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Overview

An NYRB Classics Original

Seventeen-year-old Schlump marches off to war in 1915 because going to war is the best way to meet girls. And so he does, on his first posting, overseeing three villages in occupied France. But then Schlump is sent to the front, and the good times end.

Schlump, written by Hans Herbert Grimm, was published anonymously in 1928 and was one of the first German novels to describe World War I in all its horror and absurdity, and it remains one of the best. What really sets it apart is its remarkable central character. Who is Schlump? A bit of a rascal and a bit of a sweetheart, a victim of his times, an inveterate survivor, maybe even a new type of man. At once comedy, documentary, hellhole, and fairy tale, Schlump is a gripping and disturbing book about the experience of trauma and what the great critic Walter Benjamin, writing at the same time as Hans Herbert Grimm, would call the death of experience, since perhaps if anything goes, nothing counts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681370262
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 11/15/2016
Series: NYRB Classics Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Hans Herbert Grimm (1896–1950) was born in the town of Markneukirchen and fought in World War I. After the war he taught Spanish, French, and English in Altenburg, and published Schlump anonymously in 1928 to avoid drawing his employer’s attention to his pacificist beliefs. Schlump was not the commercial or popular success Grimm had hoped it would be, but his anonymity protected him when the book was burned by the Nazis in 1933. To avoid suspicion, Grimm joined the Nazi Party and worked as an interpreter in France during World War II. After the war, however, he was barred from teaching because of his party membership and began working in the theater and, later, in a sand mine. In 1950, two days after meeting with East German authorities, Grimm committed suicide; it is not known what was discussed at the meeting.

Jamie Bulloch is a historian and translator of German literature. His most recent translations include Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes and Raw Material by Jörg Fauser.

Volker Weidermann is the former director and editor of the Sunday edition of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and is currently a contributor to Der Spiegel. His most recent book is Ostend: Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth, and The Summer Before the Dark.

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