And All Without Love
Fontane's Timeless Heroines
112pp (23,000 words)
>>For the 200th anniversary of Fontane’s birth: an entertaining literary introduction to his greatest female characters
Is the great storyteller of German realism, Theodor Fontane, just another dusty old classroom classic these days? Absolutely not!
In AND ALL WITHOUTH LOVE, Burkhard Spinnen takes a journey through Fontane’s work that is both respectful and radical. Spinnen reads the eight “Berlin” novels without any interest in historical dress or local colour, as though they didn’t take place in nineteenth-century Wilhelmine Germany but in a timeless here and now. In doing so, elements emerge that are still current or are becoming so again. Spinnen takes a direct look at the timeless striving of the characters for self-determination and happiness. And All Without Love arranges the characters in Fontane’s social novels into a literary family, stretching from the steadfast Poggenpuhl sisters to the eternally childlike Effi Briest, the self-effacing Lene Nimptsch and Mathilde Möhring, who stands on her own two feet. Spinnen illustrates the internal coherence of Fontane’s oeuvre, making his work accessible to younger readers.
»I want to encourage readers to read Fontane’s novels as an exploration of burning questions that still demand answers.«
»An entertaining and highly stimulating journey through Fontane's work that offers a refreshingly different view of the great German novelist.«
Ronald Schneider, ekz
»An unconvential, unique and individual tribute to Fontane.«
Thorsten Paprotny, literaturkritik.de
»An excellently written essay that frees Fontane's novels from the dust of history and puts them in a contemporary perspective. A prime example of philological vitality.«
Ursula März, Deutschlandfunk Kultur