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Return to Book Page. Preview — Der geteilte Himmel by Christa Wolf. Der geteilte Himmel by Christa Wolf. Eine Auseinandersetzung mit den Jahren der deutschen Teilung.
Und mit dem Erwachen wird auch die Vergangenheit wieder lebendig. Wann hat die Trennung begonnen? Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published January 1st by Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Der geteilte Himmel , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Der geteilte Himmel. Dec 28, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: christa-wolf. In a divided country, heaven is split in two - just as hearts, families, friends and lovers are marked by the Berlin Wall built in the heads of people long before it is physically put in place to illustrate the failure of a people.
This is a strong contender for the saddest love story I have ever read - love for home, love for another person, love for ideas, love for life. Do I have to mention the loving heart is broken in so many places it is impossible to mend it? Do I have to mention there is In a divided country, heaven is split in two - just as hearts, families, friends and lovers are marked by the Berlin Wall built in the heads of people long before it is physically put in place to illustrate the failure of a people.
Do I have to mention there is no cure for the heartache people feel who have survived the atrocities of the war, only to find themselves in the impossibility of German life between capitalism and socialism, built on the guilt of Nazi Germany's looming shadow? Two young people meet and fall in love in East Germany before the ominous date of the 13th August , which made the separation between the two German states irrevocable and definitive for the decades to come.
They share worries and hopes, and see the development of socialism with critical, yet objective eyes. For the young man, the state represents a way of life he cannot embrace in honesty, seeing too much of his parents' fascism transformed into new doctrine, "preachers of socialism speaking of politics like devout Catholics speak of the Immaculate Conception".
He is no martyr, no hero, and refuses to live the hard, devout life of a believer. Ultimately, that means he has to escape before it is too late. What should she choose? Following her love, or her hope for a better life in an idealistic and religious sense of the word? Leaving her political religion behind is a sacrifice that will make her suffer and feel guilt, and she instinctively feels that love cannot survive that kind of choice. But if love cannot survive, will she be able to look up at the wrong side of the divided sky each morning?
As she reflects in her misery: it would have been easier to make the choice against West Germany if people there had been suffering under the yoke of their capitalist plight. But they seem happy. How can they be happy and wrong? A true believer chooses the road of being unhappy and right. This is a powerful testament of the minds of young Germans in , facing a division that allowed no middle ground, no moderate and common sense objectivity.
On the ruins of their horrific totalitarian past, they have to make sense of the senseless reality that is on offer. Private loss and grief hardly play any role at all, but it exists nonetheless - heartbreakingly real to those who are forced to choose sides! Powerful, powerful reading, by one of the most prominent German authors of the era. Highly recommended, as a love story, as a historical witness account, as a piece of writing on the universal questions of humankind in any given environment!
View all 21 comments. There was a moment while reading this when I thought how fascinating it would have been had Christa Wolf stepped out of her narrative and related in a mirror narrative how difficult it is to write a novel when you live in a repressive regime that will inevitably censor your work.
Repressive regimes might provide inspiration in abundance but what artist would choose to li There was a moment while reading this when I thought how fascinating it would have been had Christa Wolf stepped out of her narrative and related in a mirror narrative how difficult it is to write a novel when you live in a repressive regime that will inevitably censor your work.
Repressive regimes might provide inspiration in abundance but what artist would choose to live in a country where everything created would be subjected to rigorous petty-minded censorship?
The first thirty pages were a joy to read. But then the politics begin. And they bored me silly. The novel is about the love affair of Rita and Manfred. Manfred will betray the relationship by defecting to the West not a spoiler as we learn this almost immediately since the novel is recounted in flashback.
Wolf goes overboard in making Manfred unlikeable from the word go. Despite being ten years older than Rita he lives with his parents who he treats with venomous contempt like a feckless teenager, a rebel without a cause. Rita on the other hand is too good to be true. I feel I owe Hardy some praise after giving him such an unequivocal clubbing last month!
Manfred too becomes jealous of Rita, though without reason. Rita receives her political education when she works at a plant where train carriages are made.
Lots of dreary writing about production methods and high-minded point-scoring political squabbling. My feeling was, Manfred was right to grow weary of it all! What Wolf does brilliantly in this novel is write of a young woman in love for the first time. Perhaps she was young enough in those days to believe in the Communist dream; thankfully her critical faculties were greatly more sharpened and refined in her later work. View all 22 comments. Scroll for my review. It made Christa Wolf's reputation, and has long been seen as the most thoughtful, poignant account of the diversity of the two Germanys as seen from the East.
It tells the story of Rita and Manfred, young lovers living in the East before the Wall was built, when travel from East to West Berlin was still easy. The divided heaven: two separate and separated political structures, two irreconcilable ways of organizing hopes and desires. Memories of a Nation. Some pages in I was already pleasently surprised just by the style, the well chosen words, the pictures Wolf paints. She continues to write a story so well composed also in other aspects: all the dimensions - characters, feelings, personal relations, business, politics - are very well arranged and the story felt real to me.
Wolf manages to depict both the historical or political context and the individual love story but she doesn't shine too much of a light on one of them. This made me feel very much part of it all. If you like and finish the book, re-read the first pages or maybe everything right after which made me appreciate the book even more.
View 1 comment. May 17, Mariele rated it did not like it Shelves: german-language , xxx-too-dull-to-finish. I just wrote a very wordy review, and it vanished. Well then, in short: This is Christa Wolf's first book, written in When it was published, it dealt with current affairs, as the story takes place shortly before the Berlin Wall is being built.
However, reading it 50 years later, the book feels very dated and stilted. I thoroughly enjoyed some of her books, namely how Wolf has dug deeper and deeper into history with every new book she published.
And I enjoyed the tales of how Cassandra and Medea are witness to the political demise of the privileged environment they live in. Christa Wolf is always political. But this is my second book of hers that I could not finish.
The love story was about as romantic as an arranged marriage. All those polemic dialogues between Rita and her co workers at the factory, and between Manfred and his academia colleagues dulled down the story considerably.
‘Der geteilte Himmel’ (‘They Divided the Sky’) by Christa Wolf (Review)
The author describes society and problems in the German Democratic Republic GDR in the early s, in a "quest for personal integrity within a flawed system". Wolf wrote the work in the early s, with the novel beginning as a story about romance and the characters' experiences in a socialist work "brigade". The title became a metaphor for the divided Germany. The novel was awarded the Heinrich Mann Prize. The book's title was first translated into English as Divided Heaven , and in 50 years after the first publication interpreted by Luise von Flotow as They Divided the Sky. The main characters are Rita Seidel, age 19, and Manfred Herrfurth, a chemist ten years older, who meet at a dance event in a village and become a couple, although they are different.
Der geteilte Himmel
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