In late 1928, the left-wing playwright Friedrich Wolf wrote, “Let’s hope 1929 brings us plenty of struggle, friction, and sparks.”
He got his wish. In 1929, the U.S. stock market crashed. Within weeks, the U.S. cut off the flow of loans to Germany and began demanding repayment on outstanding loans. German banks stopped loaning money and companies began laying off workers. Historians point to 1929 as the year that marked the end of the Weimar Republic. And everyone knows what came after that.
Such is the backdrop for Life Goes On, by Hans Keilson, translated by Damion Searls.In 2010, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published the first English translations of Keilson’s novels Comedy in Minor Key (1947) and reissued the long out-of-print The Death of the Adversary (1959). When Francine Prose called Keilson “a genius,” and these two books, “masterpieces,” it was only a matter of time before the publisher would come out with Keilson’s autobiographical first novel, Life Goes On, written when he was twenty-three.
To read the full review, head to The Rumpus: http://therumpus.net/2012/12/life-goes-on-by-hans-keilson/
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