Friday, June 30

A Parable for the Distance Between Language and Truth

The Parable of the Blind, 1568
"In 1951, the writer Gert Hofmann, who was then twenty years old, fled the German Democratic Republic for West Germany. Ten years later, he left Germany altogether and found work teaching literature at universities in the United States and Europe. He also started writing radio plays. He was prolific, writing some thirty plays in as many years. Hofmann’s plays, produced mainly by West German public broadcasters, focus on the grim realities of Nazi Germany, the Second World War, and its aftermath. They are formally wide-ranging and often hinge on the murky relationship between language and reality. ... He continued writing for radio, sometimes transforming those plays into prose and sometimes adapting prose for radio, exploring the interplay of narrative and dialogue. His slim comic novel Der Blindensturz, first published in Germany in 1985, and translated into English by Christopher Middleton, in 1989, as 'The Parable of the Blind,' reads like the culmination of this work. It is told solely through dialogue and sets the reader adrift amid unreliable accounts. ..."
New Yorker

2010 May: Peasant, 2011 March: "The Harvesters", Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 2012 February: The Mill and the Cross - Lech Majewski, 2012 December: The Lord of Misrule and the Feast of Fools., 2013 July: Netherlandish Proverbs, 2014 August: Children's Games (1560), 2016 May: The Hunters in the Snow (1565).