New Novel by Bernhard Schlink “Olga”

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Olga Rinke is an edgy child with many properties. Because she lost her parents early, the hard-hearted, poor grandmother takes her to him. In the village in Pomerania all children must help in the field and in the garden. But Olga, a “stubborn, naughty, ungrateful child” and ambitious to do “more” than the other – to learn more, know more, more can and teacher in the organist in the priest finds sponsor their talents.

Herbert Schröder has no need of such support. The son of the rich landowner and his sister Victoria are taught by private tutors. Clothes, manners and language but the common people from. Their privileges give them the “haughty fearlessness of those who suffer no harm in their lives still to be feared,” she do but also lonely. In their separateness and their aspiration they are like the girl at the other edge of the village society.

This relationship leads Olga and Herbert together. From like-mindedness and friendship, love matures but any formal alliance is inopportune socially. Since threatens disinheritance, since the big guns will be driven to break the connection.

Meanwhile, Olga graduated from schools and teacher training college and taken up a position at their original village school. Victoria sets out all the stops so that they will completely offset far away from Herbert in a backwater north of Tilsit. But not disinheritance, not distance can break the love.

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If it was not Herbert’s desire for greater things. He read Nietzsche, and he decides to be “superman” one. Olga finds this talk though “hollow”, but admired the other hand, Herbert’s stately appearance and rigorous determination. His loud-mouthed speeches and his master race practices it has nothing to oppose. At heart he is drawn into the final frontier, in empty desert landscapes in the extreme regions of the Arctic, and his motivation requires the utmost “to make Germany great and great to be with Germany, even if it his atrocities against themselves and others demanded”.

Soon, offers him the expansionist policy of the Empire opportunities of probation. With “Hurray” is about 1904 by German Southwest. With cavalry, artillery and machine gun the German being fought heroically the poor Herero ( “a breed of people who still at the deepest level of culture is”) and deprives them of their livelihoods, so that the “black devil” thirst thousands and starve. But the trip to the dark recesses of colonialism can not breastfeed Herbert’s thirst for size and width. He embarks on countless other long-distance travel, gives lectures about gaining sponsors until he raises after a long preparation of the Arctic Challenge: Northeast Passage and the North Pole. 1913 breaks the expedition, but back Herbert versa (by the way, an eponymous historical model has) never.

For a long time hoping Olga still on the return of the beloved. During all the years before, she has kept away from the details of his adventures and sought their own happiness in educational tasks as a school teacher in cultural engagement in the village, in the promotion of a two-year foundling (from the ironically later an SS torturer is). With 53 years Olga lose their hearing, changes to a school for the deaf, takes sewing.

In the meantime, Europe is immersed in the chaos of war. Two world wars rinsed started by the quick wash, where he his deaf protagonist spared the horrible noise of the tanks, low-flying aircraft, bomb explosions and screaming dying and the other senses all the more force gives ( “the explosion of the locomotive was a toneless, colorful fireball”). Mark

the new beginning after the war, a new part of the novel, a new place and a new narrator, youngest son of a pastor’s family am Neckar, Olga worked their daily bread in their household. Until her death the brave, langwelige something and colorless permanent Ferdinand remains a constant companion and listener. He becomes the keeper of her treasure – the many stories from her own life, of Herbert’s adventures and her letters, the addressee may they never got to read. Ultimately, it is Ferdinand, the Olgas biography as we got to read the first part reconstructed.

Just those letters will contain the third part of the novel. The knowledge she has not let it rest Ferdinand until he gets them to buy in the Norwegian Tromsø. Now many a mystery that has moved the reader until then, many geahntes mystery clears, and some behavior Olga falls in retrospect in a questionable light. Would she be deadly fate might have spared her Herbert? Had a chance to dissuade him from his narrow-minded ideal of dying as a hero for a great cause? If she emphatically have to fight for him, instead of closing our eyes to the dangers? Does she have more guilty by not disclosing everything they knew?

All this tells of spoiled by success author and lawyer in skillfully precise, fine, cool, aloof manner. Under the skin the story but does not go to the reader. The figures remain too much on distance, as she and her tough love might touch emotional. The plot has tragic elements causes but no shattering catharsis. The plot – very extended, and sometimes haunting – is through its structuring necessity rich in redundancies: In all three parts to extensive content repeat if ever seen in a different light, formulated from a different perspective. Literary does that, but it needs to have wegdösen not bored to the reader of the narrative talent of Bernhard Schlink.

In order to throw the love relationship of its two protagonists from the start spanners in the works, to Schlink uses the clichés of belongs insurmountable able difference that (including scheming blood relative) to the core repertoire of popular literature and flogged there has always been, in endless variations, reliable triggers rivers of tears. Had to be this low blow?

are rightly Olga the title of the whole novel. Against all difficulties of their ninety years of life she is independent and decided gone their way. Until finally the proud, upright woman dominates all the ups and downs of the action almost exemplary. She is the voice of reason, the straightness of common sense, the bourgeoisie, armed against propaganda, cheap slogans and inexpensive fashions. One like her who had to fight for education and has until end of her life developed in music and culture, brings no sympathy for modern pseudo-rebellious refusal attitudes ( “not to learn if you could learn was stupid, spoiled, arrogant”). Her criticism of the younger generation (who like to “moralize” it but have “yet cozy” wool), the Holocaust memorial in European policy and globalization makes curious for more of their views, even from the war years and the postwar history. But growing these phases and issues would have shifted the weights or overturned the whole concept.

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New Novel by Bernhard Schlink “Olga”. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from

New Novel by Bernhard Schlink “Olga”
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