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Suggestions for introducing Werther and Steppenwolf?
Thread poster: Kim Metzger

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:21
German to English
May 23, 2003

I’ve been invited to participate in a project called “Escritores en su Idioma” – writers in their language - put on by the Guadalajara library society. The idea is for people (the cultural elite, according to the project director) to come and listen to literary texts being read in several different languages (Modern Greek, Italian, Polish, French, German and English). One language will be featured every month for several months. Most people in the audience will not know the languages – they are not expected to understand what’s being read to them, just to get a feeling for the sound of the language.

I’ll be reading the German texts and have chosen Hesse and Goethe, partly because they are two of the most widely known German authors in Mexico. And I’ll read from Goethe’s “Sorrows of Young Werther” and Hesse’s “Der Steppenwolf.” Before reading I’ll briefly introduce the authors.

It’s been a long time since I last read these two books and I haven’t yet done much research on the subject, but now that I’ve selected the two works, I’m struck by some of the similarities. In both cases the main character became a cult figure after publication. In both cases, the characters are drawn away from bourgeois life. These two books are very different in most respects, but I thought it would be interesting to point to some parallels

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to introduce these two novels?

[Edited at 2003-05-23 19:44]

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Alison Schwitzgebel
Local time: 04:21
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
ad nauseum May 23, 2003

I have to admit that I\'ve never read Steppenwolf, however I have read W. ad nauseum so here\'s where I would start introducing that book:

- Parallels between Goethe and W. (was W. a self-portrait?)

- Famous scene where Lotte is cutting bread and butter

- One of the great works of German romantic literature (with brief discussion of what romatic literature involves)



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Geneviève von Levetzow  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:21
Member (2002)
French to German
+ ...
Einsamkeit // Anderssein May 23, 2003

Hallo Kim,

ich schreibe lieber auf Deutsch.

Ich denke, die beiden Punkte sind eine Gemeinsamkeit zwischen den beiden Figuren, von der Welt unverstanden, weil sie anders sind und dadurch einsam.

Viel Spaß


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Vesna Zivcic  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:21
German to Croatian
+ ...
Vom Standpunkt der Rezeption May 24, 2003

Sie können beide Werke einführen, indem Sie ihre Rezeptionsgeschichte vergleichen. Beide lösten, nämlich, Selbstmordwellen aus.

[Edited at 2003-05-24 13:27]

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