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Aller Tage Abend ➲ [Read] ➭ Aller Tage Abend By Jenny Erpenbeck ➽ – From one of the most daring voices in European fiction this is a story of the twentieth century traced through the various possible lives of one woman She is a baby who suffocates in the cradle Or she From one of the most daring voices in European fiction this is a story of the twentieth century traced through the various possible lives of one woman She is a baby who suffocates in the cradle Or she lives to Aller Tage PDF or become a woman and dies beloved Or she dies betrayed Or her memory is honored Or she is forgotten by everyone Moving from a small Galician town at the turn of the century through pre war Vienna and Stalin's Moscow to present day Berlin Jenny Erpenbeck homes in on the moments when life follows a particular branch and 'fate' suddenly emerges from the sly interplay between history character and pure chance.

About the Author: Jenny Erpenbeck

Jenny Erpenbeck born March in East Berlin is a German director and writerJenny Erpenbeck is the daughter of the physicist philosopher and writer John Erpenbeck and the Arabic translator Doris Kilias Her grandparents are the authors Fritz Erpenbeck Aller Tage PDF or and Hedda Zinner In Berlin she attended an Advanced High School where she graduated in She then completed a two year apprenticeship.

10 thoughts on “Aller Tage Abend

  1. Amalia Gavea Amalia Gavea says:

    ‘’The Lord gave and the Lord took away her grandmother said to her at the edge of the grave But that wasn't right because the Lord had taken away much than had been there to start with and everything her child might have become was now lying there at the bottom of the pit waiting to be covered up’’ This book is full of horrors The horror of losing your newborn child The horror of being a stranger unwanted and frowned upon The horror of oppression persecution war death The wound of a country that suddenly finds itself split in two families separated people labeled as ‘’second class’’ citizens And then all the uestions overruled by a single phrase ‘’what if’’ What if we had the chance to live again? To witness death and birth and wait for the cycle to start anew? This is the background of Jenny Erpenbeck’s haunting novel in a beautiful soulful translation by Susan Bernofsky In a story that spans countries and eras our journey starts in Galicia at the end of the 19th century A young couple of mixed religious background loses a baby girl The pain is unbearable the aftershock of the tragic loss comes swiftly and violently In books connected by intermezzi Erpenbeck takes us on a journey to Europe and its turbulent History Our guide? The girl that died Erpenbeck imagines how her life could have turned out if she had been given a second chance her choices and relationships in the heart of two countries whose course in History has been stormy to say the least Germany and Russia ‘’The newly arrived ship lies safely in the harbour But nothing is known of the one just setting sail What will be its fate? Who knows whether it will successfully withstand the storms awaiting it?’’ Erpenbeck writes and her words enter your soul and mind and haunt you for days The essence of the story is overcoming ordeals and sometimes this is just not possible How do you overcome the loss of a child? It is against the law of Nature it is Hell on Earth The paragraphs describing the mother’s pain and the superstitions related to Death are powerful and poignant The claustrophobic feeling created by all the unnecessary do gooders who believe they know what is right In addition to biological death there is also another kind of loss The need to abandon your homeland in search of a better life The ordeal of the immigrants arriving in New York the move to Vienna to Prague and Moscow the Berliners who found themselves isolated and downgraded in the blink of an eye There is no home for the ones who are rejected by society and the domestic environment is no less harsh or oppressive ‘’Hear my prayer O Lord and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears; for I am a stranger with thee and a sojourner as all my fathers were’’ Religion plays a significant role in the story Christian and Jewish citizens fall in love with each other people are branded because of their religious beliefs hunted and massacred Throughout the story the writer poignantly demonstrates how we all share the same feelings despite the fact that we may pray differently People of different religions and nationalities are united by the same hardships and fears No matter how we call God we all want one thing Peace ‘’Someone should declare war on war’’ War is the bane of our existence Erpenbeck uses ominous symbols like lightning storms and earthuakes to refer to eras shaken by the vicious human nature It doesn’t matter where we are Vienna Prague Moscow or Berlin Whether we are in 1920 or in 1938 when Hitler’s darkness spread over Europe leading to the Second World War when Stalin’s dominance in the Soviet Union became absolute Sometimes peace seems only an illusion in the darkest moments of History and the period following a war is even difficult because societies are in ruins and populations are devastatedErpenbeck enriches the novel with various cultural and historical references She vividly paints the various eras and places of action The descriptions of the Viennese streets are so beautiful Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss a favourite operetta Oscar Wilde’s Salome one of my favourite plays Ibsen’s The Wild Duck the legend of Melmoth Rosa Luxemburg the KGB the daily life in the GDR the massacre in Lviv pass before our eyes In various writing styles stream of consciousness monologue unpunctuated dialogue non linear narrative Erpenbeck writes about motherhood death despair and hope ending in the time of the Reunification of Germany Time means everything and nothing Nothing changes and yet fundamental alterations take place in the blink of an eye What would have happened if?The eternal unanswered uestion that defines History and the fate of us all You do not want to miss this masterpiece ‘’And what is the deepest layer one can lay back? In the end does coming clean mean scraping the very flesh of your bones? And then what are bones?’’ My reviews can also be found on

  2. Adam Dalva Adam Dalva says:

    Incredibly brilliant writing on essentially the interconnections between a series of alternate universes I bought the book without knowing anything about it except my affection for Erpenbeck and I think I might have benefited from not knowing the concept which has been spoiled all over Goodreads but I won't address it here This is structurally fascinating 5 linked short novels that congeal into a whole that sums up a life better than a realist novel could There are stylistic differences based on era that help set the books apart My plea is to give it through part two until then it might feel a bit cliched but she's building something wonderful here This complaint is nothing definitive but I found myself drifting when I read it particularly at the confusing beginning of part 3 there's a reason it is written the way it is but I think it's a misstep Part 4 is the highlight of the book and has an absolute sublime 3 pages 107 109 in my edition that sing This is a sad sad sad piece of fiction so bear that in mind too It's not really like anything else which is its best uality

  3. Dem Dem says:

    I have read 50% of this book and I am no further on than when I had 1% read as this book is making absolutely no sense to me When is the right time to give up on a book? I hate giving up on a novel but I am getting zero satisfaction from this story and frustration is starting to set in So I think now is the time to part company with this one One of the difficulties for me is that neither the main character or her parents sister husband grandparents and great grandparents are given names in the 50% that I read I found this made the story or stories uite difficult to follow as was the 5 versions of the life and death of the protagonist I was reading this on holiday and thought AAAhhhhhhh enough is enough

  4. Friederike Knabe Friederike Knabe says:

    Already the title of Jenny Erpenbeck's new novel ALLER TAGE ABEND THE END OF ALL DAYS gives me pause It is an old fashioned phrase that goes back at least to Martin Luther The story begins at the grave site of a baby girl and while the grandmother accepts this death without uestioning the why? the thoughts of the mother wander into all the possible future lives that the girl might have had One death is not the end of all days first spoken by the grandmother becomes the underlying theme that weaves through the book The author builds her novel around the fundamental uestion what if? What coincidences unforeseen encounters personal actions or external events shape our lives could have shaped the life of this one nameless little girl? From that first scene of mourning and grief Erpenbeck spins an extraordinary and complex narrative in which she intertwines a personal intimate family story of three generations with pertinent political events and historical changes taking place in the course of the twentieth century from 1902 to 1992 Brilliant Without hesitation very rare for me I can say that this is the most powerful and thought provoking book I have read this year if not longerIn five books each linked to the next by an 'intermezzo' the author composes the novel like a musical arrangement a symphony maybe where each book has its own style and rhythm yet picks up one or another elements from the previous only to develop it into another variation of the underlying theme what if? The language can be stark or lyrical the rhythm slow or fast All depends on the pace of the story and images created Nonetheless each book contains its concrete setting in time and place This could be Galicia home of the Jewish grandmother Vienna Siberia Berlin Each locale has a role to play in the story's events as it does in the historical contexts Each politically pertinent period is explored through the personal lens of the protagonists a very effective way to bring difficult concepts to the fore such as the Stasi system of neighbours spying on neighbours or the degrading self critiue common in the Soviet UnionLike in her award winning novel VISITATION and other works Erpenbeck is hesitant to give personal names to her characters Their individuality however could not be strongly presented At the same time by not giving her characters names they can be perceived also in a broader context of human behaviour What if for example we were born under different circumstances in a different place how would our lives have evolved? How would we have behaved if confronted with the challenges the novel's characters have?I am very reluctant to expand on the content of the novel in a review As I said in the beginning it is one of the most engaging book I have read in uite some time The intense pleasure of reading ALLER TAGE ABEND operates on different levels and also lies in the step by step discover of its composition and different story lines

  5. ·Karen· ·Karen· says:

    A child dies But this is not the end no the beginning What if she hadn't died? What if her life went on and she died in the despair of unreuited love or in a senseless pogrom of 'Trotskyite' elements or celebrated at the height of literary fame or in obscurity forgotten and alone in an old people's home? What does it take to survive the twentieth century? To be tossed on the waves of two wars the Spanish flu economic collapse totalitarian regimes the fall of communism and yet keep bobbing up to the surface? How do you cheat death waiting just outside the window? A lump of snow a patch of ice different clothes a party functionary who remembers your apple strudel the right foot instead of the left on the stairs Life as contingent death as a freak the step between the two worlds no than a breath Unless you are the old great grandfather for whom dying is like crossing a vast room whose far side is not visibleThis is a boldly conceived story and magnificently executed Jenny Erpenbeck's sixth book is about the contingency of life and mid Europe from 1902 to 1992 That might sound a little hard to take great unpalatable lumps of philosophy and history but although she offers us here five possible biographies she never lets her gaze wander from the human individual the human cost the human pain Her tone is uiet fatalistic melancholy; the five sections vary in pace and perspective Erpenbeck seems to have a marked distaste for handing out names the child in The Old Child and Other Stories never has one at all and most of the people in Visitation are referred to in their role the gardener the architect the architect's wife Here the women are mother grandmother That works fine as long as there are no than three generations Here there are four Tiny uibble It keeps you on your toes

  6. Roger Brunyate Roger Brunyate says:

    Death After DeathI read the first long section of this intricate novel in German as Aller Tage Abend over a year ago It was about the time that Kate Atkinson's Life After Life was going to press so there can be no accusation of plagiarism between the two authors but the concepts are nonetheless very similar Atkinson tells a forty year story in which a setback in one chapter—an infant's death say—is immediately followed by another in which that outcome is erased and replaced by an alternative version Erpenbeck does much the same only with fewer sections five to Atkinson's fifty or and a longer time span virtually the whole of the last century but I think with greater depthThe novel begins with the death of an infant girl in Galicia The death causes a rift between the father and mother Although Christian he has married a Jewess for financial reasons but the mixed marriage hinders his promotion in the civil service and causes his wife to be disowned by her orthodox family With the death of the child the strongest bond between them their family unit disintegrates Their lives and hardships—poverty persecution emigration—might stand in for thousands of individuals fleeing Eastern Europe in the years before WW1; it is not insignificant that they and everybody else in the book are denied proper names though they do come across as individualsBut then follows an Intermezzo In this the child's grandmother tries an old folk remedy and the baby lives Book II takes us to Vienna in 1919 but to poverty and eventually to another death Another Intermezzo another major section This takes us to Russia where the daughter now a professional writer is trying not to fall victim to Stalinist purges And so it goes through the fall of the Wall to the modern era It is enormously to Erpenbeck's credit that she both stays true to her schema and varies it so that while the pattern remains it is never predictable Deaths which might have been prevented by a simple if only are intermingled with the natural ones that come for us all and which cannot be turned back There is also a beautiful closing of the circle in the final chapters created partly through the failing memories of the central character and partly by the author's use of repetitions and other stylistic devices that shape the book as a vast arch Erpenbeck is a writer of the greatest intelligence; she may lack the popular touch of Atkinson but her vision is larger and her historical conscience acuteI believe I have now read all of Erpenbeck's fiction It seems that she oscillates between two main styles One is poetic—incantatory in the words of one of the critics cited on the cover—stepping back and viewing matters in the vast context of geography history or faith Whoso findeth his friend congratulated him at his wedding fifty two years before and this finding continues today—find the wisdom in the Torah a good wife a peaceful life down to the last shovelful of earth on the coffin; find a death easy as a kiss like the kiss with which the Lord awoke Adam to life he blew breath into his nose and one day if you're lucky he'll gently lightly kiss it away again Sure she could have said this simply but the intricacy of its fragmentation and repetitions are the essence of what might be called Erpenbeck's high style It is even resonant in the German; the main reason why I abandoned my first reading is that I was aware of so many other layers of reference beneath the surface that I feared I was missing So kudos to translator Susan Bernofsky for retaining so much of the poetry and not trying to turn everything into prose Not that Erpenbeck's prose level is to be sneezed at either She has a way of writing with devastating simplicity as in the following a complete chapter set as a kind of epilogue to Book II In 1944 in a small forest of birch trees a notebook filled with handwritten diary entries will fall to the ground when a sentry uses his rifle butt to push a young woman to the ground and she tries to protect herself with arms she had previously been using to clutch the notebook to her chest The book will fall in the mud and the woman will not be able to return to pick it up again For a while the book will remain lying there wind and rain will turn its pages footsteps will pass over it until all the secrets written there are the same color as the mud Much of the success of Erpenbeck's breakout novel Visitation came from the balance of these two styles the poetic invocation of a Brandenburg lake over decades centuries and aeons and the simple account of the brief lives led in a house on its shores The End of Days attempts much the same thing; it is also an account of an entire century of German history told through sharply characterized vignettes So is this latest novel as good as its predecessor? I would have to say not uite While it mesmerized me with its poetic vision and infolded layers of narrative I missed the balance of the earlier book; I was intrigued but seldom devastated In particular the lethal absurdity of Soviet bureaucracy which constitutes the whole of Book III first confused and then annoyed me as communist dialectic tends to do I was glad to return to a saner world in Book IVAnd so to Book V the shortest of all a small miracle For here Erpenbeck ties the waning century to the wandering mind of a very real old woman in a Berlin retirement home The day room is full of stories not being told Not told in words perhaps But then the author embarks on a stunning coda recapitulating the tragedy of the century in terms of objects a patched valise a gilt carriage clock and a leather bound set of Goethe I can't say why but their fate moved me at least as much as the many deaths of her central character Whatever happens to this novel in its middle section its opening and closing are the fruits of geniusPS I have learned from a friend that the life of the protagonist here shorn of the various possible earlier deaths that were later rescinded has much in common with that of the author's grandmother If so this puts a different complexion on the book It makes the lack of names for example poignant rather than distancing It explains the long Soviet nightmare in the middle And it enhances the special ualities of the final section making them even moving as a posthumous personal tributeHere is the original German of the first passage uoted above Finden und finden hat ihm sein Freund bei der Hochzeit gewünscht zweiundsiebzig Jahre zuvor und so dauert das Finden bis heute an finden die Weisheit in der Tora finden eine gute Frau finden ein friedliches Leben bis zur letzten Schaufel Erde die auf den Leichnam geworfen wird finden einen Tod der leicht ist wie ein Kuss wie der Kuss mit den der Herr Adam zum Leben erweckt hat Atem hat er ihm durch die Nase geblasen und küsst den Atem wenn man Glück hat eines Tages sanft und leicht wieder fort The repetitions of the words finden Kuss and Atem show Erpenbeck's poetic bent better than anything else Also the easy flowing of one idea into another almost regardless of syntax with nothing stronger than a comma Looking at this again I can't help feeling that Susan Bernofsky may have overpunctuated her translation trying to give logical structure to something that is merely intended as a free seuence of thoughts Perhaps something like the following? Find and find his friend wished him at his wedding seventy two years earlier and the finding continues to this day find wisdom in the Torah find a good wife find a peaceful life until the last shovelful of earth is tossed on the corpse find a death as easy as a kiss the breath with which the Lord waked Adam to life the breath that he blew into his nostrils and the breath that if one is lucky he will one day kiss softly and gently away translation mine

  7. lark benobi lark benobi says:

    Breathtaking vivid writing but it almost didn't feel like the writing belonged in a novel It felt like it should have been music instead As I read I got the same feeling I get when I listen to Barber's Adagio for Strings As with the Barber piece there are beautiful incantatory phrases that build to piercingly beautiful and very sad resolutions But the resolutions are lyrical and thematic rather than providing narrative closure The language does not build to a resolution as a novel typically does There is almost no sense of narrative momentum So I'm not sure if I love this work as a novel to be read silently I'd love this story set to music as a choral piece maybe words to be sung aloud in a holy place

  8. Holly Holly says:

    The first two sections of this novel took my breath away I slowed my pace down to a close reading level absorbing the resonances between the first two possible lives of this girl child and entertaining the possibilities in subtle shifts that might change a life I immediately found it profound than Kate Atkinson's Life After Life which starts at a galloping pace and a very different style An infant who suffers a crib death finds herself with suicidal ideations in another life Does he know what a burden she is finding life which from inside always looked to her like a sphere with perfectly smooth black walls and you keep running and running and there isn't even a shabby little door to let you out?I cleared my Sunday evening it was just me and the cat to read the second half the three seuential possible lives of the character that take up near where the previous ended The what might have happened if this was different? or if one tiny change was made? I felt challenged as a reader to enter the later lives as deeply as I had the early lives I was still absorbing the impact of the first 100 pages I wished for the Books to be longer so that I could spend time with her in each new setting In Book III the character turns to Communism and this section was distancing and elliptical fragmented cold I realize that the style was a reflection of the rhetoric of the comrades so it was deliberate In Book IV our character's son is a central figure recounting his and his mother's life simultaneously with her death as she falls down the stairs if only she'd stepped differently if only if only By Book V she is an old woman I had some trouble fully imagining her in a retirement home These are minor complaints and probably my failure as a reader and not legitimate problems with the book The return of the Goethe volumes and the resonances from all the possible lives moved me I had been listening to the audio of Moorehead's tragic Holocaust history A Train in Winter in the days leading up to reading this and the horrors of death camps and the human struggle against meaningless evil were informing my reading of Erpenbeck The twentieth century itself the century of thanatos and Germany are backdrops essential influences and I felt invited to apply the If only uestions to the great wars and deaths of the century

  9. Viv JM Viv JM says:

    There were moments of great beauty and poignancy in this book but for some reason it just left me a bit cold I never really felt a connection The lack of character names didn't really work for me I found it too baffling Probably a case of it's not the book it's me but still I feel slightly relieved to have finished

  10. Marc Marc says:

    Ruminating over lifeReading the German author Jenny Erpenbeck always is uite a challenge In this novel too you are constantly puzzling who is talking here what is it about how does this chapter relate to the others etc? Endless uestions that may not even be relevantWhat keeps recurring is the theme of the leanness of life a child’s life that is broken in the bud by cot death a girl who suddenly commits suicide together with a boy an activist woman who is constantly on her guard against the betrayal of Communist friends a celebrated East German writer who’s reputation is annulled when the Wall fell a demented 90 year old woman who dies in a desolate retirement home You cannot call this uplifting reading and with a German title as Aller tage Abend “always evening” that was predictable In every episode death has the final word as it should be or shouldn’t it?The interlude pieces suggest that Erpenbeck always sketches an episode of the life of a woman in very different contexts a woman who could in fact always be the same person resurrected in a different time in a different context given some kind of coincidence One of the intermezzos is a long staccato of what if sentences and this makes you conclude that with a small change a handful of snow lifes can take a completely different turn and can be revived endlessly But you are not going to hear me say that this is the message that Erpenbeck has put into this novel she is intelligent enough to leave that to the readerJust like in Heimsuchung Visitation the very dramatic German history of the 20th century forms the background for this novel and of course this volatility lends itself perfectly to the very changeable situations she describes Once again this is done in a very ingenious way with intertwined stories that ultimately refer to each other And again regularly there are appealing poetic passages But I personally found that first novel Visitation to be homogeneous and successful in this regard In any case Erpenbeck definitely is a writer for ruminants

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