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Leni has the well-nigh imperishable bosom of a woman who has been loved with tenderness and to whose bosom poems have been dedicated.

What Leni cares about most is the fresh rolls; rather than have them delivered she picks them out herself, not by fingering them, merely by inspecting their color; there is nothing—in the way of food,. For the sake of the rolls and because breakfast is her daily feast, she ventures out in the morning among people, accepting insults, spiteful gossip, and abuse as part of the bargain.

As regards smoking: Leni has been smoking since she was seventeen, normally eight cigarettes a day, never more, usually less; during the war she gave it up for a time in order to let someone she loved not her husband! Leni is one of those who enjoy a glass of wine now and again, never drink more than half a bottle, and allow themselves, depending on the weather, a schnapps or, depending on mood and financial situation, a sherry.

She loved driving, almost with a passion. Leni still lives in the house where she was born. By a series of unaccountable coincidences, her part of the city was spared the bombings, at least relatively spared; only thirty-five percent of it was destroyed: in other words, it was favored by Fortune.

Not long ago something happened to Leni that has made her quite talkative, and she could hardly wait to tell it to her best friend, her chief confidante, who is also the Au. Before the impression arises that Leni has been deserted, we must list all those who are her friends, most of whom have stood by her through thin, two through thick and thin. The hospital is outside the city, in pleasant surroundings, laid out in bungalow style. In order to gain access to Margret, the Au. Be that as it may: Leni is suffering, Margret is suffering.

She now lives in retirement in the country, where an old-age pension, a vegetable patch, a few fruit trees, a dozen hens, and a half-interest in a pig and a calf in whose fattening she shares, ensure her a reasonably pleasant old age. She is horrified at the way people are treating her Leni, whom she really knows very well, certainly better than the man whose name Leni bears ever knew her.

She is horrified at the things that are happening to Leni and the threats being made to her, and is even prepared to believe certain historical atrocities which hitherto she has not exactly regarded as impossible but of whose extent she was skeptical. A special position among the informants is that occupied by Dr. Herweg Schirtenstein, the music critic. For forty years he has been living in the rear portion of an apartment that forty years ago might have been regarded as baronial but which after World War I declined in prestige and was subdivided. Were he to suspect that it is Leni who, after many years of rather ineffectual practice, has learned to play two, although only two, pieces by Schubert with consummate mastery, and in such a way that even decades of repetition have not bored Schirtenstein, perhaps he would change his mind about Leni—he, the critic who inspired even a Monique Haas not only with dread but with respect.

It will be necessary to return later to Schirtenstein, who subsequently and inadvertently entered upon an erotic relationship with Leni that was not so much telepathic as telesensual. In all fairness it must be said that Schirtenstein would have stuck with Leni through thick and thin, but: he never had an opportunity.

At more or less regular intervals, he either visits Leni or is visited by her. Lotte is as full of information as she is bitter, although her bitterness has never been directed at Leni; Lotte is fifty-seven, a war widow like Leni, and works in an office. I am afraid they would.

Further informants, not necessarily the least important, are: Dr. Because of a chain of circumstances, which will also be explained when the time comes, Scholsdorff now finds himself in the upper hierarchy of the income-tax department; he intends to terminate this career shortly by way of early retirement. A further Slavic specialist, Dr. Henges, plays a subsidiary role; in any case, as an informant he lacks credibility, although he is aware of this lack and even stresses it, indeed almost enjoys it.

Unasked, Henges has admitted that, while in. It is the work of affirmation, for it proclaims the values of humanity and the unquenchable vitality of the spirit. This is a fascinating book on many levels. It's a book about 20th century German history, human nature amidst chaos, an intriguing cast of characters, and political commentary presented with sarcastic humor within a complex but effective format.

This is a novel for advanced users only. It reminded me at several points of Kubrick's Barry Lyndon in that I was aware I was engaged upon a great piece of art so serious its creator was prepared to make absolutely no allowances for pacing and had complete confidence in his audience to submit to this. I consider myself an advanced user and for much of the novel I struggled with the pace.

Frankly, I could have done with a little more Blitzkrieg and a little less Cold War.

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Still, there is much to enjoy here. There's something unusual going on. It took me a while to figure it out.

My theory is as follows: The novel is about construction and deconstruction. The chapter divisions make no sense. They are arbitrary divisions as blocks of text are moved into or out of place. The scaffolding is still up, so to speak, and it is not clear if the novel is in the process of construction or deconstruction.

Group Portrait Lady by Boll, Signed

Is the novel under construction? This motif is reflected again and again in other ways, perhaps most obviously in Leni and her father who runs a construction company of course but also more subtly in other characters. And also in the setting of Germany itself, where Nazism constructs the country from the ruins of the Treaty of Versailles but in the process destroys it.

At the same time as he constructs her in the reader's mind by giving information he is also deconstructing her from a person into a few pieces of information. Here at Walmart. Your email address will never be sold or distributed to a third party for any reason.

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