Reading in a foreign language is difficult for a number of reasons. When reading novels in English, my cultural background usually gives me some kind of insight into the topic and setting, and I often have a good idea of the writer and their background. Despite all this, I enjoyed the book greatly. The clown of the title, Hans Schnier, has been abandoned by his long-term partner after their marriage discussions broke down because of her Catholic insistence on promises regarding the education of their future children. From then on, he descends into an alcohol-fuelled decline, and one night the length of the book , after returning to Bonn from his latest disastrous performance, he phones family and friends, ostensibly to ask for money, but really to clear the air with people who he mostly dislikes. It is also fiercely against the hypocrisy of those who went with the flow during the Second World War and claimed to be reformed democrats after it.
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Set in West Germany during the period of recovery following World War II , the novel examines the hypocrisy of contemporary German society in repressing memory of the historical past in order to concentrate on material reconstruction. In the book the figure of a clown the narrator, Hans Schnier represents the social conscience of the society. The Clown. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. See Article History.
Britannica Quiz. Matching Names to Novels. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. West Germany , from to , a republic consisting of the western two-thirds of what is now Germany. Novel, an invented prose narrative of considerable length and a certain complexity that deals imaginatively with human experience, usually through a connected sequence of events involving a group of persons in a specific setting.
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6 – ‘Ansichten eines Clowns’ by Heinrich Böll
The Clown German : Ansichten eines Clowns , lit. Hans Schnier is the "Clown" of the novel's title. He is twenty-seven years old from a very wealthy family. At the beginning of the story he arrives in Bonn, Germany. As a clown, he had to travel across the country from city to city to perform as an artist.
Set in West Germany during the period of recovery following World War II , the novel examines the hypocrisy of contemporary German society in repressing memory of the historical past in order to concentrate on material reconstruction. In the book the figure of a clown the narrator, Hans Schnier represents the social conscience of the society. The Clown. Info Print Cite.