The New Sorrows of Young W. (Pushkin Collection)

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9781782270942: The New Sorrows of Young W. (Pushkin Collection)

Edgar Wibeau, seventeen years old, has died on Christmas Eve in an unfortunate accident involving electricity. His father, who left the family when Edgard was five, interrogates those close to him, to find out what exactly happened - and who his son really was. Helpfully for the reader, Edgar himself punctuates the father's conversations with his mother, best friend Willi, and Charlie, the woman with whom Edgar was unhappily in love, to give us his version of events from beyond the grave - and a story magically reminiscent of Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther and Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye unfolds before our eyes. Originally conceived as a screenplay, Plenzdorf's modern classic was first published in East Germany in 1973. A satire about the cultural and social limits of the GDR, it has long been a set text in German schools, and its critical and popular success remains unabated.

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About the Author:

Ulrich Plenzdorf (1934-2007) was an award-winning German author and dramatist. Born in Berlin, he studied Philosophy and Film in Leipzig, achieving fame in the early 1970s with The New Sorrows of Young W. From 2004 onwards, Plenzdorf was a guest lecturer at the German Institute of Literature in Leipzig. He died aged 72 of undisclosed causes.

Translated from the German by Romy Fursland.

Review:

"Fursland's exciting new translation of Plenzdorf's breakout novel (which has been taught in classrooms throughout Germany since its publication in the early 1970s) begins after the body of 17-year-old star pupil Edgar Wibeau is discovered inside a condemned summer home in Berlin. . . Edgar's voice is reminiscent of Holden Caulfield's, full of naïveté and and youthful arrogance, thoughtful and self-aware. . . The resulting intertextuality is more than aesthetic, not only advancing the narrative but also presenting a call and response between two celebrated German authors. Plenzdorf's novel is a touching and tragic coming-of-age tale that utilizes other pieces of art to examine life in East Germany." — Publishers Weekly

"Not a history lesson but universal portraiture; younger readers will identify, older readers will recall just how Edgar feels." — Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal Reviews

"Plenzdorf impresses with a collage-type structure and a medley of registers. . . “The New Sorrows of Young W.” is blackly comic and slickly irreverent. . . Pushkin Press deserves praise for giving English readers the chance to discover Plenzdorf’s wonderful little novel — one that is tragic, yet full of 'zing.'" — Star Tribune
"Now ably translated into English by Romy Fursland and available for an appreciative American readership, 'The New Sorrows of Young W' by Ulrich Plenzdorf is a truly extraordinary and very highly recommended addition to community and academic library Literary Fiction collections." — Midwest Book Review Bookwatch

"The New Sorrows of Young W. belongs to those books... that are important literary documents of their time, because they for the first time articulate something... which has hitherto either not been seen clearly, or not been seen at all." — Marcel Reich-Ranicki 

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Ulrich Plenzdorf
Verlag: Pushkin Press Mai 2015 (2015)
ISBN 10: 1782270949 ISBN 13: 9781782270942
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Buchbeschreibung Pushkin Press Mai 2015, 2015. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - Edgar Wibeau, seventeen years old, has died on Christmas Eve in an unfortunate accident involving electricity. His father, who left the family when Edgard was five, interrogates those close to him, to find out what exactly happened - and who his son really was. Helpfully for the reader, Edgar himself punctuates the father's conversations with his mother, best friend Willi, and Charlie, the woman with whom Edgar was unhappily in love, to give us his version of events from beyond the grave - and a story magically reminiscent of Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther and Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye unfolds before our eyes. Originally conceived as a screenplay, Plenzdorf's modern classic was first published in East Germany in 1973. A satire about the cultural and social limits of the GDR, it has long been a set text in German schools, and its critical and popular success remains unabated. 160 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9781782270942

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