Two Novels by Arno Schmidt
The Stony Heart and B/Moondocks (German and Austrian Literature Series)

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Among Schmidt enthusiasts, scholars, and fans, the two novels stand in sharp contrast to one another, the first belonging to his early, more realistic phase, and the second introducing his later, more experimental phase. But the hairs are not worth splitting.

Taking place in 1954, The Stony Heart concerns a man gathering documents for a study of a historian, and in the course of his search he gets involved with a woman who is married to a man who is involved with a woman, etc.

B/Moondocks has parallel stories, one played out in a rural German town in the late 1950s, and the other on the moon in 1980 (the book was first published in German in 1960).

At the heart of both is an absolute commitment to two things: freeing language from its commonplace prose functions, and Schmidt's ongoing savage attack on the German mind-set and attitude that gave us two world wars in this century.

About Arno Schmidt

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Arno Schmidt was born in 1914, in the working-class suburb of Hamburg-Hamm, Germany. Drafted into the army in 1940, he served in the artillery at a flak base in Norway until the end of the war. After being held as a prisoner of war for eight months, he worked briefly as an interpreter for the British military police. His home in Lauban and, more importantly for him, his library had been lost in the war, and he and his wife were officially classified as Displaced Persons. In 1946 they found refuge in a one-room apartment in Cordingen in Lower Saxony. In 1958 Schmidt moved to the village of Bargfeld near Celle. Over the next 20 years, until his death in 1979, he wrote some of the landmarks of postwar German literature. John E. Woods won both the 1981 American Book Award and PEN award for his translation of Schmidt's Evening Edged in Gold and has published a new translation of Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks.
Published December 1, 1997 by Dalkey Archive Press. 432 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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This novel's intermittent paeans to German literary culture and rude burlesques of Nazism are given more complex, if less immediately engaging form, in (the ingeniously retitled) B/Moondocks (1960), whose narrator Karl Richter's amatory pursuit of his troubled mistress stimulates him to invent a ...

Dec 10 1997 | Read Full Review of Two Novels: The Stony Heart a...

Publishers Weekly

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Rounding out Dalkey's four-volume series covering modernist writer Schmidt's (1914-1979) early period, these two novels (published in Germany in 1954 and 1960) give a glimpse of what was to come in Schmidt's larger works like Zettel's Traum (Zettel's Dream).

| Read Full Review of Two Novels: The Stony Heart a...

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