Ben Hutchinson

Weimarana

Tales from the Underworld

By

Penguin 305pp £9.99 order from our bookshop

The rediscovery of Hans Fallada in the English-speaking world provides an intriguing case study of retrospective canon formation. After a troubled, unsettled life shaped in turns by morphine, alcohol, prison, suicide attempts and sheer bad luck, Rudolf Ditzen (Hans Fallada was a pen name taken from the Brothers Grimm) died in obscurity in 1947. While he remained an established name in Germany after his death – a ten-volume edition of his selected works began appearing in 1962 – it was with the astonishing international reception of Michael Hofmann’s translation of Alone in Berlin (2009) that Fallada abruptly became fashionable again. Scenting success, Penguin published a version of another novel, A Small Circus, by the same translator in 2012; two years later, they have issued a collection of short stories under the title Tales from the Underworld. Suddenly, Fallada is a ‘modern classic’.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,