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Journey Through America

Journey Through America

Wolfgang Koeppen
translated by Michael Kimmage
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 172
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  • Book Info
    Journey Through America
    Book Description:

    Amerikafahrtby Wolfgang Koeppen is a masterpiece of observation, analysis, and writing, based on his 1958 trip to the United States. A major twentieth-century German writer, Koeppen presents a vivid and fascinating portrait of the US in the late 1950s: its major cities, its literary culture, its troubled race relations, its multi-culturalism and its vast loneliness, a motif drawn, in part, from Kafka'sAmerika. A modernist travelogue, the text employs symbol, myth, and image, as if Koeppen sought to answer de Tocqueville's questions in the manner of Joyce and Kafka.Journey through Americais also a meditation on America, intended for a German audience and mindful of the destiny of postwar Europe under many Americanizing influences.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-437-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-26)

    America came to Wolfgang Koeppen before he could go to America. Koeppen traveled to the United States in 1958, and when he publishedAmerikafahrtJourney through America—a year later, he was at the height of his literary powers. His impressions were the insights of a major German novelist, a postwar writer engaged in continuous reckoning with modern Germany. In addition, Koeppen was an esteemed travel writer who had already voyaged to the Soviet Union in 1957 and whose 1961 travelogue about France was among his last book-length publications. Koeppen’s golden age of literary creation coincided with the birth of...

  5. Journey through America
    (pp. 27-152)

    The barracks of the inoculated crusaders on Europe’s soil, a renewal of the Roman wall on the Rhine, rocket ramps in a black zone, supply bases on the high school of Salamanca, bulldozers, planing machines, hole-drilling tools, hiding places for fear, shelters for stupidity.¹ The old vineyards consecrated to the gods, to the saints and to commerce; the German planes, the Germanic middle, the continent’s broken heart, Maginot’s illusions restored, colonies of officers and sergeants with Indian faces, neighborliness and isolation. They’ve brought Main Street with them, unpacked churches from their suitcases and space for fighter planes to launch their...

  6. Bibliography
    (pp. 153-155)
  7. Index
    (pp. 156-159)