The Narrative Fiction of Heinrich Boll: Social Conscience and Literary Achievementby Michael Butler
This book is a comprehensive study of the narrative fiction of Heinrich Böll (1917–1985). Böll's first published stories date from 1947, and his was one of the first original voices to emerge from the physical and moral devastation left by the collapse of Hitler's Germany. Twenty-five years later he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and at his death in 1985 he was the best-known and most controversial writer of his generation. Attacked and admired in equal measure, he was widely acknowledged as the uncomfortable and uncompromising 'conscience of the nation'. This new study assesses Böll's creative achievement in the context of the society which helped to shape it, referring frequently to his essays, speeches and interviews where these throw light on his moral, aesthetic and political preoccupations. The analysis reveals the work of a conservative moralist and constantly embattled intellectual, who developed into a writer of European stature.
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