Synopses & Reviews
This trilogy of novels traces life in Germany from the Nazi era through the postwar years and into an apocalyptic future. Scenes from the Life of a Faun recounts the dreary life of a government worker who escapes the banality of war by researching the exploits of a deserter from the Napoleonic Wars nicknamed The Faun. Brand's Heath deals with the chaos of the immediate postwar period as a writer joins a small community of "survivors" to try to forge a new life. Dark Mirrors is set in a future where civilization has been virtually destroyed; the narrator fears he may be the last man on earth, until the discovery of another creates new fears.
All three novels are characterized by Schmidt's unique combination of sharply observed details, sarcastic asides, and wide erudition.
Early fiction of one of the most daring and influential writers of postwar Germany, a man often called the German James Joyce due to the linguistic inventiveness of his fiction.
About the Author
Arno Schmidt was born in 1914, in the working-class suburb of Hamburg-Hamm, Germany. Drafted into the army in 1940, he served in the artillery at a flak base in Norway until the end of the war. After being held as a prisoner of war for eight months, he worked briefly as an interpreter for the British military police. His home in Lauban and, more importantly for him, his library had been lost in the war, and he and his wife were officially classified as Displaced Persons. In 1946 they found refuge in a one-room apartment in Cordingen in Lower Saxony. In 1958 Schmidt moved to the village of Bargfeld near Celle. Over the next 20 years, until his death in 1979, he wrote some of the landmarks of postwar German literature.John E. Woods won both the 1981 American Book Award and PEN award for his translation of Schmidt's Evening Edged in Gold and has published a new translation of Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks.
Table of Contents
Scenes from the life of a faun -- Brand's heath -- Dark mirrors.