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Kästner! - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon — LiveJournal
August 14th, 2003
06:03 pm


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I have found the perfect books to practice my German on: Erich Kästner's works! I'll order them in September, so that I can start reading them in October, after the Göthe-Institut crash course in September.

Ach, sweet childhood memories...

What's that you say? Never heard of Kästner? Do yourself a favor: drop everything and read Emil and the Detectives as soon as possible. Embarrassingly (for you Anglophones, that is!), Kästner's virtually unknown and untranslated in(to) English.

Current Mood: nostalgic
Current Music: Björk -- There's More To Life Than This

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:August 14th, 2003 08:50 am (UTC)

I love those books! Erik and the detectives most, but also Lise and Lotte, and the other Emil book.

I know that both Emil and the Detectives and Lise & Lotte are made in to films in the US, so perhaps there's hope for them too? But as always the books are best!
[User Picture]
Date:August 14th, 2003 09:11 am (UTC)

Right. And how about May 35th? And Pünktchen and Anton? Ahh, Kästner. He also wrote some other things beside children's literature; it would be interesting to encounter those for the first time in German. Ooh, I can't wait!

P.S. I need to ask you something; please contact me on ICQ/AIM/MSN. Thanks.
[User Picture]
Date:August 14th, 2003 01:05 pm (UTC)
I remember seeing that Kästner had written much more that I'd read, but I never got around to borrow it form the libary. Perhaps I should check it out next time (if it's translated into something I know).
[User Picture]
Date:August 14th, 2003 01:15 pm (UTC)

finally, a kastner lover.

I lived by his books and read them so many times I remember most of them by heart. My favorites are 35th of may, The little man, The animal assembly and The flying class. I also own most of them.
Also read one book of his that wasn't intended for children, named Three Men in the Snow.
[User Picture]
Date:August 18th, 2003 06:40 am (UTC)

ooh! the little man

i had it once, translated to hebrew. years after i assumed that gronich's "ROZA MARZIPAN" was based on that book.
[User Picture]
Date:August 14th, 2003 05:48 pm (UTC)

Erich kastner is one of my favorites. I particularly love 35th of May.
You just sparked a trip down memory lane for me!
[User Picture]
Date:August 14th, 2003 10:17 pm (UTC)

Das doppelte Lottchen, of course!
[User Picture]
Date:August 14th, 2003 11:41 pm (UTC)

That's an excellent idea!

I remember reading those books together, and looking at the wonderful pictures...
Remember that?
I loved Kastner's books.
[User Picture]
Date:August 15th, 2003 01:37 pm (UTC)
"The Flying Classroom" was always my favorite of the lot, strangely enough.
"Strangely", I say, because I have always been a big fan of fantastic literature, but my favorite Kastner (spare me the umlaut, please, I don't remember how to bring it in) is the least fantastic of them all. Still, I do so love the characters. I re-read it every few years, and never tire of it.
[User Picture]
Date:August 17th, 2003 01:56 am (UTC)

May 35th is one of my all time favourites!

That book never fails to make me laugh.
(And in it Kestner invented the cellular phone...)
[User Picture]
Date:August 17th, 2003 06:18 am (UTC)

No cells involved...

He envisioned the mobile phone, certainly.

And yes, it's still a hilarious book.
Date:August 18th, 2003 04:40 am (UTC)

Re: No cells involved...

Kaestner is well known as a children book author but he also wrote several novels for 'adults'.
one of them, "Drei Maenner im Schnee" was the first book I had read in German from cover to cover, and in the city it was written in, on top of it all. The book was also made into a film (I havnt managed to find that yet) sometime in the 30's, though I am not sure if it was in English or in German. Additionally, a short search in IMDB shows that two further versions have been made of the movie, one of them supposedly narrated by the author himself.
In short, do yourself a favour, find the works of Kaestner for adults for an easy, flowing read in German.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2003 03:03 pm (UTC)

Drei Männer im Schnee and adult novels

There are several movie versions of "Drei Männer im Schnee":

1936. SW. Stackars miljonärer.
R: Ragnar Arvedson und Tanered Ibsen.

1936. CS. Tri muzi ve snehv.
D: Vladimir Slavinský.

1938. USA. Paradise for Three.
D: Edward Buzzell.

1955. A. Drei Männer im Schnee.
D: Kurt Hoffmann.

1974. BRD. Drei Männer im Schnee.
D: Alfred Vohrer.

The most popular version in Germany is the Austrian one of 1955.

One of Kästner's adult novels is "Fabian. Die Geschichte eines Moralisten". I've read it at high school. It's a satire, dealing with the desparate situation of people in Germany in the early 30s. I can only warn you: it's not funny like his children's books but rather dark and cynical.
Another famous one I read but couldn't find listed here is "Die Konferenz der Tiere".
Kästner is a must in Germany. I loved his books.
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