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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: How…
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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: How Violence Develops and Where It Can… (original 1974; edition 1975)

by Heinrich Böll, Leila Vennewitz. (Translator)

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1,596294,558 (3.75)81
Member:george1295
Title:The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: How Violence Develops and Where It Can Lead
Authors:Heinrich Böll
Other authors:Leila Vennewitz. (Translator)
Info:McGraw-Hill (1975), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 140 pages
Collections:Novels, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:German Literature, 20th Century, Fiction, Journalism, Violence

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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Böll (1974)

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English (19)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Katharina Blum has murdered a reporter; we are told that at the beginning of the novel. What the author then unfolds, step-by-step, are the events that led this young woman, a seemingly happy and well-liked domestic servant and part-time waitress, to invite the reporter into her apartment, kill him with a pistol, then drive to the home of a police officer and turn herself in.

That the true villain in the novel will be the reporter's newspaper is obvious even before you start the first chapter. The author's disclaimer says, in part, "Should the description of certain journalistic practices result in a resemblance of to the practices of the Bild-Zeitung, such resemblance is neither intentional nor fortuitous, but unavoidable." Bild-Zeitung (now simply called Bild) was, and still is, Germany's most popular tabloid newspaper. Böll shows in the novel how the newspaper deliberately misquotes interviewees, twists stories, and manufactures lies to sensationalize its stories. In the process it callously destroys reputations, ruins careers, breaks up families, and drives some people to acts of desperation and violence.

But while the author shows us lies and distortions from one source, are we really being told the truth? It's intriguing that there are still unanswered questions and unexplained events when we finally see Katharina off to prison. Can the truth of things in a complex network of people, relationships and events ever be fully known? That's the question we are left with at the end of this fascinating and fast-paced little novel. ( )
3 vote StevenTX | Feb 4, 2015 |
A brilliant narrative voice; a great reflection on the tricks and power--for good and bad--of narrative, particularly as used by journalists and crime writers; and a hilarious satire on conservatives, radicals, liberals and, particularly, middle aged men's penises. It reads well, which is a credit to the translator. Basically, this is the best novel I've read in a while, and I can't wait to pick up more Boll. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
... or how the tabloid press can ruin the life of an ordinary woman in just four days. ( )
  TheCrow2 | Nov 17, 2013 |
"or how violence can develop and where it can lead" Sensational tabloid news and the political climate over the panic of the Red Army Faction in the 70s in Germany. The protagonist, Katherine Blum, is an housekeeper whose life is ruined by a reporter who publishes outright lies. She invites him to her apartment and shoots him This occurs in the beginning and is not a spoiler. The narrative voice is detached. Impartial reporting example yet it is obvious that the reporter's symptom is with Katharina. The author once said "Die Gewalt von Worten Kann manchmal schlemmer sein als die von ohrfeigen and Pistolen." or (words can be more destructive than punches and pistols) ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 16, 2013 |
http://www.bookcrossing.com/6936734
Note: Replacement for 'Blonde'
  1001booksvbb_aus | Sep 17, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heinrich Böllprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bernard, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Löfdahl, KarinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svensson, PerAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vennewitz, LeilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Personen und Handlung dieser Erzählung sind frei erfunden. Sollten sich bei der Schilderung gewisser journalistischer Praktiken Ähnlichkeiten mit den Praktiken der "Bild"-Zeitung ergeben haben, so sind diese Ähnlichkeiten weder beabsichtigt noch zufällig, sondern unvermeidlich.
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Für den folgenden Bericht gibt es einige Neben- und drei Hauptquellen, die hier am Anfang einmal genannt, dann aber nicht mehr erwähnt werden.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A "powerful image of innocence betrayed, of measureless evil oozing quietly from regulated, unimpeachable convention" - LJ.

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