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- DescriptionThis is an autobiographical vel of youth spent on the German home front during World War I. First published in Germany in 1928 as Jahrgang 1902, Glaeser's autobiographical vel centers on the experiences of the narrator, E., and his friends who come of age during the Great War but never kw combat because the war ends before they can be drafted. Through their perspectives Glaeser provides glimpses into traumatic times on the German home front. Over the four years covered by the vel, E. witnesses the buildup and deployment of troops, the return of the wounded, deaths, hunger, and air raids. His own actions follow a quest for sexual experience and, moreover, the understanding of life he believes will come from such experience. As E. simultaneously spurns the onset of adulthood and yearns for the physical pleasures that might accompany such a transition, his life repeatedly intersects with the war, moving him in and out of dangers and eventually taking his girlfriend Anna from him before they can consummate their relationship. Through the vibrantly detailed episodes that make up the work, Glaeser gives a street-level vantage point on the sufferings of the German civilian population and shows the high cost of war even for those with direct involvement in its outcome. Deemed a damned good book by Ernest Hemingway, Glaeser's work warrants reading today for its value as a historical document and as a vel of antiwar sentiments from a German perspective. In the new introduction to this edition, Kruse details the reception of the work against the historical backdrop of German vels of the era and the international rise of the antiwar genre in which the work participates.
- Author BiographyErnst Glaeser (1902-1963) began his writing career as a newspaper journalist in Frankfurt. Though he wrote some eighteen books, none of his subsequent works achieved the same international acclaim as this, his first novel. Horst Kruse is a professor emeritus of English and American literature at the University of Munster.
- Author(s)Ernst Glaeser
- PublisherUniversity of South Carolina Press
- Date of Publication15/04/2008
- SubjectGeneral & Literary Fiction
- Series TitleJoseph M. Bruccoli Great War Series
- Place of PublicationSouth Carolina
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of South Carolina Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight395 g
- Width140 mm
- Height216 mm
- Spine20 mm
- Introduction byHorst H. Kruse
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