German Literature Recommendations II – 89 Novella and Short Story Writers You Should Read

First of all, welcome to German Literature Month. I’m sure it will be an exciting journey for all of us. If you participate, please leave comments so that we can visit your blogs and add your posts to a final list. We will most probably not do as many wrap up posts this year but the occasional update will surely appear on the one or the other blog.

Last year I published a post called German Literature Recommendations – 20 German Novels You Should Read. It was based on Marcel Reich-Ranicki’s famous “Der Kanon der deutschen Literatur”. There were many questions about missing authors in the comment sections. Many famous and outstanding writers were not on that list which made it look like an omission but in many cases they were not on that list because Reich-Ranicki considered them better at writing novellas and short stories.

In order to fill the gap left by last year’s post, I have decided to post his list on novellas and short stories. I indicate the authors (over 80 names) and some of their best stories with their German titles. For those who are famous it’s easy to find the English equivalent as it will be in collections, for others it’s more difficult. If you have a particular interest in an author or a story but difficulties to find it in English – or French… Don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail. If it’s available, I’m sure I can find it for you.

The first week of this year’s German Literature Month is dedicated to novellas and short stories, if you still don’t know what to read, I’m sure you will find suggestions on the list.

I’ve already read two, one of them is on the list below, it’s Schnitzler’s Leutnant Gustl, which is available under the same title in English.

For more details on the different weeks, please visit the German Literature Month Announcement.

  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Die Sängerin Antonelli; Die wunderlichen Nachbarskinder; Der Mann von funfzig Jahren
  • Friedrich Schiller: Der Verbrecher aus verlorener Ehre
  • Johann Peter Hebel: Der kluge Richter; Eine merkwürdige Abbitte; Kannitverstan; Drei Wünsche; Moses Mendelssohn; Ein teurer Kopf und ein wohlfeiler; Unverhofftes Wiedersehen; Drei Worte; Glimpf geht über Schimpf
  • Jean Paul: Des Feldpredigers Schmelzle Reise nach Flätz
  • Ludwig Tieck: Des Lebens Überfluss
  • E. T. A. Hoffmann: Ritter Gluck; Der Sandmann; Das Fräulein von Scuderi
  • Heinrich von Kleist: Das Erdbeben in Chili; Die Marquise von O…; Michael Kohlhaas; Die Verlobung in St. Domingo; Der Zweikampf; Anekdote aus dem letzten preußischen Krieg
  • Clemens Brentano: Die Schachtel mit der Friedenspuppe; Geschichte vom braven Kasperl und dem schönen Annerl
  • Adelbert von Chamisso: Peter Schlemihl’s wundersame Geschichte
  • Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm: Hänsel und Gretel; Aschenputtel; Rotkäppchen; Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten; Der Gevatter Tod; Dornröschen; Schneewittchen; Rumpelstilzchen
  • Joseph von Eichendorff:
    Das Marmorbild; Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts; Das Schloss Dürande
  • Franz Grillparzer: Der arme Spielmann
  • Annette von Droste-Hülshoff: Die Judenbuche
  • Jeremias Gotthelf: Die schwarze Spinne
  • Heinrich Heine: Aus den Memoiren des Herren von Schnabelewopski; Florentinische Nächte; Der Rabbi von Bacherach
  • Wilhelm Hauff: Die Geschichte von Kalif Storch; Der Zwerg Nase
  • Eduard Mörike: Das Stuttgarter Hutzelmännlein; Mozart auf der Reise nach Prag
  • Adalbert Stifter: Turmalin
  • Georg Büchner: Lenz
  • Theodor Storm:
    Immensee; Die Söhne des Senators; Hans und Heinz Kirch; Der Schimmelreiter
  • Gottfried Keller: Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe; Die drei gerechten Kammacher; Kleider machen Leute; Der Landvogt von Greifensee
  • Theodor Fontane: Schach von Wuthenow; Stine
  • Conrad Ferdinand Meyer: Der Schuss von der Kanzel; Gustav Adolfs Page
  • Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach: Krambambuli
  • Ferdinand von Saar: Schloss Kostenitz
  • Eduard von Keyserling: Die Soldaten-Kersta
  • Arthur Schnitzler: Sterben; Der Ehrentag; Leutnant Gustl; Der Tod des Junggesellen;Fräulein Else; Spiel im Morgengrauen
  • Gerhart Hauptmann: Bahnwärter Thiel
  • Frank Wedekind: Die Schutzimpfung
  • Heinrich Mann: Gretchen
  • Jakob Wassermann: Der Stationschef
  • Hugo von Hofmannsthal: Das Märchen der 672. Nacht
  • Thomas Mann: Der kleine Herr Friedemann; Tristan; Tonio Kröger; Schwere Stunde;Wälsungenblut; Der Tod in Venedig; Unordnung und frühes Leid; Mario und der Zauberer
  • Rainer Maria Rilke: Die Turnstunde
  • Hermann Hesse: Knulp; Klein und Wagner
  • Martin Buber: Abraham und Lot
  • Robert Walser: Sebastian; Ein unartiger Brief
  • Alfred Döblin: Die Ermordung einer Butterblume
  • Robert Musil: Das verzauberte Haus; Tonka
  • Stefan Zweig: Die Weltminute von Waterloo; Schachnovelle
  • Ernst Weiß: Franta Zlin; Die Herznaht
  • Franz Kafka: Das Urteil; Die Verwandlung; Vor dem Gesetz; Ein Bericht für eine Akademie; Ein Landarzt; In der Strafkolonie; Ein Hungerkünstler
  • Lion Feuchtwanger: Höhenflugrekord
  • Egon Erwin Kisch:
    Wie ich erfuhr, daß Redl ein Spion war; Die Himmelfahrt der Galgentoni
  • Ernst Bloch: Fall ins Jetzt
  • Gustav Sack: Im Heu
  • Gottfried Benn: Gehirne
  • Georg Heym: Jonathan
  • Kurt Tucholsky: Rheinsberg
  • Franz Werfel: Der Tod des Kleinbürgers
  • Joseph Roth: April; Stationschef Fallmerayer; Die Legende vom heiligen Trinker
  • Heimito von Doderer: Acht Wutanfälle
  • Carl Zuckmayer: Geschichte von einer Geburt
  • Bertolt Brecht: Der Augsburger Kreidekreis; Der verwundete Sokrates;
    Die unwürdige Greisin
  • Elisabeth Langgässer: Saisonbeginn
  • Anna Seghers: Der Ausflug der toten Mädchen; Post ins Gelobte Land;
    Bauern von Hruschowo
  • Hans Erich Nossack: Der Untergang
  • Marie Luise Kaschnitz: Der Strohhalm; Lange Schatten; April
  • Marieluise Fleißer: Avantgarde
  • Elias Canetti: Die Verleumdung; Die Lust des Esels
  • Wolfgang Koeppen: Schön gekämmte, frisierte Gedanken;
    Ein Kaffeehaus; Jugend
  • Max Frisch:
    Der andorranische Jude; Skizze eines Unglücks; Glück
  • Arno Schmidt: Seelandschaft mit Pocahontas; Die Umsiedler
  • Peter Weiss: Der Schatten des Körpers des Kutschers
  • Wolfgang Hildesheimer: Ich schreibe kein Buch über Kafka;
    Das Ende einer Welt
  • Heinrich Böll: Der Mann mit den Messern; Wiedersehen in der Allee; Wanderer, kommst du nach Spa …; Doktor Murkes gesammeltes Schweigen
  • Wolfdietrich Schnurre: Das Manöver
  • Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Die Panne
  • Wolfgang Borchert: Das Brot
  • Ilse Aichinger: Spiegelgeschichte
  • Franz Fühmann: Das Judenauto; König Ödipus
  • Siegfried Lenz: Der Verzicht; Ein Kriegsende; Ein geretteter Abend
  • Martin Walser: Ein fliehendes Pferd; Selbstporträt als Kriminalroman
  • Günter Grass: Katz und Maus
  • Günter Kunert: Alltägliche Geschichte einer Berliner Straße; Die Waage
  • Christa Wolf: Kein Ort. Nirgends
  • Thomas Bernhard: Die Mütze; Wittgensteins Neffe
  • Gabriele Wohmann: Wiedersehen in Venedig; Sonntag bei den Kreisands
  • Adolf Muschg: Der Ring; Der Zusenn oder das Heimat
  • Uwe Johnson: Jonas zum Beispiel
  • Ulrich Plenzdorf: kein runter kein fern
  • Peter Bichsel: Die Männer; Sein Abend; Der Mann mit dem Gedächtnis
  • Hans Joachim Schädlich:
    Besuch des Kaisers von Russland bei dem Kaiser von Deutschland
  • Jurek Becker: Die beliebteste Familiengeschichte
  • Hermann Burger: Der Orchesterdiener
  • Peter Handke:
    Das Umfallen der Kegel von einer bäuerlichen Kegelbahn
  • Christoph Hein: Der neuere (glücklichere) Kohlhaas
  • Botho Strauß: Die Widmung
  • Christoph Ransmayr: Przemysl

34 thoughts on “German Literature Recommendations II – 89 Novella and Short Story Writers You Should Read

  1. That is one big list! I’ve read a good few of these, but there are many more to go.

    I read ‘Leutnant Gustl’ last year. It’s an excellent story, but the accompanying story in my version, ‘Fräulein Else’ was even better :)

    I’ve kicked off with a couple by Stifter (review in the usual place), but I could have done the whole month on novellas, really – G-Lit seems dominated by that form of writing…

    • And you are in the comfortable position to be able to read all of them!
      There is one I am keen on reading and had it for a long time. I’ said to be one of the best German novellas ever writen Botho Strauss’ Die Widmung. I tried but couldn’t find a translation of that one.
      I like Leutnant Gustl because it shows how well he does voice. It’s unlike any of his other stories.
      Many of the bets German books are novellas, I agree.

  2. Thanks for organizing this Caroline. I will try to get a book and post in late in the month.

    I also really look forward to reading everyones commentary and discovering new blogs. I remember that during Antonio Tabucchi week I stumbled upon a few great ones.

    Thanks also for the fascinating list of books!

    • I’m glad you will be joing us, Brian.
      This type of event is great for introducing new blogs. :)
      I only knew about 50% out of all the participants last year, it was quite amazing.
      It’s a huge list, I know and whether German titles are useful is debatable but the idea of going through all of them and hunting for the English titles was just to overwhelming a prospect.

    • I suppose Gretchen would have the same name in English but it’s also OOP in German.
      Turmalin is one of the stories in Stifetr’s collection Bunte Steine (Colorful Stones), together with Rock Crystal. I have seen Klakstein – Limestone in a translation but not Turmalin. But I had a feeling there was a translation of the whole Colorful Stones once.

    • “Tourmaline” aka “The Doorkeeper” can be found in Limestone and Other Stories, tr. David Luke, 1968. I wrote about that one, long ago.

      If all of Colored Stones is in English as a book, I have never seen it in a library catalog. When I was reading Stifter a couple of years ago I was able to find almost all of the stories in different English collections but I believe I failed to find two of them.

  3. I am so excited that German Literature Month has started! Wonderful post to kickoff the month, Caroline! Great list of authors and stories! Some of the authors sound familiar but many of them are new to me. Looking forward to exploring some of the stories this week. I just started my first book :) I also posted on my potential reading list for the month.

    • It’s a huge list but there are such a lot of great German short story writers. The only sad thing is that he didn’t include some of the more recent ones. Maybe I should make that list.
      I hope you will post on the one or the other.

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  5. Thanks for the list–it looks very comprehensive. I have started reading Ingrid Noll and hope to post on it to coincide with your schedule since it is a crime novel. I’ve also just started the Penguin edition of Romantic Fairy Tales–first one up is by Goethe. Since there are four in the book I hope to read one each weekend and post on Sunday. Will have a look through the books in my pile to see what else–maybe I can manage a novella this coming week, too. Now I’ll have to take a closer look at this list!

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  7. A big thank you for the list. I’m saving your post for future references.

    I’m afraid my contribution to German lit month will be very limited this year. I hope to read Beton, I’ve already abandoned Berlin Alexanderplatz, I’m not in shape to read this.

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