Line or character definition I have found this literary uality to be true in masterpieces by James Joyce Proust Faulkner Gaddis Gass Virginia Woolf and many other genius literary novelists In fact telling a tale in a new literary style distinguishes a good writer from a great one in my book So much so that I tend to discount straight ahead narrative styles as mundane and seek out novelists ngaged in stylistic innovation Heinrich Boll is a novelist who wants to narrate in a new way He is focused upon German society during and after World War II when that nation was obliterated by Russian American British and French allies Boll s story is presented as a portrait of a lady Leni Pfeiffer against the backdrop of a group her friends family colleagues religious advisers and lovers The Author Au presents this portrait in such a way that we see the protagonist with incredibly precise brush strokes from the point of view of the Author making a bureaucratic inuiry of Leni and through his research we come to know her by way of what others tell him about her In this sense we also come to know the Group based upon their perspectives in their narrations about the lady Leni may well be one of the finest character studies of the 20th century because of the narrative style driving the story line The story itself primarily has to do with members of German society high and low as they cope with the advance of American and Russian troops toward the close of World War II inside Germany This time period was so intense that its impact became telling in the way it defined the characters by their wit intelligenceresourcefulness and integrity under pressure Boll introduces a cast at the outset as if the novel were a dramatic production To gain the most from your reading I would advise you to spend a few minutes understanding the players at the start and then refer back to them a few times as you move forward There are two Heinrich s for xample in the cast and the Au likes to abbreviate the players so that they sometimes may seem unclear as references in the narration The author seems determined that you ll know his characters so well that you ll follow them ven when he refers only to their initials William Gaddis took a similar approach when in JR he declined to define any of the speakers in his National Book Award Winning Novel Boll manages to create a 3D person from the 2D pages of his book in his narrative techniue and is able to drive a story line through his use of actual vents in WWII in Germany The view from inside Germany during its capitulation is intriguing as told by Boll who fought in and lived through the war The intensity of human xperience tends to ramp up xponentially of course when an Au has witnessed first hand what Boll actually saw inside Germany During WWII At First I WWII At first I a bit taken aback by the literary style and translation but with a modicum of patience it drove me into interiors of consciousness of the group and the lady in an uncommonly penetrating narrative Of course Boll became a Nobel Prize Winner and leading light within PEN International in large part because of the densely rich and nlightening narrative style of this novel If you like literary novels then odds are you will love this one I would consider it a masterpiece by virtue
its invention in style A couple of YEARS AGO I READ THE LOST ago I read the Lost of Katharina Blum in which Boll through the xperience of a German woman pulls apart the tabloid hunt for sensationalism with sharp wit and At the center of this novel is a 48 year old German lady Leni Gruyten Pfeiffer The narrator is the author but he refers to himself in the third person There are so many other characters however that before the story starts the author has a 2 12 page List of Characters which the reader would very now and then refer back to as a guideThe author s apparent aim is to know who Leni is He narrates of the countless interviews he made upon all these other characters and ven other minor characters not in the initial list who at times would give contradictory impressions not only about Leni but her immediate family co workers husband in laws lovers and friends Sometimes a curious incident told by one character would somehow be xplained by the narration of another characterThe tone of the author s narration is somber and scholarly The setting is wartime Germany second world war But the reader is saved from complete boredom because of the deadpan humor permeating the first to the last page of this novel It ven has a happy ndingThe thing which pisses me off here however is not only those many characters but also the author s propensity to abbreviate things Referring to himself the author becomes simply Au A character named Klementina would suddenly just become K Tears are T weeping is W suffering is S laughterlaughing is L and beatitude or bliss is a mere B So you have to dog ar page 106 and go back to it whenever you see a sentence like Leniis pale from P and S totally debilitated by W and T without ven a suggestion of the rudiments of LIt s not ven clear why the Au is so much interested with Leni On page 259 he said he is a researcher But why is he researching on Leni On page 365 he says his desire to conduct a research on Leni s life manated from neither a terrestial nor a celestial authority it was EXISTENTIALHeinrich what the F do you mean by that. Rista Pelzer alla prostituta Margret Attraverso le testimonianze di uanti l'hanno freuentata attraverso foto lettere oggetti personali l'autore ricostruisce una biografia che è insieme immagine di un'epoca di un ambien.
Of Its Invention In
Heinrich Böll ✓ 3 readApparently this is the novel that was singled out by the Nobel Prize committee when analysing B ll s work up to this point describing it as his most grandly conceived work of which I wouldn t argue From what I ve of read him thus far this is certainly the most challenging and broadest in scope as by tracing Leni Pfeiffer s life through half a century of German history he paints with such scrutinizing detail a portrait of a woman a city and a nation But I asked myself on completion did I prefer it to The Clown Billiards at Half Past Nine or And Never Said a Word and the conclusion is no Two main reasons why first certain parts of it dragged on too long for me it felt like walking up an scalator that was heading in the opposite direction And second he at times indulges in sort of sentimental whimsiness to my surprise and forces a too A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, easy optimistic conclusion to his story If I push these issues aside though I still found much to like about it mostly down to the fact that B ll has seldom moved any distance from writing realistic narratives of his homeland He has shown less aptitude and interest inxperimenting than many other writers who are left their mark on modern literature in Germany and The Shadow Reader elsewhereThough she rents out rooms Leni Pfeiffer 48 facesviction from her apartment in Cologne She cannot keep her creditors away and as a war widow with her only son is in jail for forging checks to get her off the hook she cannot hold on without his income Her total indifference to profit and property are anomalous The building she is in doesn t yield Cinderella Unmasked (Fairytale Fantasies enough income her roomers are foreign laborers and despite the fact she has lived here all her life that she s known the landlord for thirty years that his grandson was her son s godfather when he was christened at the tailnd of the war times are changing and loyalties shift Folk gossip about Leni as a loose woman because she has taken up with one of her renters yet she has had only four lovers in her nearly 50 years including a love affair with a Russian prisoner and much of the novel tells this tale But with a difference To paint what he pretends is a purely factual portrait of Leni B ll himself appears in the book as The Au the Author working as a combination investigative reporter sociologist and detective In this guise he interviews the sixty characters who know or have known Leni at various points in her life and what merges from this wry pseudo documentary is also a social portrait of Cologne from the 1920 s to his present a Joycean style vocation of a city and its assorted people B ll gathers his material to The Power Of A Choice exhibit thatven in Germany life goes on under the surface and the lies of history despite the concussive power of ideologies and individual rapacity By taking a biographical route he dramatizes the impossibility of generalizing about people and makes us feel the vast gaps that xist between political slogans and moral actualities between those who slyly ride with the times and those like Leni who could lose their wealth their family and social position ll s decision to put a woman at the heart of Group Portrait with Lady could be seen as a direct xpression of his strong rotic and moral affection for women which could be the result of a previously blocked nergy due to the anger he so often feels toward German men and masculine society in general In a way compared to his The Case for Paleolibertarianism and Realignment on the Right earlier novels Group Portrait with Lady can be seen as his anti novel and the I think about it the it closely resembles a researched report It s an impressive work for sure and maybe his best achievement but that doesn t mean it s my favourite The titular character Leni is seen via the point of view of a number of characters heartless harlot timorous and timidmpty headed and sensitive and open to art the depiction of Leni is a testament to
The Many Different Andmany different and contradictory ways by which other see us Boll Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling employs a number of different styles often dependent on the narrator often these act as pastiches and parodies whether it is the lazy and jocular cliches of journalese or the highfalutin style of post modernism Bollxplores and utilises these various styles to depict the lives of the characters Leni interacts with Beneath all of this lies the Nazi regime in which most of the the novel takes place and the sense of madness and paranoia it Monsieur Pain engenders Indeed the vast almost innumerable number of characters can be slightly discombobulating for the reader who is left dizzy by Boll sver changing jittery and frenetic style an interesting and original if not always ntirely successful form of literary xperimentation Group Portrait With Lady is perhaps of an intellectual than motional success What a marvelous marvelous book If you ve never read B ll at the height of his powers you ve a treat in store Humane funny rich poignant full of irony and love and compassion A great book not to put too fine a point on it 359 Gruppenbild mit Dame Group Portrait With Lady Heinrich B llGroup Portrait with Lady German Gruppenbild mit Dame is a novel by Nobel Prize winning author Heinrich B ll published in 1971 The novel centers around a woman named Leni and her friends foes lovers mployers and others and in the nd tells the stories of all these people in a small city in western Germany in the 1930s and 1940s 1984 20 1362 448 1377 557 9644160991 1383 557 1384 1388 978964329. Uesto romanzo di Boll offre uno spaccato di cinuant'anni di vita tedesca dall'età guglielmina al secondo dopoguerra Nella sua indagine su Leni donna sensuale di carattere che attraversa gli venti più drammatici della. 0788 1392 1972 Spoilers hereThis must be called Experimental Fiction conflicted and preoccupied as it is with uivalent ways of telling the story Let s start againFor some reason author B ll hits on the idea that mindless categorizing cross filing a relentless focus on hierarchies and designations an accountant s myopia of receipts and stubs well no there is some method to all that Once againA book so willingly obtuse bloodyminded and so obsessively nitpicking that no once There are somewhere near 125 persons who come into play in Heinrich B ll s xperimental novel Group Portrait With Lady Sixty one of them are outlined in the helpful List Of Characters in the front of the book By surreptitiously refocusing or maybe zooming out from his central character the lady B ll manages to render the collective insanity of Germany in the war years and thereafter or maybe it is the madness of insanity of Germany in the war years and thereafter or maybe it is the madness of century that produces this Germany By overdoing the scrutiny on the minima of the ra the author is able to slowly reveal the wider impact Somehow the war and horror is felt than told when detail is so foreground that the reader must read into the subtext for the headline vents There is so much raw data being racked up that the reader has to listen for reverberations trailing in the distance to get any sense of the overall world at hand As mentioned there dozens of characters which means dozens of narrators dozens of threads they are called informants in the book witnesses nearly all so unreliable that truth seems laughable As may be appreciated these add up to a very palpable sense of the wartime realities of these people only detail and minima in the frame and yet danger and moral collapse an pidemic all around The cruelty of wartime scam and black marketeering fantasias like the Siegfried Line forced labor for unknown beneficiaries the morbid fakery wherein wartime Memorial Wreaths are switched out post funeral to new clients as they Glitter Bomb (A Scrapbooking Mystery, e A wonderful work of art Construction and destruction of a narrative architecture shown in the process of building with the scaffold still raised to support the work thus hiding vital parts of the architecture behind it B ll is obsessed with building and destroying materials housesvidence characters His stories are made up of Tr mmerlandschaften those scary skeletons of German cities and their inhabitants during and after the Second World War witnesses of bombed out history B ll s protagonists wade through the rubbish heaps of their former identities to find bits and pieces that make sense that add to a cubist portrait of their self brownish grayish broken up into shards of different sizes and coloursA feeling for analytical cubism is reuired for the author to make sense of the fragmented story lines with their shared hiatus in the war But Il morto di Maigret each character s hiatus is in a different spot at a different moment When didach person break lose a part of their life change into a new form It depends The detective work is made harder still by the synthetic cubist portraits the protagonists have created of themselves after the war Into flat undefined shapes they have drawn minimalist lines to indicate the person they have become starting at point zero ignoring the broken shards of their pastThe plot seems
yet tedious the beginning A narrator referring to himself as the author sets out to describe the life of a shy but sensual woman called Leni Pfeiffer There are numerous sources of information which he interviews repeatedly to put together a complete picture of Leni s love life and friendships from the beginning of the war until the 1960sNaturally the sources turn out to be biased to have their own ideas about what happened and why and as the story progresses the author gets to know the interviewees much better than the woman he wants to write about She remains strangely remote It is a group portrait but the lady stays in the backgroundIn the nd ven the objective role of the author shows cracks and he reveals his weaknesses biases and his involvement in the delicate relationships between different characters leaving the reader to suspect that the house the author built and hid behind the scaffold of his narrative progress looks uite different in reality if there ven is such a thing as ONE reality Evidence provided by unreliable sources points to the opposite conclusionThe novel shows with heartbreaking clarity how the war shapes people how identities get lost and are ntangled in complicated dangerous webs of interdependence and how power structures Globalization: A Multi-Dimensional System, Third Edition evolve and influence relationships The balance is changing all the time In March 1945 it may still be safest to keep a Nazi facade but in April that may be outright dangerous forxample What to do if all you want is to live Love is in the strangest of places and social boundaries don t count when you hide in a graveyard waiting for the bombs to stop falling on your beloved city The soldiers who survive the war often carry their fragmented past visibly with them coming home as amputees For Leni the ordeal doesn t start until the war is over and she has to face the hatred of her neighbourhood for raising a child by a Russian loverEverything is loosely connected but not straightforward Broken lines Tr mmerAbsolutely outstanding novel It is often the mark of a truly great book that style is at least as important as other aspects such a story. Germania contemporanea l'autore veste i panni del cronista mettendosi sulle tracce di tutti colori che l'hanno conosciuta dal fratello poeta che si distrugge per sottrarsi all'abiezione del nazismo a suor Rahel dall'affa. .easy yet tedious