“The best novel I read this year an unforgettable short tale about love, horror and a novel that sucks you in with its power, so that once you start to read, you. 54 The Reader in the Writer The Reader in the Writer Myra Barrs Abstract progress in writing. The NC writing attainment target now makes this progress largely a. General Editor, Thomas A. Sebeok. The Role of the Reader. Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts. UMBERTO ECO. INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS.
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Adobe Acrobat Reader is the most reliable, free global standard document management system available. View, edit, sign, and annotate PDF documents by working directly on the text. The in-app PDF file browser is also atrocious, as it's simply one big list of every PDF on your. bothered to read. HANNA carries on ironing. He is becoming as comfortable with the silence as she is. She starts ironing a pair of knickers. He watches her bare. The best study guide to The Reader on the planet, from the creators of SparkNotes. Get the summaries Get the entire The Reader LitChart as a printable PDF.
All the the influence on children's writing of the texts that children were involved in working and writing in they were reading. In her earliest sample, the teachers alike. One of its important features was that average T-unit length was But in her middle sample, a piece of fictional world and the themes of the story had been writing in role based on The Green Children, T-unit prefigured through drama. This had a big impact on length fell dramatically, to 6.
Kevin Crossley-Holland's style in this book is plain and speech-based. The Following the drama work and the reading of the text, average T-unit length of a sample page from The Green most children wrote in role as a character within the Children, when analysed, proved to be 6. Their writing in role was almost universally well different from the average we found in the analysis of done and sometimes led to an observable shift in the S's writing.
It was apparent that S. For instance, children Crossley-Holland's text, was mirroring these very filled in more imagined detail around the narrative, in a short T-units. Not all of the children in the sample studied our It was a normal day when everybody would go to the second standard text, Fire, Bed and Bone, but those who fair, download something, or go on terrifying rides.
Bargains did wrote very impressively in response to this book. The hole at the top of the barrel lets in a howling Peasant's Revolt; the narrator is an old hunting dog draught, a draught that sends frightening shivers down belonging to a family that, early in the book, is my back.
Blood dribbles down the side of my face. I know imprisoned because of their suspected complicity in I shouldn't try to escape, it's just so tempting. I don't the Revolt. The first chapter of the book is however a want to move I only want to dream, dream of far, far picture of peace; the whole household is asleep at away where I could forget my terrible memories of being night, in the same big room, with a fire burning.
The beaten with the metal whips leaving cuts long and large, hunting dog is awake; she is about to have puppies sharp and sore. Her musings build up a picture of the world around the house. Two children writing poems based on the first chapter of the book: The following examples are not taken from the case 1.
Rats playing in the kitchen study children's samples but are drawn from two munching and making noise. Ticking stars reflecting A child writing as Humble the cat: I am a creature of very different worlds. The tumbling of horses I know where the dormice nest in the oat fields.
I know and a moon so bright valleys that have deep blue rivers with the silver fish. I know the house and the warmest place in front of the Foxes cry and run about fire. I know where the rats play at the back of the house. I know where the and copper brown ground.
I know the comfiest branch. Bats fly through the smoke Two children writing as the hunting dog, living in and smell of the ashes the wild with Fleabane her puppy: That night was a cold one. My belly is aching with pain, Fleabane was asleep as soon as we got in from hunting. I soon dozed off but not for long.
I sensed danger and my 2. Lying there ashes spitting on my fur hackles rose. I got up and sniffed the air. I looked over at as they die down slowly. Fleabane, he was asleep. I strolled over as a small draft comes in to him and bent closer just to hear him breathe, and and sways in my fur. I rested my paw on his paw.
I knew he was safe now but my hackles were still aroused. Humble curling up towards me stroking her luxurious tail against my aching back. I caught two wild hare.
The glorious scent tickled my Chickens scuttling about snout. I hurried back to Fleabane. I ran into the den. He was playing with some hay. He lifted his droopy eyes, I knew The calling of the owls as 'tis just coming morning. The bright moon shining shining on me I gave him the small hare and kept my careful eye on as the crystal snow falls.
I felt a sunbeam from the early horizon. I tucked into my hare. It was tasty. What was apparent in all the children's writing that I could hear Rufus and Comfort, I turned to the was done in response to this text was the strong sense doorway.
I saw nothing. It didn't feel right being free as of empathy with the characters, especially the animal the wild wind while Comfort and Rufus were locked up.
Children wrote with real feeling I wanted to be at home. I lie fretting in an empty barrel. I bent closer just to hear him breathe and rested I run so fast the chain pulls me back into the barrel, my my paw on his paw'. The writing was finely imagined ear catches on a nail and I yelp in pain. Then I couldn't take it any more.
I fled out of the apartment, down the stairs, and into the street. I dawdled along.
Bahnhofstrasse, Hausserstrasse, Blumenstrasse — it had been my way to school for years. I knew every building, every garden, and every fence, the ones that were repainted every year and the ones that were so gray and rotten that I could crumble the wood in my hand, the iron railings that I ran along as a child banging a stick against the posts and the high brick wall behind which I had imagined wonderful and terrible things, until I was able to climb it, and see row after boring row of neglected beds of flowers, berries, and vegetables.
I knew the cobblestones in their layer of tar on the road, and the changing surface of the sidewalk, from flagstones to little lumps of basalt set in wave patterns, tar, and gravel. It was all familiar. When my heart stopped pounding and my face was no longer scarlet, the encounter between the kitchen and the hall seemed a long way away. I was angry with myself. I had run away like a child, instead of keeping control of the situation, as I thought I should. I wasn't nine years old anymore, I was fifteen.
That didn't mean I had any idea what keeping control would have entailed. The other puzzle was the actual encounter that had taken place between the kitchen and the hall.
Why had I not been able to take my eyes off her? She had a very strong, feminine body, more voluptuous than the girls I liked and watched. I was sure I wouldn't even have noticed her if I'd seen her at the swimming pool.
Nor had she been any more naked than the girls and women I had already seen at the swimming pool. And besides, she was much older than the girls I dreamed about. Over thirty? It's hard to guess ages when you're not that old yourself and won't be anytime soon.
Years later it occurred to me that the reason I hadn't been able to take my eyes off her was not just her body, but the way she held herself and moved. I asked my girlfriends to put on stockings, but I didn't want to explain why, or to talk about the riddle of what had happened between the kitchen and the hall. So my request was read as a desire for garters and high heels and erotic extravaganza, and if it was granted, it was done as a come-on.
There had been none of that when I had found myself unable to look away. She hadn't been posing or teasing me. I don't remember her ever doing that. I remember that her body and the way she held it and moved sometimes seemed awkward. Not that she was particularly heavy. It was more as if she had withdrawn into her own body, and left it to itself and its own quiet rhythms, unbothered by any input from her mind, oblivious to the outside world.
It was the same obliviousness that weighed in her glance and her movements when she was pulling on her stockings. But then she was not awkward, she was slow-flowing, graceful, seductive — a seductiveness that had nothing to do with breasts and hips and legs, but was an invitation to forget the world in the recesses of the body.
I knew none of this — if indeed I know any of it now and am not just making patterns in the air. But as I thought back then on what had excited me, the excitement came back.
To solve the riddle, I made myself remember the whole encounter, and then the distance I had created by turning it into a riddle dissolved, and I saw it all again, and again I couldn't take my eyes off her. For a week I had tried not to think about her. But I had nothing else to occupy or distract me; the doctor was not ready to let me go back to school, I was bored stiff with books after months of reading, and although friends still came to see me, I had been sick for so long that their visits could no longer bridge the gap between their daily lives and mine, and became shorter and shorter.
I was supposed to go for walks, a little further each day, without overexerting myself. I could have used the exertion. Being ill when you are a child or growing up is such an enchanted interlude!
The outside world, the world of free time in the yard or the garden or on the street, is only a distant murmur in the sickroom. Inside, a whole world of characters and stories proliferates out of the books you read. The fever that weakens your perception as it sharpens your imagination turns the sickroom into someplace new, both familiar and strange; monsters come grinning out of the patterns on the curtains and the carpet, and chairs, tables, bookcases, and wardrobes burst out of their normal shapes and become mountains and buildings and ships you can almost touch although they're far away.
Through the long hours of the night you have the church clock for company and the rumble of the occasional passing car that throws its headlights across the walls and ceiling. These are hours without sleep, which is not to say that they're sleepless, because on the contrary, they're not about lack of anything, they're rich and full. Desires, memories, fears, passions form labyrinths in which we lose and find and then lose ourselves again.
They are hours when anything is possible, good or bad. But if the illness has lasted long enough, the sickroom is impregnated with it and although you're convalescing and the fever has gone, you are still trapped in the labyrinth.
I awoke every day feeling guilty, sometimes with my pajama pants damp or stained. The images and scenes in my dreams were not right. I knew I would not be scolded by my mother, or the pastor who had instructed me for my confirmation and whom I admired, or by my older sister who was the confidante of all my childhood secrets.
But they would lecture me with loving concern, which was worse than being scolded. It was particularly wrong that when I was not just idly dreaming, I actively fantasized images and scenes. I don't know where I found the courage to go back to Frau Schmitz. Did my moral upbringing somehow turn against itself?
If looking at someone with desire was as bad as satisfying the desire, if having an active fantasy was as bad as the act you were fantasizing — then why not the satisfaction and the act itself? As the days went on, I discovered that I couldn't stop thinking sinful thoughts. In which case I also wanted the sin itself.
There was another way to look at it. Going there might be dangerous. But it was obviously impossible for the danger to act itself out. Frau Schmitz would greet me with surprise, listen to me apologize for my strange behavior, and amicably say goodbye. It was more dangerous not to go; I was running the risk of becoming trapped in my own fantasies.
So I was doing the right thing by going. She would behave normally, I would behave normally, and everything would be normal again. That is how I rationalized it back then, making my desire an entry in a strange moral accounting, and silencing my bad conscience. But that was not what gave me the courage to go to Frau Schmitz. It was one thing to tell myself that my mother, my admired pastor, and my older sister would not try to stop me if they really thought about it, but would in fact insist that I go.
Actually going was something else again. I don't know why I did it. But today I can recognize that events back then were part of a lifelong pattern in which thinking and doing have either come together or failed to come together — I think, I reach a conclusion, I turn the conclusion into a decision, and then I discover that acting on the decision is something else entirely, and that doing so may proceed from the decision, but then again it may not.
Often enough in my life I have done things I had not decided to do. Something — whatever that may be — goes into action; "it" goes to the woman I don't want to see anymore, "it" makes the remark to the boss that costs me my head, "it" keeps on smoking although I have decided to quit, and then quits smoking just when I've accepted the fact that I'm a smoker and always will be.
I don't mean to say that thinking and reaching decisions have no influence on behavior. But behavior does not merely enact whatever has already been thought through and decided. It has its own sources, and is my behavior, quite independently, just as my thoughts are my thoughts, and my decisions my decisions.
The front door of the building stood ajar, so I went up the stairs, rang the bell, and waited. Then I rang again. Inside the apartment the doors were open, as I could see through the glass of the front door, and I could also make out the mirror, the wardrobe, and the clock in the hall.
I could hear it ticking. I sat down on the stairs and waited. I wasn't relieved, the way you can sometimes be when you feel funny about a certain decision and afraid of the consequences and then relieved that you've managed to carry out the former without incurring the latter. Nor was I disappointed. I was determined to see her and to wait until she came. The clock in the hall struck the quarter hour, then the half hour, then the hour.
I tried to follow its soft ticking and to count the nine hundred seconds between one stroke and the next, but I kept losing track. The yard buzzed with the sound of the carpenter's saws, the building echoed with voices or music from one of the apartments, and a door opened and closed. Then I heard slow, heavy, regular footsteps coming up the stairs. I hoped that whoever he was, he lived on the second floor.
If he saw me — how would I explain what I was doing there? But the footsteps didn't stop at the second floor. They kept coming. I stood up. It was Frau Schmitz. In one hand she was carrying a coal scuttle, in the other a box of briquets. She was wearing a uniform jacket and skirt, and I realized that she was a streetcar conductor.
She didn't notice me until she reached the landing — she didn't look annoyed, or surprised, or mocking — none of the things I had feared. She looked tired. When she put down the coke and was hunting in her jacket pocket for the key, coins fell out onto the floor.
I picked them up and gave them to her. Will you fill them and bring them up? The door's open. The door to the cellar was open, the light was on, and at the bottom of the long cellar stairs I found a bunker made of boards with the door on the latch and a loose padlock hanging from the open bolt.
It was a large space, and the coke was piled all the way up to the ceiling hatch through which it had been poured from the street into the cellar. On one side of the door was a neat stack of briquets; on the other side were the coal scuttles. I don't know what I did wrong. At home I also fetched the coke from the cellar and never had any problems.
But then the coke at home wasn't piled so high. Filling the first scuttle went fine. As I picked up the second scuttle by the handles and tried to shovel the coke up off the floor, the mountain began to move. From the top little pieces started bouncing down while the larger ones followed more sedately; further down it all began to slide and there was a general rolling and shifting on the floor.
Black dust rose in clouds. I stood there, frightened, as the lumps came down and hit me and soon I was up to my ankles in coke. I got my feet out of the coke, filled the second scuttle, looked for a broom, and when I found it I swept the lumps that had rolled out into the main part of the cellar back into the bunker, latched the door, and carried the two scuttles upstairs.
She had taken off her jacket, loosened her tie and undone the top button, and was sitting at the kitchen table with a glass of milk. She saw me, began to choke with laughter, and then let it out in full-throated peals.
She pointed at me and slapped her other hand on the table. I'll run you a bath and beat the dust out of your clothes. The water ran steaming into the tub. The water was rising quickly and the tub was almost full. I won't look, kid. I turned red, climbed into the tub, and submerged myself. When I came up again she was out on the balcony with my clothes. I heard her beating the shoes against each other and shaking out my pants and sweater.
She called down something about coal dust and sawdust, someone called back up to her, and she laughed. Back in the kitchen, she put my things on the chair. Glancing quickly at me, she said, "Take the shampoo and wash your hair. I'll bring a towel in a minute," then took something out of the wardrobe, and left the kitchen. I washed myself. The water in the tub was dirty and I ran in some fresh so that I could wash my head and face clean under the flow.
Then I lay there, listening to the boiler roar, and feeling the cool air on my face as it came through the half-open kitchen door, and the warm water on my body. I was comfortable. It was an exciting kind of comfort and I got hard. I didn't look up when she came into the kitchen, until she was standing by the tub.
She was holding a big towel in her outstretched arms. From behind, she wrapped me in the towel from head to foot and rubbed me dry.
Then she let the towel fall to the floor. I didn't dare move. She came so close to me that I could feel her breasts against my back and her stomach against my behind. She was naked too.
She put her arms around me, one hand on my chest and the other on my erection. Not yes, but not no either. I turned around. I couldn't see much of her, we were standing too close.
But I was overwhelmed by the presence of her naked body. I put my arms around her too. I was afraid: But when we had held each other for a while, when I had smelled her smell and felt her warmth and her strength, everything fell into place. I explored her body with my hands and mouth, our mouths met, and then she was on top of me, looking into my eyes until I came and closed my eyes tight and tried to control myself and then screamed so loud that she had to cover my mouth with her hand to smother the sound.
I could barely sleep, I was yearning for her, I dreamed of her, thought I could feel her until I realized that I was clutching the pillow or the blanket. My mouth hurt from kissing. I kept getting erections, but I didn't want to masturbate.
I wanted to be with her. Did I fall in love with her as the price for her having gone to bed with me? To this day, after spending the night with a woman, I feel I've been indulged and I must make it up somehow — to her by trying at least to love her, and to the world by facing up to it. One of my few vivid recollections of early childhood has to do with a winter morning when I was four years old. The room I slept in at that time was unheated, and at night and first thing in the morning it was often very cold.
I remember the warm kitchen and the hot stove, a heavy piece of iron equipment in which you could see the fire when you lifted out the plates and rings with a hook, and which always held a basin of hot water ready.
My mother had pushed a chair up close to the stove for me to stand on while she washed and dressed me. I remember the wonderful feeling of warmth, and how good it felt to be washed and dressed in this warmth.
I also remember that whenever I thought back to this afterwards, I always wondered why my mother had been spoiling me like this. Was I ill? Had my brothers and sisters been given something I hadn't? Was there something coming later in the day that was nasty or difficult that I had to get through?
Because the woman who didn't yet have a name in my mind had so spoiled me that afternoon, I went back to school the next day.
It was also true that I wanted to show off my new manliness. Not that I would ever have talked about it. But I felt strong and superior, and I wanted to show off these feelings to the other kids and the teachers. Besides, I hadn't talked to her about it but I assumed that being a streetcar conductor she often had to work evenings and nights. How would I see her every day if I had to stay home and wasn't allowed to do anything except my convalescent walks?
When I came home from her, my parents and brother and sisters were already eating dinner. Your mother was worried about you. I said that I'd lost my way, that I'd wanted to walk through the memorial garden in the cemetery to Molkenkur, but wandered around who knows where for a long time and ended up in Nussloch. My older brother snorted contemptuously.
There's north and there's south, and the sun rises. It's not his strength he's lacking, it's his brains. He was three years older than me, and better at both. At a certain point I stopped fighting back and let his attacks dissipate into thin air. Since then he had confined himself to grousing at me.
He set his knife and fork down on his plate, leaned back, and folded his hands in his lap. He said nothing and looked thoughtful, the way he always did when my mother talked to him about the children or the household.
As usual, I wondered whether he was really turning over my mother's question in his mind, or whether he was thinking about work. Maybe he did try to think about my mother's question, but once his mind started going, he could only think about work. He was a professor of philosophy, and thinking was his life — thinking and reading and writing and teaching.
Sometimes I had the feeling that all of us in his family were like pets to him. The dog you take for a walk, the cat you play with and that curls up in your lap, purring, to be stroked — you can be fond of them, you can even need them to a certain extent, and nonetheless the whole thing — downloading pet food, cleaning up the cat box, and trips to the vet — is really too much.
Your life is elsewhere. I wish that we, his family, had been his life. Sometimes I also wished that my grousing brother and my cheeky little sister were different. But that evening I suddenly loved them all. My little sister. It probably wasn't easy being the youngest of four, and she needed to be cheeky just to hold her own. My older brother. We shared a bedroom, which must be even harder for him than it was for me, and on top of that, since I'd been ill he'd had to let me have the room to myself and sleep on the sofa in the living room.
How could he not nag me? My father. Why should we children be his whole life? We were growing up and soon we'd be adults and out of the house. I felt as if we were sitting all together for the last time around the round table under the five- armed, five-candled brass chandelier, as if we were eating our last meal off the old plates with the green vine-leaf border, as if we would never talk to each other so intimately again.
I felt as if I were saying goodbye. I was still there and already gone. I was homesick for my mother and father and my brother and sisters, and I longed to be with the woman. My father looked over at me. He nodded. If it gets to be too much for you, you'll just stay home again. And at the same time I felt I'd just said my final goodbyes.
She came home at noon, and I cut my last class every day so as to be waiting for her on the landing outside her apartment. We showered and made love, and just before half past one I scrambled into my clothes and ran out the door. Lunch was at one-thirty. On Sundays lunch was at noon, but her early shift also started and ended later. I would have preferred to skip the shower. She was scrupulously clean, she showered every morning, and I liked the smell of perfume, fresh perspiration, and streetcar that she brought with her from work.
But I also liked her wet, soapy body; I liked to let her soap me and I liked to soap her, and she taught me not to do it bashfully, but with assurance and possessive thoroughness. When we made love, too, she took possession of me as a matter of course. Her mouth took mine, her tongue played with my tongue, she told me where to touch her and how, and when she rode me until she came, I was there only because she took pleasure in me and on me.
I don't mean to say that she lacked tenderness and didn't give me pleasure. But she did it for her own playful enjoyment, until I learned to take possession of her too. That came later. I never completely mastered it. And for a long time I didn't miss it. I was young, and I came quickly, and when I slowly came back alive again afterwards, I liked to have her take possession of me. I would look at her when she was on top of me, her stomach which made a deep crease above her navel, her breasts, the right one the tiniest bit larger than the left, her face and open mouth.
She would lean both hands against my chest and throw them up at the last moment, as she gave a toneless sobbing cry that frightened me the first time, and that later I eagerly awaited.
Afterwards we were exhausted. She often fell asleep on top of me. I would listen to the saws in the yard and the loud cries of the workers who operated them and had to shout to make themselves heard. When the saws fell silent, the sound of the traffic echoed faintly in the kitchen. When I heard children calling and playing, I knew that school was out and that it was past one o'clock.
The neighbor who came home at lunchtime scattered birdseed on his balcony, and the doves came and cooed. She had fallen asleep on me and was just waking up. Until then I avoided saying anything to her that required me to choose either the formal or the familiar form of address. She stared. I know your last name, but not your first. I want to know your first name. What's the matter with. My name is Hanna. What's yours? At that time it was the in thing not to carry your schoolbooks in a bag but under your arm, and when I put them on her kitchen table, my name was on the front.
But she hadn't paid any attention to them. And I wished I were with her more often. I've missed too much in the last months while I was ill. If I still wanted to move up next year I'd have to work like an idiot. I'd also have to be in school right now. And if you don't want to do your work, don't come back.
Your work is idiotic? What do you think selling and punching tickets is? With her left hand she opened the little holder with the blocks of tickets, using her left thumb, covered with a rubber thimble, to pull off two tickets, flipped her right hand to get hold of the punch that hung from her wrist, and made two holes.
I was stunned. I'll do my work. I don't know if I'll make it, school only has another six weeks to go. I'll try. But I won't get through it if I can't see you anymore. But then I didn't. Maybe she was right, of course she was right. But she had no right to demand that I do more at school, and make that the condition for our seeing each other again. I'll be home at five-thirty and you can come.
Provided you work first. I didn't understand what was going on. Was she thinking of me? Or of herself? If my schoolwork is idiotic, that makes her work even more so — that's what upset her? But I hadn't ever said that my work or hers was idiotic. Or was it that she didn't want a failure for a lover?
But was I her lover? What was I to her? I dressed, dawdling, and hoped she would say something. But she said nothing. Then I had all my clothes on and she was still standing there naked, and as I kissed her goodbye, she didn't respond.
Is it yearning for past happiness — for I was happy in the weeks that followed, in which I really did work like a lunatic and passed the class, and we made love as if nothing else in the world mattered.
Is it the knowledge of what came later, and that what came out afterwards had been there all along? Why does what was beautiful suddenly shatter in hindsight because it concealed dark truths? Why does the memory of years of happy marriage turn to gall when our partner is revealed to have had a lover all those years? Because such a situation makes it impossible to be happy? But we were happy! Sometimes the memory of happiness cannot stay true because it ended unhappily.
Because happiness is only real if it lasts forever? Because things always end painfully if they contained pain, conscious or unconscious, all along? But what is unconscious, unrecognized pain?
I think back to that time and I see my former self. I wore the well-cut suits which had come down to me from a rich uncle, now dead, along with several pairs of two-tone shoes, black and brown, black and white, suede and calf. My arms and legs were too long, not for the suits, which my mother had let down for me, but for my own movements. My glasses were a cheap over-the-counter pair and my hair a tangled mop, no matter what I did.
In school I was neither good nor bad; I think that many of the teachers didn't really notice me, nor did the students who dominated the class. I didn't like the way I looked, the way I dressed and moved, what I achieved and what I felt I was worth. But there was so much energy in me, such belief that one day I'd be handsome and clever and superior and admired, such anticipation when I met new people and new situations.
Is that what makes me sad? The eagerness and belief that filled me then and exacted a pledge from life that life could never fulfill? Sometimes I see the same eagerness and belief in the faces of children and teenagers and the sight brings back the same sadness I feel in remembering myself.
Is this what sadness is all about? Is it what comes over us when beautiful memories shatter in hindsight because the remembered happiness fed not just on actual circumstances but on a promise that was not kept?
She — I should start calling her Hanna, just as I started calling her Hanna back then — she certainly didn't nourish herself on promises, but was rooted in the here and now. I asked her about her life, and it was as if she rummaged around in a dusty chest to get me the answers. She had grown up in a German community in Rumania, then come to Berlin at the age of sixteen, taken a job at the Siemens factory, and ended up in the army at twenty-one.
Since the end of the war, she had done all manner of jobs to get by. She had been a streetcar conductor for several years; what she liked about the job was the uniform and the constant motion, the changing scenery and the wheels rolling under her feet. But that was all she liked about it. She had no family.
She was thirty-six. She told me all this as if it were not her life but somebody else's, someone she didn't know well and who wasn't important to her. Things I wanted to know more about had vanished completely from her mind, and she didn't understand why I was interested in what had happened to her parents, whether she had had brothers and sisters, how she had lived in Berlin and what she'd done in the army.
I was glad to see Felix Krull end up in the arms of the mother rather than the daughter. My sister, who was studying German literature, delivered a report at the dinner table about the controversy as to whether Mr. I imagined how our relationship might be in five or ten years.
I asked Hanna how she imagined it. She didn't even want to think ahead to Easter, when I wanted to take a bicycle trip with her during the vacation. We could get a room together as mother and son, and spend the whole night together.
Strange that this idea and suggesting it were not embarrassing to me. On a trip with my mother I would have fought to get a room of my own. Having my mother with me when I went to the doctor or to download a new coat or to be picked up by her after a trip seemed to me to be something I had outgrown. If we went somewhere together and we ran into my schoolmates, I was afraid they would think I was a mama's boy.
But to be seen with Hanna, who was ten years younger than my mother but could have been my mother, didn't bother me. It made me proud. When I see a woman of thirty-six today, I find her young. But when I see a boy of fifteen, I see a child. I am amazed at how much confidence Hanna gave me. My success at school got my teachers' attention and assured me of their respect. The girls I met noticed and liked it that I wasn't afraid of them.
I felt at ease in my own body. The memory that illuminates and fixes my first meetings with Hanna makes a single blur of the weeks between our first conversation and the end of the school year. One reason for that is we saw each other so regularly and our meetings always followed the same course. Another is that my days had never been so full and my life had never been so swift and so dense. When I think about the work I did in those weeks, it's as if I had sat down at my desk and stayed there until I had caught up with everything I'd missed during my hepatitis, learned all the vocabulary, read all the texts, worked through all the theorems and memorized the periodic table.
I had already done the reading about the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich while I was in my sickbed. And I remember our meetings in those weeks as one single long meeting. After our conversation, they were always in the afternoon: Dinner was at seven, and at first Hanna forced me to be home on time. But after a while an hour and a half was not enough, and I began to think up excuses to miss dinner. It all happened because of reading aloud. The day after our conversation, Hanna wanted to know what I was learning in school.
I told her about Homer, Cicero, and Hemingway's story about the old man and his battle with the fish and the sea. She wanted to hear what Greek and Latin sounded like, and I read to her from the Odyssey and the speeches against Cataline. So I had to read both, which I did after finishing everything else. By then it was late, and I was tired, and next day I'd forgotten it all and had to start all over again.
I had to read Emilia Galotti to her for half an hour before she took me into the shower and then to bed. It was in the s that, as a young academic, Schlink began to feel as if something were missing from his life.
He decided to explore other pursuits, and while visiting America, he took a massage course in California and became a qualified masseur. In Germany, he decided to learn goldsmithing and began to make jewelry. However, his massage and jewelry careers were short-lived, and he eventually turned to creative writing. While serving as a judge in North Rhine-Westphalia, he wrote and published a series of post-war detective novels about a reformed Nazi prosecutor who becomes a private detective.
In , he published The Reader , which also explored life after the Holocaust and which was met with great acclaim. The Reader was awarded numerous literary prizes and became a global bestseller. In , it was adapted into an award-winning and critically acclaimed film. Since the success of The Reader , Schlink has published a number of literary works, as well as legal texts.
Cardozo School of Law in New York. Download it! Historical Context of The Reader The novel deals with the aftermath of the Holocaust, the mass murder of over six million Jews, Romani, homosexuals, and communists in Europe during the Nazi regime. The camps were used to torture and systemically kill their prisoners, either by poisoning them in gas chambers or by working them to death in labor camps.
After the war, many of the Germans who helped perpetrate the Holocaust or who accommodated the perpetrators were accepted back into society. As Germans began to question recent history in the s and s, and as Germany underwent an economic recession, students in particular became increasingly dissatisfied with their living conditions, university curricula, and the remaining Nazi presence in government and universities. In the late s, there were several student protests in West Germany, some of which were instigated by violent reactions from the police.
The student movement peaked in May , when tens of thousands of students and workers protested against the German Emergency Acts, which would grant the government the power to limit civil rights.
Nevertheless, the opponents of the law failed to stop it from being passed, and the student movement began to peter out. However, despite these obstacles, the movement left a legacy of student activism and democratic spirit. Other Books Related to The Reader Though The Reader is not a Holocaust novel, the Holocaust is the main reason for the generational divide between the perpetrators and accommodators and their children.
Eine Abrechnung. Cite This Page. MLA Chicago.