Deutschstunde. [Siegfried Lenz] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Rare book. Siegfried Lenz, Deutschstunde (Hamburg, ). X/ (English translation, The German Lesson, translated by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne. I have been making my way through the German titles on the list Books You Must Read Before You Die and came to Siegfried Lenz’s.

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A contemporary literary classic: When Siegfried Lenz died init was estimated that over 30 million copies of his works had been sold worldwide.

His oeuvre comprises 14 novels, short stories, numerous deutschstunds and dramas for radio and theatre. They have been translated into at least 35 languages. Published inThe German Lesson has become one of the most internationally prominent novels in German contemporary literature.

Its relevance even today is also evident from the fact that new translations are still being published, such as a new Spanish translation by Ernesto Calabuig which will be released by the Spanish publishing house Impedimenta in the autumn of The novel is still on the sixth form reading lists at German grammar schools today.

They are prescribed reading, an enjoyable read being followed up by the precise opposite — a test on a classic with essay questions such as the following: What is the relationship between the brothers Klaas and Siggi Jepsen?

Siegfried Lenz: Deutschstunde [German Lesson] -ORCA

What ultimately provokes their resistance to their parents and the dictatorship? From where does the painter Nansen draw his strength to resist; explore the particular role played by art in a dictatorship. And of course, the typical question: Memory and the present day Set inthe framing narrative in The German Lesson does in fact begin with just such a prescribed German essay.


The topic stirs up too many memories for him; he does not know where to begin, so he hands in a blank exercise book.

The German Lesson

Siggi is placed in solitary confinement until he has completed the essay on the same subject. Then the memories start to flow, and once he has begun he cannot stop until the whole story has been told.

His narrative begins in when Siggi was nine years old. The policeman is to inform Nansen that the Nazis have banned him from painting. Siggi, on the other hand, feels drawn to the painter, who ignores the ban: I will paint invisible pictures.

Siegfried Lenz: Deutschstunde [German Lesson]

There will be so much light in them that you will not recognize anything. At the end of the novel, the main story and the framing narrative coincide nearly ten years after the war: Siggi has successfully completed the essay he was required to write as a punishment and is being released early for good behaviour.

Memorable images, virtuoso language Few books survive lemz school reading status completely unscathed, and at worst all that remains is the memory of a boring mandatory exercise.

The better ones create a memory that never quite fades, however. The images from The German Lesson will certainly remain with young readers for longer than the analysis of the character constellations they were required to undertake in their essays, or the questions about morally unimpeachable attitudes in a dictatorship. We have for example the storm-bent trees of North Frisia, the hunting clouds, the rain showers and the houses cowering behind hedges, all of which Lenz describes in his virtuoso and powerful language.


When the novel appeared init precisely captured the attitudes of a young generation that was rebelling against the wartime generation.

They wanted to call their parents and grandparents to account for living a lie, and for suppressing, covering up and concealing their guilt. German history without politicizing Ever since its publication, the novel has been accused of various things: And yet even these debates still show insufficient distance to the events.

As the generation that was directly involved in the war dies off, it is also possible to view the novel from a greater historical distance. Precisely because Lenz does not make the German wars of aggression and the Holocaust the focus of his story, the novel can be seen as being embedded within a historical context and yet a prime example of how humans behave under the conditions of a dictatorship.

The German Lesson – Wikipedia

Ina previously unpublished novel by Siegfried Lenz appeared that he had written in This novel is also set during the Second World War and the post-war years. It tells of the madness of the war in Eastern Europe and of a German soldier who joins the Red Army and has to live with the guilt of having shot and killed his brother-in-law. Go directly to content Alt 1 Go directly to second-level navigation Alt 3 Go directly to first-level navigation Alt 2.