Novel “Game Time” by Ulla Hahn

As a continuous event and narrative stream without chapter divisions we exquisitely Hilla Palms Cologne Study 1967 and 1968. According to them, a generation is named, which stands for renewal, riots, revolution and liberation. She freed institutions of encrusted structures, the recent history of repression, thinking of taboos and many people from constricting conventions. Hilla himself freed at last from their capsule and flourishes.

Hilla, which is Hildegard (as “the uncorrupted Daktylus my name”) or Heldejaad (within the family) and Ulla Hahn. The author playing flirty with the principle of the German language, the original author and narrator are twofold.

She tells her own Vita hardly encrypted (from the childhood home Monheim is the fictional Dondorf, both on the Rhine, from the Neustraße 2, the old route 2) and yet old with a little distance to the ego : Hilla remains trapped in their story time; Ulla ( “I, the author”) commented occasionally from her today looking back at Hilla, and of course it has created narrative.

What is worth telling in this life? Heldejaad is “dat Kenk vun nem Prolete”, the unskilled, unpolished factory worker Josef Palm and his wife Maria. In two previous novels popular (infra), we have learned how the intelligent girl in the oppressive narrowness of his Catholic middle-class family and a small town in the Rhine grows Adenauer province. Only thanks to the support of the pastor, but above all thanks to their strong personality and rebelliousness they can develop their intellectual skills against many odds: You read tons of books, visited the middle school, after an apprenticeship that Aufbaugymnasium, ferienjobbt at the local pharmaceutical company, wants finally, studying in Cologne German.

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Hilla (the self-imposed update proletarian kölsch-her name as a middle ground between the and the high German-formal variant) can thanks “Honnef Model” (a student loan precursor) a meager single room in strictly controlled Catholic Hildegard relate (von Bingen) -Kolleg from where the city reveals itself from them. In her roommates, she meets modern lady whose real background to know whose clothes, behavior and beliefs they admired, admired or ridiculed.

Ever since childhood with an enthusiasm for everything Language, fired Hilla what they at the Uni learn. hanging on the lips impressive teaching personalities, she sucks effortlessly philological principles in on, is fascinated by everything that has to offer the Institute in the classical canon between Old High German, Gryphius, Schiller and Benn, takes eagerly talks, the eyes also holds for other disciplines open. Even as a fifteen-year-old she had instigated an uprising against the prescribed work intensification in the pill factory; in Cologne she protests with fellow students in the rain against a KVB fare increase – the first political demonstration of many of which they will tell.

In their regular visits home in Dondorf it shall report.. Her family has since not only resigned, but proudly on the idiosyncratic career of their wise Heldejaad that gives them unprecedented in Dondorf Prestige (garnished with suspicion and resentment) provides. Amazed and open-minded than before they take part. The stronger Hilla hired at the university and in the exciting intellectual milieu of students and teachers, the less likely she is drawn to the province. She outgrows its roots, without their solidarity with them, losing the understanding of their family and their home.

The decisive stimulus in Hilla’s life brings Hugo Breidenbach, a higher semester, literary, theological and philosopisch with all waters washed, a sovereign, critical intellectual and a sensitive human nature. The two find each other at a Carnival party, both armored with thick costumes as sexless small animals. First they learn their thoughts to know, before he introduces them patiently and carefully in love – for them an act of liberation, because she is traumatized since rape. With Hugo, she manages to break definitively from their “capsule” and develop their undisguised self.

By Hugo finds it way into usually hermetic circles. The Breidenbach are the very core of Cologne plutocracy, are unheard of callous arrogant and unbelievable. Strange that nothing, absolutely nothing has been inherited from the traditional arrogance to shoot Hugo. Where did he get his relaxed open-mindedness, his intellectual integrity?

Together pursue Hilla and Hugo closely and with great intensity, which was designated in 1968 as a “student riots” of 1967 and. Students demonstrate at the universities and in the cities, the SDS assumes the leading role, the shooting of Benno Ohnesorg shake the Republic, Rudi Dutschke intrigued listeners masses, conservative politics are unimpressed, the Bild-Zeitung rushes, the “working class”, whose ” liberation “so much is demanded, remains passive, the ideology also accesses the bourgeois culture and calls for their conversion. Old privileges fall, braids are cut off, and citizens discover slowly new freedoms and rights. About the role of violence is disputed controversial terrorist ideas germinated only still in the ground.

The two are open to anything, discuss the revolutionary theories of rival factions, sympathize with the left ideals, but can not be collect , On the foundation of the Rhenish Catholicism, its solid form and with common sense, they maintain a critical distance. With intellectual fun they expose contradictions between theory and practice, self-interest of the spokesmen, linguistic acrobatics and make it creative funny. The outbreak of turtle Rudi from her balcony Prison portrayed as a revolutionary liberation.

The novel has many strengths and weaknesses. Amusing anecdotes and the many small Episödchen are: how the mixer according Dondorf came; like “Omma” the Stutenteig kneads ( “watching you, a pleasure … hardship turned into freedom benefits in Beauty”); as Flowerpower Dondorf reached; The receptions at the villa Breidenbach. They all capture incredibly accurate and often humorous, the environment, the spirit, the language of the time.

The novel is full of period atmosphere: pop songs, movies, cult pubs, slogans ( “burns Berlin, Cologne’s asleep”, “Have K 2 R always at hand, the stain is gone, with no margin “) and illustrated topics (” uncle Lou “and” the golden shot “, Beatrix and Claus von Amsberg, Kinsey Report and the” fair killer “). For German studies he opens a museum with titles ( “The language of art,” “Basic Concepts of Poetics”), topics ( “The blue flower in Novalis’ Heinrich von Ofterdingen “) and luminaries (Benno von Wiese, Fritz Tschirch, Gerhard Fricke, Erwin Scheuch, Ludwig Wittgenstein). In between lines are comments from the German literature (Gryphius returns the book title); are very interesting the comments on the personality and work of Ezra Pound.

The real focus of the work but the exact working up the political and social discourse. All the many lectures, readings, conversations, movies, meetings, demonstrations and disputes that lived through the formation hungry Hilla with or without their Hugo, they are meticulously again weaves an original text of leaflets, speeches, newspaper articles. The method of presentation is method. The broad understanding of processes and theories follows the verbatim logged discussion between Hilla, Hugo, family or friends with subsequent judgment which rightly puts things.

However, the question arises, what profit brings the procedure to project the political development in Hilla personal level down ( “the father was proved right.”). So masterfully create the author great character portraits white (about Hugo’s family), so their figures still remain largely one-dimensional mouthpieces ideological perspectives.

Moreover, missing the family staff the potential for conflict. Basically, all honestly, striving understanding, left, and a believer in God; Hugo is simply flawless. The tone of the stories about the private lives is always jovial cheerful; sometimes you feel a bit indignant. Only Breidenbach remain as reactionary owls left out.

Pure pleasure prepares linguistic diversity. Wonderful poems, which specified how much vaunted poet in her prose. Extensively uses them to characterize the Rhenish dialect (a touch Carnival by pervades the book). If necessary, they shall be forfeited from the quiet narrative in a paratactic reportage style, chaffed her sentences. Now and then she can go behind the scenes of the words makes my hyphen their ‘materiality’ aware ( “with-share”), distorted and deformed it ( “syllable silver”, “fairy girl”). The language games are not funny in itself, but support the statement effect as the private language of the protagonist circumnavigated with their own creations taboos and intimate understanding expresses ( “clearing”, “There”, “The”, “Derdaoben”) and the phrase jargon of the left scene some voids content dubbed.

A tremendously clever, spiritless and knowledgeable book, then, and yet these six hundred pages can end up unsatisfied. Too much politics and too little plot? Too much detail and too little drama? Too much intellect and too little warmth?

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Novel “Game Time” by Ulla Hahn. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from

Novel “Game Time” by Ulla Hahn
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