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Die Wand by Marlen Haushofer
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Die Wand (original 1962; edition 2012)

by Marlen Haushofer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9366316,823 (4.2)48
"I can allow myself to write the truth; all the people for whom I have lied throughout my life are dead" writes the heroine of Marlen Haushofer's The Wall, a quite ordinary, unnamed middle-aged woman who awakens to find she is the last living human being. Surmising her solitude is the result of a too successful military experiment, she begins the terrifying work of not only survival, but self-renewal. The Wall is at once a simple and moving talk " of potatoes and beans, of hoping for a calf, of counting matches, of forgetting the taste of sugar and the use of one's name - and a disturbing meditation on 20th century history.… (more)
Member:psutto
Title:Die Wand
Authors:Marlen Haushofer
Info:Ullstein Taschenbuchvlg. (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:2013 challenge

Work details

The Wall by Marlen Haushofer (1962)

  1. 10
    Die gläserne Kugel. Utopischer Roman. by Marianne Gruber (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Another book written by an Austrian author whose protagonist is surrounded by a transparent barrier. Sphere of Glass isn't anything like so well-known as this one. Which is rather a pity.
  2. 01
    A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Florian_Brennstoff)
  3. 01
    Man in the Holocene by Max Frisch (defaults)
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» See also 48 mentions

English (45)  Dutch (7)  German (7)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (63)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Deeply unsettling, deeply profound. I’m going to be thinking about this book for a very long time. ( )
  hctbrown | Mar 12, 2021 |
This book is awesome.
Everything about it is awesome.

I recommend it to everyone. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
A woman visits an alpine hunting lodge with two relatives for a weekend getaway. She stays behind when her cousin accompanies her husband to the nearby village to buy supplies. The next morning the two still have not returned. The woman decides to walk to the village with her cousin's dog. She loses sight of the dog but when she finds him again, the dog is acting confused and will not start walking again. The woman knows the dog will follow so she continues....only to walk into an impenetrable barrier. It's like a glass box has come down over the area surrounding the hunting lodge. She can see through the barrier to the world outside, but there is no way through the wall. She sees no birds, small animals or even live insects on the other side. The people she can see are inanimate like they are sleeping or died where they stood. She knows in an instant that everyone she knew is dead. Everything on the other side of the barrier is dead. Soon she has gathered up the dog, a cat, and a cow. She spends years caring for the animals, learning to grow food and care for herself, and writing a diary about her experiences.

This is a psychological and thoughtful story, rather than a tale with a recognizable plot or even a real ending. But given the situation the woman must endure, the sharing of everyday thoughts, concerns and horrors is perfect. She has no other people for company, only her animals. It has a profound effect on her to the extent that she is never given a name. Why do you need a name if you are the only person left? She comes to see her animals as her family and does her best to survive. The ending is abrupt with no real resolution, but realistically the resolution will come when the woman dies and there is nobody left at all.

I listened to the audiobook version of this novel. Narrated by Kathe Mazur, the audio is just over 9 hours long. I'm glad I chose the audio version of this book. The story moves slowly (which is appropriate given the subject of a woman being totally alone for years with just animals for companions). I don't think I would have finished the print version....her daily diary and inner monologue about her animals, growing food, etc would have bored me quickly if I was reading it for myself. The audio brought the woman's situation to life.....it was like hearing her thoughts, so I was more interested in the story despite its tendency to plod along without any real developments.

I think it is a distinct possibility that Stephen King got the basic idea for his Under the Dome story from this book. He just added more people, a real plot and some horror -- he "Kinged'' it up and made it his own. The Wall is a totally different sort of story. It shows what happens to a person's mind when they are utterly cut off from all human contact and how it comes down to a person's will to survive. I'm glad that the main character found animals she could befriend and love, otherwise I think she would have weakened and died, or might have killed herself.

Interesting and very thought provoking book. I'm glad I listened to it. I really want to re-read King's Under the Dome now! ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
Eine Frau will mit ihrer Kusine und deren Mann ein paar Tage in einem Jagdhaus in den Bergen verbringen. Nach der Ankunft unternimmt das Paar noch einen Gang ins nächste Dorf und kehrt nicht mehr zurück. Am nächsten Morgen stößt die Frau auf eine unüberwindbare Wand, hinter der Totenstarre herrscht. Abgeschlossen von der übrigen Welt, richtet sie sich inmittten ihres engumgrenzten Stücks Natur und umgeben von einigen zugelaufenen Tieren aufs Überleben ein.
  Fredo68 | May 18, 2020 |
A dystopic "Walden," narrated by the last woman alive and starring a cat, a dog, a cow, and some other animals. I keep thinking about this book & I don't know why it's not taught in schools; it's so elegant & precise. It ends so swiftly. It's so well-written it should be required reading. There isn't an excess word in this book & I loved it, I hope all my friends read it. ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
The Wall is a quiet book about domesticity, planting, beauty, the rhythms of keeping house, the land, human nature—and what a person can love in a people-less world. I consider it The Road’s antithesis. In contrast to McCarthy’s characters, who are toiling desperately for their survival in an ugly world, The Wall suggests our disappearance from the planet need not seem a tragedy.
 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haushofer, Marlenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bendeke, UnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bodo, LiselotteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chambon, JacquelineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harbeck, IngridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hengel, Ria vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindskog, RebeccaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malinen, MailaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schneider, GunhildAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wahlund, Per ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whiteside, ShaunTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

Babel (44)
dtv (11403)
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my parents
First words
Today, the fifth of November, I shall begin my report.
Quotations
Violent as these storms were, the sky was clear the next morning, and the mists billowed only in the valley. The meadow seemed to be floating along on the clouds, a green and damply gleaming ship on the white foaming waves of a turbulent ocean. And the sea subsided slowly, and the tips of the spruces rose from it wet and fresh.
I had waited much too often and much too long for people or events which had never turned up, or which had turned up so late that they had ceased to mean anything to me.
Loving and looking after another creature is a very troublesome business and much harder than killing and destruction.
If everyone had been like me there would’ve never been a wall.
As long as there is something to love in the forest, I shall love it. And if some day there is nothing, I shall stop living.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

"I can allow myself to write the truth; all the people for whom I have lied throughout my life are dead" writes the heroine of Marlen Haushofer's The Wall, a quite ordinary, unnamed middle-aged woman who awakens to find she is the last living human being. Surmising her solitude is the result of a too successful military experiment, she begins the terrifying work of not only survival, but self-renewal. The Wall is at once a simple and moving talk " of potatoes and beans, of hoping for a calf, of counting matches, of forgetting the taste of sugar and the use of one's name - and a disturbing meditation on 20th century history.

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