Sunday, 7 October 2012

Getting Ready for German Literature Month

November is not too far off, and that means that it will soon be time for what was my favourite blogging event last year, German Literature Month!  After toying with us all by thinking about giving it a miss this time around, Caroline and Lizzy have finally given in to public pressure (I'm sure I wasn't the only one spamming them on Twitter...) and announced the details of this year's fiesta - sorry, Fest :)

While last year's event was mainly regionally based, this time around the month is organised into four genre-based weeks:
     Week One (1st-7th) is all about Novellas, Plays and Poems
     Week Two (8th-14th) is for Literary Novels
     Week Three (15th-21st) is devoted to Genre Fiction
     Week Four (22nd-30th) is where you can read anything you like :)
Hopefully, there'll be something for everybody somewhere in there...

Before the action begins, watch out for a giveaway on my blog as part of Judith's Literary Blog Hop.  The post will go up on the 27th of October, and (of course) I will be giving away a little slice of G-Lit perfection ;)  Hopefully the winners will get to read it before the end of November...

Of course, part of the fun of this kind of event is thinking about what you're going to choose, and I've been doing an awful lot of (read 'far too much') thinking about my plans for the month already.  I know all about what happens to the best laid plans of mice and men, but I'm willing to give it a go anyway :)  Here then are a few preliminary ideas as to my reading plans for November...

For Week One, I'm determined to stick with the theme and cover all text types suggested.  My novella may well be Adalbert Stifter's Brigitta, a mid-nineteenth-century work about an unfortunate young woman, a slim volume which has been on my shelves for far too long.  I'm also planning to tackle not one, but two plays, both by giants of German-language literature.  I was intending to tackle Schiller's Kabale und Liebe (Love and Intrigues) last year, but I got a little side-tracked...  This year, there will be no excuses, and I'll throw in Goethe's pastoral piece, Hermann und Dorothea for good measure, with Heinrich Heine's poem Deutschland. Ein Wintermärchen (Germany. A Winter's Tale) being the poetic component :)

For Week Two, I'll be trying to work my way around the German-speaking world a little.  My plans at the moment include Swiss writer Peter Stamm's Ungefähre Landschaft (Unformed Landscape), Theodor Fontane's L'Adultera and Romanian-born writer Hertha Müller's Herztier (translated into English under the rather unusual title The Land of Green Plums).  As I'm unlikely to try any genre fiction, I'll be carrying on with literary works into Week Three, with Austrian writer Joseph Roth's Hotel Savoy and Judith Hermann's collection of short stories, Sommerhaus, Später (Summer House, Later) likely to carry me up to the end of that week.

In Week Four, I'll be reading a mixed bag of books.  I'll definitely be trying to fit in a few of the Grimm Brothers' Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Grimm's Tales) to participate in the readalong, and while Heinrich von Kleist has no part in my plans this year (those who read my blog last year will know why...), he will be popping up in East German writer Christa Wolf's Kein Ort, Nirgends as a character :)  If we add works by former Peirene Press writer, Alois Hotschnig (Leonardos Hände / Leonardo's Hands) and future Peirene Press writer, Birgit Vanderbeke (Ich sehe was, was du nicht siehst / I Spy, with my Little Eye), then the month should just about be complete!

Of course, I doubt that this is exactly how it will all go.  As last year's plans (and the actual final list) show, I'm not too good at keeping my promises.  Nevertheless, one promise I will keep is that I will be reading, posting and commenting as often as possible in November...

...and (naturally) that the bus will be there for the whole journey :)

So, over to you!  Do you have any ideas about some Germanic reading for November?  Have you read any of my suggestions?  I'd love to know what you're all planning, so please leave a comment :)