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Going to the Dogs: The Story of a Moralist…

Going to the Dogs: The Story of a Moralist (1931)

by Erich Kästner

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4431123,636 (4.05)13
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English (8)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  All (11)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
It is about the quiet desperation of a decent man in this crazy world. Some come to terms with it and adapt, but the best ones just have no place here and have to leave early. At least that is how I understood the author's point.

Most reviewers describe this book as social satire on Germany of the Weimar Republic period. I believe it is much more universal.

There is a lot of humor in this book, but it is not a comedy. It is rather grim. ( )
  valdanylchuk | Aug 26, 2015 |
Erich Kaestner!!! Was kann man da sagen! ( )
  Swissmama | Apr 8, 2015 |
A dark, satirical account of a young man trying to make sense of the absurd, morally vacuous world of Berlin in the late 1920s. It's the Berlin of Alfred Döblin and Christopher Isherwood, rather than that of Emil and the Detectives — but despite all the grotesque sex scenes that could be out of a painting by George Grosz or Otto Dix, it's still really informed by the same reasonable, liberal, enlightened and slightly off-axis view of how the world should be that defines Kästner's books for children. Very disconcerting, somehow.

Something else that struck me was how much it echoes the satirical novels of British writers of about the same time, especially Evelyn Waugh and Anthony Powell. The plot of Fabian is pretty much interchangeable with that of Vile bodies, for instance, but the feeling you get when you read it is quite different. Waugh's pessimism looks like an intellectual affectation, but you have to take Kastner's as the real thing, because you know that Weimar Berlin was living on borrowed time; the world — as far as Fabian is concerned — was about to end. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, sometimes. ( )
  thorold | Oct 2, 2014 |
This a somewhat bleak view of Germany in the late 1920's and early 1930's. It reminded me of the musical, Cabaret, and its depiction of a society on the edge. There is even a scene where the Nazi sympathizers beat a night club owner. The protagonist, Fabian, is a disillusioned young man who sees little purpose to life until he finally falls in love. However, his bleak view of life turns the young woman away. There is much drinking and many sex encounters in the society Kastner describes here.
Because of his leftist leanings and pacifist views, Kastner's books were burned during the famous book burning event staged by the Nazis in 1933. He stayed in Germany during the War despite being banned from the Writers' Guild. Much of his unpublished work and notes were lost when his Berlin home was bombed in 1944. ( )
  lamour | Nov 2, 2013 |
Fabian schlägt sich in der Weimarer Republik durch, versucht seinen Überzeugungen gemäß zu leben und scheitert.
Nicht die scheinbare Aussichtslosigkeit prägen Kästners Roman, sondern die Szenen, die das Leben in all seiner Komik und Absurdität feiern: In einem Taxi bringen Fabian und sein bester Freund LaBude einen Sozialdemokraten und einen Nationalsozialisten ins Krankenhaus, nachdem sie beide bei der Ausübung ihrer jeweiligen Überzeugung mit Waffengewalt verletzt wurden.
Die Leichtigkeit des Verliebtseins, das Anlachen der Widrigkeiten, das Miteinander- Rumalbern, das Fabian mit Cornelia erlebt, ist für mich eine der glaubwürdigsten Darstellungen einer Liebesbeziehung, der soviel, zu viel entgegensteht, das ich je gelesen habe. Und hat mein Bild von Liebe nachhaltig geprägt. ( )
  nedludlam | Mar 20, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erich Kästnerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bijnsdorp, MaaikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brooks, CyrusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Livingstone, RodneyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaap, LucieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Theun deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Fabian saß in einem Café namens Spalteholz und las die Schlagzeilen der Abendblätter.
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Urfassung von Fabian
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Going to the Dogs is set in Berlin after the crash of 1929 and before the Nazi takeover, years of rising unemployment and financial collapse. The moralist in question is Jakob Fabian, 'aged thirty-two, profession variable, at present advertising copywriter ... weak heart, brown hair,' a young man with an excellent education but permanently condemned to a low-paid job without secuity in the short or the long run.… (more)

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