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Die Wand by Marlen Haushofer
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Die Wand (original 1963; edition 2012)

by Marlen Haushofer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1176815,718 (4.2)56
"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 Information

The Wall by Marlen Haushofer (1963)

  1. 20
    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. 00
    Concrete Island by J. G. Ballard (ateolf)
    ateolf: Two survivalist tales that exist within an absurdist context.
  3. 00
    Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (ateolf)
  4. 01
    A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Florian_Brennstoff)
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» See also 56 mentions

English (50)  Dutch (7)  German (7)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
The Wall is the best-known work by the Austrian writer, Marlen Haushofer (1920-1970). The plot is simple, a woman vacationing in an Alpine hunting lodge finds herself alone when her housemates do not return from a party across the valley. When she walks out to find them, she finds herself confined to the valley by an invisible wall. The only person she can see on the other side of the wall is dead. There is no radio reception. Birds are killed when they fly into the wall. Her diary recounts her life alone with only a bloodhound, a cat, and a cow. She learns to be independent and at peace in nature. The novel is a sphynx-like symbol that lets critics do what they will with it. The London Review of books treats it as a survival tale. The LA Times describes it as a reverie. The New Yorker says it is a commentary on utopian and dystopian themes. The Atlantic proclaims it as a “feminist vision of escape” and the Chicago Review of Books finds in it a paradigm of Ursula K. Le Guin’s “container novel,” a form that avoids the violence of a traditional plot. Who am I to chime in? 4 stars. ( )
  Tom-e | Dec 6, 2022 |
A woman staying in a hunting lodge at the foot of an Austrian mountain wakes up to find that an invisible wall has gone up around her mountain and that every living creature on the other side of the wall is dead. Although this may sound like the beginning of a science fiction work, the wall is only a literary device to allow the author to put her heroine in an existential situation of total solitude. The book follows here for 2+ years as she adapts to her situation with her only company being a dog, a cat and a cow.

The book is about so many things: nature, solitude, womanhood, the relationships between animals and mankind, and so much more. The descriptions of nature are wonderful while the story unfolds at a slow pace. The story stayed with me long after I finished reading and I found it all unsettling. ( )
  M_Clark | Nov 27, 2022 |
easily one of the best movies i've watched in the past year...
the plot revolves around an impenetrable barrier surrounding an austrian hunting lodge, but once you get past this, the story becomes more a study on how to survive, relationships, all done with just spare narration...
honestly, it's a difficult movie to talk about, but i found it truly enjoyable. the cinematography was stunning as well... ( )
  travelgirl-fics | Nov 6, 2022 |
Beautifully written. Not much happens in this book but the themes, nuance and perceptiveness of the character and the writing touched me deeply. ( )
  Misanthrope341 | Aug 28, 2022 |
A meditation on loneliness and what it takes to make one feel happy and satisfied. Surprisingly very little. ( )
1 vote ozzer | May 24, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (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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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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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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