The Collected Stories of Wolfgang Hildesheimer

Wolfgang Hildesheimer, Author, Joachim Neugroschel, Translator Ecco Press $17 (197p) ISBN 978-0-88001-131-0
The 19 pieces in this collection are less conventional stories than jeux d'esprit, after-dinner performances, fanciful jests told in a mocking tone. In ""The End of the World,'' the guests at a soiree given on her artificial island by the Marchesa Montetristo (nee Waterman from Little Gidding, Ohio) are too engrossed in a recital of rococo music performed by musicians dressed in period costumes to notice that the island is sinking. Music and talk of music is a recurrent strain, jokey, sometimes amusing and always sophisticated, as one would expect of the author of a highly regarded biography of Mozart. The playful tone is that of a literary intellectual and man of wide culture who has no stomach for philistines and charlatans. The targets of the satiric barbs are perhaps too obvious, and the humor is often rather broad in the Teutonic manner, but these pieces are nothing if not civilized. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Paperback - 197 pages - 978-0-88001-132-7
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