last week i finished read "Die Enthüllung" by the peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa. it was selected for our Literaturkreis (book club), and i discovered that the english translation is not available until some time next year. mostly we try to choose books that are available in german and english, and in the past when there hasn't been an english translation, i've simply not read the book. this time, i decided it was time to tackle a german novel.
actually i have tackled german novels before. a couple of years ago, our Literaturkreis book was "Das Wochenende" by Bernhard Schlink, which deals with germany's left wing terrorism of the 1970s. it's available in english, so i read it first in english, and because it wasn't so long i decided to then read the german original. having already read it in english, and keeping the english translation beside me, i was able to get through it pretty easily. this year, i started reading "Aus Tausend Grünen Spiegeln" by Christa Moog, which is the story of an East German woman who is a fan of the New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield, and makes a journey to visit all the places where KM lived. i'm still half-way through this one, & have taken a pause from it. it's quite poetically written, and jumps about in time, so it's difficult to follow when i'm only understanding parts of it. but as i'm familiar with KM's story and writings, there are large chunks of it that are more accessible to me.
so, "Die Enthüllung" is the first novel that i've started and finished reading in german, without an english translation, and without knowing the story. i'm sure i missed a lot of nuances and i can't comment on its literary merits. i was able to follow the plot, and get a good sense of the characters. in general, it was too much of a male sex fantasy to be a book i really like, but the main thing for me is that i've reached another milestone in my slow mastering of the deutsche sprache. Ein kleiner Triumph!!