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Ein Tag im Jahr

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Mitten im kalten Krieg, im Jahr 1960 forderte die russische Zeitung Istwestija die Schriftsteller der Welt auf, ihren 27. September bestmöglich in Worten festzuhalten. Auch in der DDR folgten zahlreiche Autoren dem Aufruf, so Thomas Brasch, der sich zum Gedicht "Der schöne 27. September" inspirieren ließ: "Ich habe keine Zeitung gelesen./Ich habe keiner Frau nachgesehen", Mitten im kalten Krieg, im Jahr 1960 forderte die russische Zeitung Istwestija die Schriftsteller der Welt auf, ihren 27. September bestmöglich in Worten festzuhalten. Auch in der DDR folgten zahlreiche Autoren dem Aufruf, so Thomas Brasch, der sich zum Gedicht "Der schöne 27. September" inspirieren ließ: "Ich habe keine Zeitung gelesen./Ich habe keiner Frau nachgesehen", heißt es da. Und, am Ende, etwas resigniert: "Ich habe keinen Stein ins Rollen gebracht." An jenem 27. September 1960 erwachte im Amselweg in Halle die Schriftstellerin Christa Wolf mit dem Gedanken, dass dieser Tag wohl anders verlaufen würde als geplant. Am Abend, als Wolf einschlief, hatte sich der Satz bestätigt. Er wird es von nun ab jedes Jahr aufs Neue tun. Denn Christa Wolf hat nicht mehr aufgehört, ihren 27. September zu beschreiben, über 40 Jahre nicht, teils mit großem Widerwillen, um zu erforschen, auf welch verschlungenen Wegen "Leben zustande kommt". Herausgekommen ist das bewegende Stenogramm eines Autoren-Daseins: Eine "Protokoll-Serie" voll kluger Reflexionen, die zugleich auch Schlaglichter wirft auf den Alltag in der DDR und im Deutschland nach der Wende. Leider fehlt ausgerechnet jener September, der der Menschheit wie kein zweiter im kollektiven Gedächtnis geblieben ist, auch wenn das zu beschreibende Ereignis, der Terrorakt gegen das World Trade Center in New York im Jahr 2001, gut zwei Wochen vor Wolfs Stichtag lag. Interessant wäre es aber dennoch gewesen, jene Gedanken zu lesen, die der Autorin nach dem Ereignis beim Aufwachen oder Einschlafen durch den Kopf geschossen sind. Aber vielleicht gibt es ja bald einen zweiten Band. --Thomas Köster


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Mitten im kalten Krieg, im Jahr 1960 forderte die russische Zeitung Istwestija die Schriftsteller der Welt auf, ihren 27. September bestmöglich in Worten festzuhalten. Auch in der DDR folgten zahlreiche Autoren dem Aufruf, so Thomas Brasch, der sich zum Gedicht "Der schöne 27. September" inspirieren ließ: "Ich habe keine Zeitung gelesen./Ich habe keiner Frau nachgesehen", Mitten im kalten Krieg, im Jahr 1960 forderte die russische Zeitung Istwestija die Schriftsteller der Welt auf, ihren 27. September bestmöglich in Worten festzuhalten. Auch in der DDR folgten zahlreiche Autoren dem Aufruf, so Thomas Brasch, der sich zum Gedicht "Der schöne 27. September" inspirieren ließ: "Ich habe keine Zeitung gelesen./Ich habe keiner Frau nachgesehen", heißt es da. Und, am Ende, etwas resigniert: "Ich habe keinen Stein ins Rollen gebracht." An jenem 27. September 1960 erwachte im Amselweg in Halle die Schriftstellerin Christa Wolf mit dem Gedanken, dass dieser Tag wohl anders verlaufen würde als geplant. Am Abend, als Wolf einschlief, hatte sich der Satz bestätigt. Er wird es von nun ab jedes Jahr aufs Neue tun. Denn Christa Wolf hat nicht mehr aufgehört, ihren 27. September zu beschreiben, über 40 Jahre nicht, teils mit großem Widerwillen, um zu erforschen, auf welch verschlungenen Wegen "Leben zustande kommt". Herausgekommen ist das bewegende Stenogramm eines Autoren-Daseins: Eine "Protokoll-Serie" voll kluger Reflexionen, die zugleich auch Schlaglichter wirft auf den Alltag in der DDR und im Deutschland nach der Wende. Leider fehlt ausgerechnet jener September, der der Menschheit wie kein zweiter im kollektiven Gedächtnis geblieben ist, auch wenn das zu beschreibende Ereignis, der Terrorakt gegen das World Trade Center in New York im Jahr 2001, gut zwei Wochen vor Wolfs Stichtag lag. Interessant wäre es aber dennoch gewesen, jene Gedanken zu lesen, die der Autorin nach dem Ereignis beim Aufwachen oder Einschlafen durch den Kopf geschossen sind. Aber vielleicht gibt es ja bald einen zweiten Band. --Thomas Köster

30 review for Ein Tag im Jahr

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    What did you do today? Do you remember? Was it important? How does it fit into the wider pattern of your life? On September 27th, 1960, Christa Wolf started writing down what she did that particular day. She was 31 years old, a young writer living in East Germany, less than a year before the Berlin Wall was built. She was married and the mother of two young daughters. Her younger daughter would turn four the next day, and she had an injured foot, so they had to go to the doctor's before preparin What did you do today? Do you remember? Was it important? How does it fit into the wider pattern of your life? On September 27th, 1960, Christa Wolf started writing down what she did that particular day. She was 31 years old, a young writer living in East Germany, less than a year before the Berlin Wall was built. She was married and the mother of two young daughters. Her younger daughter would turn four the next day, and she had an injured foot, so they had to go to the doctor's before preparing her birthday. There were literary projects waiting, political issues, food to be bought at the market, books to be read, a thousand small things to take into account. Christa Wolf wrote them all down, without bigger context or explanations, but with her inimitable sense of life as a mix of individual and collective consciousness and conscience. 1961, 27th September. A year has passed, a wall has been built, Christa Wolf's youngest daughter will turn five the next day, her mother is writing the novel Der geteilte Himmel. And they talk, eat, think, just like any "normal" day. And year after year, Christa Wolf keeps taking notes on the happenings in her life on 27th September. From 1960-2000, we are invited follow the life of Christa Wolf as seen on that particular "Day of the Year". We learn about her children, their school, their adolescence, their work, their relationships, finally the grandchildren. We follow Christa Wolf and her husband Gerd through the various political crises in East Germany, and we share their evening reading, their parties, their travelling, their fears and hopes and physical ageing. We get to know the plan for a new novel years before it is published, and we know what they like to eat, which television shows they watch, and what Christa Wolf buys for her daughter's birthday. We meet Max Frisch and Günter Grass and Anna Seghers, and we participate in the memorial for Heinrich Böll. We see Christa Wolf break down after 1989, and take a creative break in Los Angeles. We follow her thoughts on her major works, and get insider knowledge of her background research for Kassandra or Medea. It is the most extraordinary documentation of the highs and lows of a reflective and active life that I have ever read, as it doesn't look to "create patterns" or establish continuity. It just documents a dayeach year. Sometimes the day is full of excitement, and sometimes, almost nothing happens. I made the decision this year to read the complete novels of Christa Wolf in chronological order - one after the other, starting when they appeared in this account of her 27th September. Slowly, while I was working my way through her fiction, I was also working myself deeper into her life, and in the end, I knew why she wrote what she wrote because I knew what she was worried about and what made her happy at that particular moment in time. I could see how powerful her imagination was because I knew where she found the material for her fiction. What is left now? The last ten years of her life, documented in another volume, and two late narrative texts, written and published after this collection of September days from 1960 to 2000. And some essays. And letters. And short stories. Christa Wolf's life coincides with the most dramatic political changes in German history, and yet she lived an ordinary life. That makes her writing intense. One recognises the big and the small things in the world in each piece of information she offers. Recommended for those who are interested in that strange thing that we call life.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susann

    I finished it! It took six months, with many breaks along the way, but I did it. Between 1960 - 2000, East German writer Christa Wolf chronicled her events and thoughts from a single day: September 27. With the first entry, Wolf is a mother of two young girls, living in an East Germany that does not yet have the Berlin Wall. Forty years later, her youngest grandchild is a teenager and she's living in a unified Germany. The entries are by no means a political manifesto; nor are they a shopping lis I finished it! It took six months, with many breaks along the way, but I did it. Between 1960 - 2000, East German writer Christa Wolf chronicled her events and thoughts from a single day: September 27. With the first entry, Wolf is a mother of two young girls, living in an East Germany that does not yet have the Berlin Wall. Forty years later, her youngest grandchild is a teenager and she's living in a unified Germany. The entries are by no means a political manifesto; nor are they a shopping list of Wolf's daily life. They really serve as a public diary - a blog before there were blogs. But Wolf's tone is much more serious, intense, and intellectual than any blog that I read. In other words, this isn't the East German version of Erma Bombeck or Betty MacDonald (although I would love to see that!). My least favorite entries were the ones written when Wolf was in the middle of working on one of her texts. Then she would turn to a lot of intellectual navel-gazing that may have been useful for her other writing projects but rendered me bored and more likely to skim the chapter. My favorite years were the ones that gave a good sense of the overall political climate, while also offering lots of those quotidian details that I love so much. Tell me more about the shops! The clothes! Your home! I'm no expert on East German life, so my experiences reading this reminded me of my childhood reading experiences, when I had to use context clues to fill in a lot of my knowledge gaps. But that was half the fun.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alice Candotti

    Ho amato questo libro dalla prima all’ultima pagina

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    4,5

  5. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    (Und ja, es fühlt sich schon irgendwie seltsam an, den Tagebuchaufzeichnungen einer fremden Person eine Bewertung zu verpassen.)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alik

    I am tempted to say this is something one shouldn't be able to read, to even get access to. On the one hand, those are private notes, but they are not meant to be private in the end, and we are all used to the fragile notion of celebrities' privacy. But the way life runs out of a person, years converted into hours for us, the way faith and purposefulness turn into bafflement, despair and vacuum, becomes painfully clear. This is a mortifying perspective that is usually hidden from view like inner I am tempted to say this is something one shouldn't be able to read, to even get access to. On the one hand, those are private notes, but they are not meant to be private in the end, and we are all used to the fragile notion of celebrities' privacy. But the way life runs out of a person, years converted into hours for us, the way faith and purposefulness turn into bafflement, despair and vacuum, becomes painfully clear. This is a mortifying perspective that is usually hidden from view like inner organs, and this is what CW lays out for the reader with all the fervor and earnestness that had been frustrated and diverted from its ideological path. And it is eviscerating. For many the book is a valuable excursion into the history of split Germany, but those have to be knowledgeable or interested enough to bridge the gaps and connect the dots; I am neither, and I struggled to strip the text of the official and the ideological to get to the humanistic and the personal, and what came forth was a portrait of a stubbornly sincere, strong and unswerving and yet faithfully individualistic person riding on a train that is being dismantled under her feet, descending into relentless meaninglessness of life, unknowingly (?) writing her own obituary. The date September 27th now has the sound of a bell tolling for me. I do not intend to read the second part in which she dies. Everybody does.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Durch seine lange Zeitspanne (50er bis in die 90er JAhre) zeichnet Christa Wolf recht unprätentiös ein Bild des intellektuellen Alltags in der DDR und der Nachwende-DDR. Ich mochte es sehr, weil es durch die schlichte Schreibweise die Emotionen der Autorin sehr deutlich zeigt, die im Zusammenhang mit den gesellschaftlichen und politischen Entwicklungen dieser Jahre stehen. Das alles, zusammen mit den privaten Einschlüssen die immer wieder auftauchen, macht das Buch zu einem unvergesslichen Lesee Durch seine lange Zeitspanne (50er bis in die 90er JAhre) zeichnet Christa Wolf recht unprätentiös ein Bild des intellektuellen Alltags in der DDR und der Nachwende-DDR. Ich mochte es sehr, weil es durch die schlichte Schreibweise die Emotionen der Autorin sehr deutlich zeigt, die im Zusammenhang mit den gesellschaftlichen und politischen Entwicklungen dieser Jahre stehen. Das alles, zusammen mit den privaten Einschlüssen die immer wieder auftauchen, macht das Buch zu einem unvergesslichen Leseerlebnis, dass man auch ruhig öfter haben kann.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alannah Clarke

    An interesting read. I did not think I would finish it this quickly as I have seen that many people have taken a lot longer with it. I would really describe this as a public diary, rather than something that is private which to me is a little disappointing, I felt the author was holding back a bit in her writing. However I loved her insight on the political atmosphere which was going on at that time. Strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in German political history.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Highly recommend as it is a great insight into the life and thinking of a very thoughtful person living between 1960 and 1999. I enjoyed reading how she experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall and what thoughts she then had. This appears to be a very honest description of how she was seeing her days as she experienced them. A very interesting and thought provoking read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Larry Schwartz

    Oh, Christa. Writing isn't easy, even in a socialist worker's paradise.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rouzy

    There are regular days and days filled with events days that we forget. It made me think about how each day in Christa Wolf’s life is filled with the presence of her opinion and thought processes. The documentation of “not so interesting days” made it crucial for me to get an insight into her life into her thinking about politics, life, food, pain, and so on. For me the book is living the last sentence “light out” could mean both the end and a continuation of something.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cj Rey

    Every year, on September 27, Christa Wolf describes her day. She starts on September 27, 1960 and ends on September 27, 2000. I think this is a fascinating idea--what a great way to see how our life changes from year to year in one written snapshot. Christa Wolf happens to living in East Germany during this 40-year time frame. I ran to Google many times to look up more information on the historical events she experienced.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anna Maria Ballester Bohn

    Immer wieder finde ich Neues darin. Diese Mischung aus Freundlichkeit und Ehrlichkeit gibt's bei keinem anderen Schriftsteller, den ich kenne.

  14. 5 out of 5

    David

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julian

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Edwards

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sudhir

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sol restituyo

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gneepy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Francisca

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sara Sophie

  22. 4 out of 5

    H T

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lexi

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashutosh Verma

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura MM

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marta

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sabine

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