At the Edge of the Night (Hesperus Classics)

 
9781843916543: At the Edge of the Night (Hesperus Classics)
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Banned by the Nazis, this haunting novel by a gay German writer in the 1930s is a rare early work of magic realism. This poignant novel, beautifully translated by Simon Beattie, was, in Lampe's words, born into a regime where it could not breathe; he hoped that one day it might rise again. It has no one main character, but evokes the sensations and impressions of a sultry September evening on the waterfront of Bremen, with its charm and tenderness, squalor and lust. It contains a stream of images with many characters: children, old and young people, men and women, townsfolk, performers, students and seamen. Things happen as they happen, horrible things, touching things. Its depiction of raw reality was unacceptable to the Nazis: the book was seized by them in December 1933 and withdrawn from sale.

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Review:

At the Edge of the Night appeared in 1933. I read it at the time with great interest, as German prose writers of such quality were rare even then... And what struck us at the time... as so beautiful and powerful has not paled, it has withstood; it proves itself with the best, and captivates and delights just as then. --Hermann Hesse

A Little Masterpiece --Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

About the Author:

Friedo Lampe (1899 1945) was born in Bremen. A disabled gay German writer, he survived the Third Reich only to be shot by the Red Army six days before the end of the Second World War. He worked as a librarian in Hamburg before moving to Berlin to take a job with a publishing house. He wrote two novels, poetry and some short stories. His work has been translated into a number of languages, and his collected letters were published in 2018. At the Edge of the Night (Am Rande der Nacht) was his first book.

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