround him, the events that happen to him, are no less strange...

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Mario and the Magician

December 22, 2016 Novella

Never read Thomas Mann on the go, in the subway, in buses and at bus stops, surrounded by a crowd of people, big buildings and constant noise. He, like nature itself, requires silence, tranquillity...

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The Trial

December 19, 2016 Novel

The main questions that appear in the head after reading (and during the reading) of this book can be formulated like this: what was it? What is it about? For whom is it? What to do and how to be? Bearing in mind the reputation of Franz Kafka, these are very topical issues, unambiguous answers to which can not be given by any person in the world. Honestly. This novel just shows us the picky bureaucratic machine. The author shows us everything as it is and how it should not be! Oh God, how many are the secret meanings in the book! The world of The Trial is surprisingly ordinary-looking and striking by its everyday life. What can we say about the main hero – Josef K.? He is an ordinary bank officer, a white collar. An ordinary everyman living a quiet and routine life. Josef K. is a man who lives and works, knowing practically nothing about the real life. He is aperson without specific interests and hobbies. A person is both deep and superficial, many people love and respect him. A man who for the time being has not personally faced with a bureaucratic machine in its pure form. It was very symbolic and entertaining to see how our...

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The Devil’s Elixirs

December 16, 2016 Gothik novel, Novel

Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann is famous German writer, composer and artist. In his work, Hoffmann paid tribute to Romanticism and Occultism, and to a fairy tale for adults, as well as to social satire. His works, bizarre and elegant, truly fascinate showing their amazing and fantastic world. It is one of the most interesting and unusual works of the great writer. A masterpiece of the Gothic novel. The plot. Hundreds of years ago, the devil tempted St. Anthony by offering him to feel an enormous satisfaction, drinking the elixir from his many bottles. St. Anthony managed to fight off the devil, and as a trophy he got several diabolical bottles with an elixir, which were preserved in one of the Capuchin monasteries until the time to which the narrative relates (apparently 17-18 centuries). The monk Medard gives in to dark temptation and tries the drinks. This becomes the first step in the path of his numerous crimes and troubles. If I had the opportunity to live in someone else’s body for one day, I would like to be a monk. I would like to understand this state of mind when you are constantly thinking about sin and saving, when you can pray for hours and and feel enlightened and after...

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Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman

December 14, 2016 Novella

Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, like no other, was able to frankly and at the same time tactfully describe the most intimate experiences of human being. Zweig’s novels have fascinating plots, full of dramatic tension. The writer shows us how defenseless the human heart is, how fatal are human destinies and what a person can do when he or she loves someone. It is a brilliant novella. It tells about the tragedy of a woman who, at her own request, spoiled her life, about her sacrificial love. Frau Wagner is young, rich and beautiful lady. She has a wonderful husband – a successful lawyer, she also has two beautiful children, a good house, but she lacked emotions in her life, she wanted adventures. But, as it is known, any man who wants something can find it! She has everything, carefree and secure life, the help of nurse with children, a caring and loving husband, and social status. It would seem that everything in her life is good, the one thing she has to do is to enjoy the life! But as you know, when everything is good, people get bored and need to find troubles! And Henriette finds. So she finds a young lover. Is it love? Or passion? Only the trouble, it turns...

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A Wild Ride Through the Night

December 11, 2016 Novel

A Wild Ride Through the Night is a novel by German writer Walter Moers. The story turned out to be an unusual, unexpected, full of allusions to well-known stories and texts and, at the same time, ironic and grotesque. A dreamy teenager, a twelve-year-old captain, gets trapped in a storm arranged by raging Siamese Twins Tornado, and the only one of the entire crew of the ship remains alive. On the empty deck of the ship brother and sister appear (their names usually do not say at night), who bet on his soul and offer him six tasks to save it, thereby determining the future life and fate of the little brave navigator… He must get into the realm of the dead, but certainly he does not want to, so he bets with Death. Do not die, young Gustave needs to complete six impossible tasks. Now the boy has to save the beauty from the paws of the Dragon, go through a forest full of ghosts, guess the names of the five giants, fight the Most Monstrous of all Monsters, meet himself and eventually get the sixth task. Then begins a whirlwind of adventures and events, meetings and dialogues, which can only be compared with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis...

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Austerlitz

December 8, 2016 Novel

Winfried Georg Sebald is a modern German writer, poet and literary scolar, essayist, teacher of literature in England.

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