The Clown

( 5 )

Overview

Through the eyes of a despairing artist, Hans Schneir, who recreates in his pantomimes incidents in people's lives with honesty and compassion, Boll draws a revealing portrait of German society under Hitler and in the postwar years.
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The Clown

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Overview

Through the eyes of a despairing artist, Hans Schneir, who recreates in his pantomimes incidents in people's lives with honesty and compassion, Boll draws a revealing portrait of German society under Hitler and in the postwar years.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
THE ESSENTIAL HEINRICH BÖLL

"Melville House has now reissued handsome paperbacks of three of Böll's most important novels, and in each we find the 1972 Nobel Prize winner, with a humanist's skepticism and tenderness, refusing to allow his fellow Germans to forgive themselves and move on.... [In The Clown] the abstractions of existentialism are manifested in vivid flesh-and-blood characters."
—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

“Böll is an expert marksman: the arrows are sharp, the feathers smooth, the targets numerous.”
—The New York Times

“Moving . . . highly charged . . . filled with gentleness, high comic spirits, and human sympathy.”
—Christian Science Monitor

"His work reaches the highest level of creative originality and stylistic perfection."
The Daily Telegraph

"The renewal of German literature, to which Heinrich Böll's achievements witness, and of which they are a significant part, is not an experiment with form. Instead it is a rebirth out of annihilation, a resurrection, a culture which, ravaged by icy nights and condemned to extinction, sends up new shoots, blossoms, and matures to the joy and benefit of us all."
—The Nobel Prize Committee

“A man of deep feeling and intelligence, speaking in a strongly contemporary voice, [Böll] recorded in his early stories the way it felt to come home to a destroyed country. The tone was neither angry, ironic nor surreal. On the contrary, these stories gave us the slow-moving thoughtfulness of a narrator in pain, walking about on a lunar landscape, knowing he must make sense of things more quickly than he is able to do.”
—Vivian Gornick, The New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935554172
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 361,895
  • Product dimensions: 8.42 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 30, 2014

    A brilliant book...one of the finest examinations of the artisti

    A brilliant book...one of the finest examinations of the artistic life in print. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Clown is a thought provoking novel, dealing with powerful th

    The Clown is a thought provoking novel, dealing with powerful themes. On the surface this is the story of Hans Schneir, moderately successful clown, who's long time girlfriend has recently left him. Intertwined with this story are reminiscences of Hans' past, reveling his hatred of his mother, the political elite of post-war West Germany, and the Catholic Church. With sharp humor Boll eviscerates these hypocrites, who, while today proclaim they fight for tolerance and reconciliation, are the same people who only yesterday fought to cleanse the German soil of the Jewish infestation. But as we come to know Hans Schneir more and more intimately we begin to wonder if we can trust his assessment. It becomes obvious that Hans' hatred is wrapped up in his own personal loss, and even more obvious that Hans is incapable of taking responsibility for his own failures, instead casting blame on all those around him. There can be no doubt that the hypocrisies Hans loathes are real, but are they the true origin of his disdain? Is his hatred of Catholicism justified by a domineering Church which he see as forcing its values on society as a whole, or is it the same kind of reactionary hatred which led to the rise of Hitler and National Socialism? Perhaps it's both. And that's the beauty of Boll's masterpiece

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    Posted February 1, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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