Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Heinrich Böll Revival. . .

Ever since reading Hans Fallada's Every Man Dies Alone, I've been a bit obsessed with reading German literature of the twentieth century.  And Melville House, responsible for bringing Fallada back into print and into English translation, has now turned its attention to Heinrich Böll.  Starting this month, they will be reissuing several of Böll's works - The Clown, and The Safety Net, translated by Leila Vennewitz, and Billiards at Half-Past Nine, translated by Patrick Bowles.   Three more titles - The Train Was on Time, Group Portrait With Lady and Irish Journal, all translated by Leila Vennewitz - will follow in April.

There is an amazing, and I mean AMAZING interview with the indefatigable Dennis Johnson, editor and publisher of Melville House, conducted by Jessa Crispin, who contributes an afterword to Billiards at Half Past Nine. They talk about the literature of aftermath, Melville's new imprint Neversink Library, devoted to bringing back lost classics (I can't tell you how excited I am by this - they have some incredible books lined up!) protests in Ireland and why publishing isn't for wussies.  Read it here. 

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