Innerfar and Bluff, or The Southern Cross: Two Novels by Gerhard Koepf

Overview

This book comprises two novels by the celebrated twentieth-century German author Gerhard Kopf: his first novel, Innerfar, and Bluff, or the Southern Cross. The first of these celebrates in fictional form the life and destiny of the hostess of the first meeting of the German literary Group 47, now fifty years old, which set an enduring stamp on the development of post-War German literature. Containing many of the themes to be developed in Kopf's later fiction, the book is a search for identity through memory and ...
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Overview

This book comprises two novels by the celebrated twentieth-century German author Gerhard Kopf: his first novel, Innerfar, and Bluff, or the Southern Cross. The first of these celebrates in fictional form the life and destiny of the hostess of the first meeting of the German literary Group 47, now fifty years old, which set an enduring stamp on the development of post-War German literature. Containing many of the themes to be developed in Kopf's later fiction, the book is a search for identity through memory and storytelling. Bluff is a simple story of the search for liberation and the unshackling of the imagination, of dreaming of far-away places, and the friendship between two boys, one from the East and the other from West Germany.GERHARD KOPF was born in 1948 in Pfronten/Algau, southern Bavaria; he is the author of numerous essays, stories, and plays for the stage and radio, as well as a number of novels. LESLIE WILLSON is a member of the New York P.E.N. Center and the Mainz Academy of the Sciences and of Literature.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In these two short novels, the Bavarian-born Kpf plunges into a thick exploration of insanity and the imagination in order to tackle concernsGerman-ness, freedom, revelation through fantasythat he shares with other postwar German novelists. Innerfar is set in the imaginary region of Thulsern (the setting of There is No Borges and Papa's Suitcase, both of which have been translated into English) and pays homage to Gruppe 47, the literary group that greatly influenced postwar German writing. Free-spirited Karlina is modeled on the Gruppe's originating hostess and is introduced as she enters an asylum soon before her death. Kpf's imagined memories of her provocative and inspired encounters with a young man years earlier are juxtaposed with the inquiry into madness undertaken by Karlina's therapist. Loss and fulfillment cohabit uneasily in the novel as Kpf purposefully blurs the distinction between reality and fantasy, truth and illusion, in order to make a rather Romantic point about the redemptive powers of the imagination. In Bluff, a teenager's longing for freedom and travel results in the freakish death of his best friend. During his ensuing identity crisis, he seeks guidance in an adopted grandfather and ultimately achieves understanding and resolution with the old man's passing. Kpf's prose, at least in this translation, is gnomic, often to the point of solipsism. He belabors the idea that the human spirit is nourished by the permutations of storytelling. In so doing, he inhibits the restorative powers of narrative he means to celebrate. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571131829
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/6/1997
  • Series: Germ Series
  • Pages: 252

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