I said earlier this year that I needed a reading project. Associate Professor of German at Swansea University, Katharina Hall, better known in the blogging world as Mrs Peabody, has delivered one, that will help me reach my target (40% of 2016 reading to be translated from German) without it being hard work.
As editor of Crime Fiction in German, she has put together a selection of essays by academics and translators, including herself, covering the extraordinary range of crime fiction written in the German language. Topics include The Emergence of Crime Fiction in German, Austrian Crime Fiction, Swiss Crime Fiction, Africa in German Crime Fiction, Women’s Crime Writing in German, Historical Crime Fiction in German, as well as an overview of German Television Crime Drama.
I have browsed quickly and what really strikes me is that these essays are readable in a way that other academic writings often are not. (You know how it usually is, why use a word of one syllable when a word with five or six will do.) It is also highly dangerous. For instance, having read chapter 1, written by Mrs Peabody herself (I do hope Professor Hall doesn’t mind me referring to her in this way), I wrote down a list of titles in my TBR for immediate reading. I found 13. 13!!!! That said, chapter 1 Concepts, Developments and Trends, is an overview of Crime Fiction in German from the early 19th century to the new millenium. It covers a lot of ground, some of it not mentioned elsewhere. (Edit: And it’s available to read for free online!)
On that basis, it’s not surprising that I pulled 13 unread novels from the TBR. But neither is it practical for me to read them before moving onto chapter 2. So this is how I’ve decided to proceed with my project. I’m moving onto chapter 2 right away and with each chapter I shall read 1 or 2 (or maybe 3) titles, summarising it all together in one post. At a rate of one chapter per month, I will finish the project in November. Fittingly because that will be German Literature Month.
I’m launching my reading project today to coincide with the official launch of the book in Swansea. I hear rumours that there will be lashings of German beer too! The chances are that, if you’re reading this, like me, you’re not in Swansea, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t join in the celebrations. Mrs Peabody is holding a giant Krimi giveaway. Hie thee over here before April 17 to be in with a chance of grabbing yourself a fantastic read.
Stand by for thoughts on chapter 2 …..