Academic journal article German Quarterly

Das Weite suchen: Unterwegs in Wolfgang Hildesheimers Prosa

Academic journal article German Quarterly

Das Weite suchen: Unterwegs in Wolfgang Hildesheimers Prosa

Article excerpt

Rana, Christine Chiadò. Das Weite suchen: Unterwegs in Wolfgang Hildesheimers Prosa. Würzburg: Ergon, 2003. 356pp. euro39.00 paperback.

The title of Christine Chiadô Rana's study is taken from Hildesheimer's last work Mitteilungen an Max Uber den Stand derDinge (1983) and points to his paradoxical search for something that is not nameable nor presents a tangible motif. Thus, Rana's study -a search within a search-takes the reader on a journey tracing Hildesheimer 's multifaceted and paradoxical voyage of the self through language. It is a comprehensive and systematic analysis of Hildesheimer's literary work and succeeds in giving the reader a solid understanding of the complexities and ambivalences in the work and life of someone whose writing reflects a philosophical search for the intricacies and absurdities of human existence.

In her introduction Rana explores in length the philosophical meaning of searching, in particular Hildesheimer's search, and her ambitious goal is to find convergences between his texts. A large part of the book concentrates on his two major novels Tynset and Masante as well as his lask tMteilungen an Max iiberden Stand der Dinge where she analyzes the methods used to search for an expansion of being within the medium of literature.

The most fascinating part is her study of topographical themes which she connects to his work. Each of the six chapters are complete in themselves with chapter one presenting an excellent introduction or "Overture. …

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