Der Tod in Rom, by Wolfgang Koeppen
This disquieting book with its derivative title represents perhaps the most honest attempt on the part of Germany’s younger generation to find itself. Sparing neither himself nor any other German, Wolfgang Koeppen, a young writer of considerable maturity and gifts, explores with painful self-consciousness and admirable precision the mind of a Germany still stunned by the Nazi past and all the more bewildered by the confused demands of the present.
The two eras are represented by the two generations of a German family as they meet, partly by accident, for a family reunion in Rome. The setting is of importance: tendencies which might have been restrained in the cold North expand in the indulgent climate of Italy till they can be seen in all their sickness and decadence.
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