Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A biography of "Hans Fallada"., 28 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: More Lives Than One: Biography of Hans Fallada (Paperback)
German author Hans Fallada wrote novels and non-fiction, maintaining a successful writing career from the 1920's until his death in 1947. He published through changes in government, from the Weimar Republic through the Third Reich, and into the Communist regime in East Germany. His novels, in print and popular, managed to skirt the governmental authority's - whichever government was in power at the time - and avoid the censorship to which other authors were subject. In "More Lives than One", Jenny Williams updates a biography of Fallada originally published in the 1990's, to take advantage of the renewed interest in Fallada's work.

"Hans Fallada" was the name Rudolf Ditzen adopted as his pseudonym when he began publishing. The son of an upper middle class German family, centered mostly in the northern part of the country, Ditzen, who was born in 1893, one of four children. His only brother Ulrich was killed in WW1. Rudolf avoided wartime duty because he had spent periods in mental hospitals and prisons. He had a creative, yet fragile and addictive personality, and when he began publishing his writing in the 1920's, he was an almost immediate success. His first successful novel, "What Now, Little Man", published to much acclaim in 1932 was the story of a German "every man" figure, who battled life and economic forces in the late 1920's and early 1930's. Ditzen kept overt politics out of most of his writing. This was, of course, a prerequisite for successful publishing in Germany, especially after the Nazis came to power in the early 1930's. He stayed in Germany during the 30's and 40's - not emigrating as so many German writers, both Jewish and gentile, did - and wrote movie screenplays and other sanctioned works. After the war, he wrote his most famous book, "Every Man Dies Alone", a novel about individual wartime resistance, based on the activities of a real couple who were murdered by the Nazis when they were discovered. Rudolf Ditzen died right before publication of "Every Man", in 1947.

How did Rudolf Ditzen manage to capture the German character so well? He was certainly careful, in general, not to anger the authorities with his writing. But he wrote about the times and the people with such a plainness of prose that most readers were able to recognise themselves or others they knew well. I suppose that by concentrating on the everyday exteriors of those he wrote about, he was able to see inside these same people. His novels - and I've read three - are certainly as fresh and interesting 75 years after they were written as they were when first published.

Jenny Williams, the author of "More Lives Than One", has written a lively biography of both Rudolf Ditzen, the people around him, and the times he lived in. I'd suggest reading both Williams AND Fallada for a good historical record of the Germany of the first half of the 20th century.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

5.0 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
14.95 10.55
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer

Jill Meyer
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 181