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Toni Morrison, Race, review

Dear readers of my blog,

little did I imagine when first thinking of presenting this book of excerpts to you that this post would become a belated obituary of a writer I only really started to appreciate during our summer holiday.

Toni Morrison, born in Ohio on 18th February 1931, died in New York City on 5th August 2019. In a way I try to pay homage today to a brave woman whose writings when I finally turned to them convinced me at once of a quality I am now sorry not to have tasted of before 15th and 16th July last when I read Race, a short book of essays and extracts from novels I had never even heard talk about.


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Julian Barnes: The only story, review

Dear readers of my blog,

when on holiday for most of last month I had leisure to read and write on books I had received as gift, some of which I am going to keep, while there are others that do not fit into any of my collections. All the same, I want to place on record my view of them, perhaps recommend them to you as worth your while.

Julian Barnes is an English writer many people have continued to praise to me. A friend of mine has also written several essays on him which I was privy to peruse before publication, so he was a familiar name when his novel The only story arrived in a birthday parcel.

Here are the publication details:

Julian Barnes, The only story, London: Vintage, 2019 (2018). 216 pp.

ISBN 987-1-52911-066-1

Youll find out about the price yourself. Allow me to recommend your local bookseller!


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Oscar Wilde and Company: German, Jewish, Irish, and Romance Studies

Dear readers of my blog,

having returned from the class trip to Berlin – where it was as hot as it had been in the same calendar week in 2012 and where I was strictly offline concentrating on people and places around me – it took me five working-days to live up to the demands a commuters professional and family life imposes in both analogical and digital terms.


I now hope to resume a more or less regular blog on “Oscar Wilde and Company” which catch-title, following several trains of thought both on Baltrum beach in the summer and in Berlin streets last week, as well as on the phone to some friends of long standing, should be read in context with a sub-title: “German, Jewish, Irish, and Romance Studies”. While there are several posts in waiting, today I want to turn your attention to a query that reached me from a friend based at Heidelberg, a Kleist and Kafka scholar and editor as well as an Anglophile, who needs help with a quotation taking from George Bernard Shaw and cited in one of Kafkas notebooks (“Quarthefte”).


The situation is a bit complicated. Having discovered that the quote – you find the German translation and the original below – stems from the “Preface” to the first American publication of “The irrational knot” (1905), my friend is puzzled by the fact that this text is missing from the first German edition “Die törichte Heirat”, translated by Wilhelm Cremer (Berlin 1909), someone who also translated Oscar Wilde into German at the time.


Since Franz Kafka did not have any English, his question simply is where did he find the text of the “Preface”? He and I would be extremely grateful if someone came up with a solution.


German translation:

FK zitiert im November 1911 GB Shaw:
„Aber trotzdem ich ein starker junger Mensch war und meine Familie sich in üblen Umständen befand, warf ich mich nicht in den Kampf des Lebens; ich warf meine Mutter hinein und liess mich von ihr erhalten. Ich war meinem alten Vater keine Stütze, im Gegenteil, ich hieng mich an seine Rockschösse.“

English original text:
„I was an ablebodied and ableminded young man in the strength of my youth; and my family, then heavily embarrassed, needed my help urgently. That I should have chosen to be a burden to them instead was, according to all the conventions of peasant lad fiction, monstrous. Well, without a blush I embraced the monstrosity. I did not throw myself into the struggle for life: I threw my mother into it. I was not a staff to my father's old age: I hung on to his coat tails.”


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Wildes Hauptwerk

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"Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray"

Über mich

Jörg W. Rademacher (*1962), born and bred in Westphalia. Attended university at Münster, Dundee and Lille. State exam in 1988. Ph.D. In 1993. Scholar, language teacher as well as writer and translator at Münster until 2002. Since 2002 secondary school teacher, writer and translator in East Frisia. Working on Wilde since 1988. Publishing on Wilde since 2000 as biographer and editor and translator, on a regular basis with Elsinor Verlag since 2012, since 2015 also editor and translator of Oscar Wilde calendars.

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