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Der Stechlin
Theodor Fontane
publisher: , 1898

translated as:
The Stechlin
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1995
translation: William L. Zwiebel

refered to by:
The Tin Drum
GŁnter Grass

The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann

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Theodor Fontane (1819-98), widely regarded as Germany's most significant novelist between Goethe and Thomas Mann, pioneered the German novel of manners and upper-class society, following a trend in European fiction of the period. The Stechlin is Fontane's last book and his political testament. Like Effi Briest, his great work on the place of women in Bismarck's empire, it is set at the apex of the Wilhelmine era, both in Berlin and on the estate of a Prussian Junker on the shores of Lake Stechlin. Fontane portrays the best in the life and ways of the passing Prussian aristocrats, while describing his hopes for the future of Germany and its nobility, which were never to be fully realized.


Effi Briest
The story of a woman's adultery. The story of Effi and the Chinaman's ghost, the forest and dunes that are its setting, the stern Prussian code that makes the climax both terrible and absurd, are unique to Fontane and to German literature.
The Stechlin
The Stechlin mourns the decline of the aristocracy through the lens of a narrative about a single family that bears the same name as a lake.
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