They Divided the Sky: A Novel by Christa Wolf

They Divided the Sky: A Novel by Christa Wolf

by Christa Wolf, Luise von Flotow

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First published in 1963, in East Germany, They Divided the Sky tells the story of a young couple, living in the new, socialist, East Germany, whose relationship is tested to the extreme not only because of the political positions they gradually develop but, very concretely, by the Berlin Wall, which went up on August 13, 1961.

The story is set in 1960 and 1961, a moment of high political cold war tension between the East Bloc and the West, a time when many thousands of people were leaving the young German Democratic Republic (the GDR) every day in order to seek better lives in West Germany, or escape the political ideology of the new country that promoted the "farmer and peasant" state over a state run by intellectuals or capitalists. The construction of the Wall put an end to this hemorrhaging of human capital, but separated families, friends, and lovers, for thirty years.

The conflicts of the time permeate the relations between characters in the book at every level, and strongly affect the relationships that Rita, the protagonist, has not only with colleagues at work and at the teacher's college she attends, but also with her partner Manfred (an intellectual and academic) and his family. They also lead to an accident/attempted suicide that send her to hospital in a coma, and that provide the backdrop for the flashbacks that make up the narrative.

Wolf's first full-length novel, published when she was thirty-five years old, was both a great literary success and a political scandal. Accused of having a 'decadent' attitude with regard to the new socialist Germany and deliberately misrepresenting the workers who are the foundation of this new state, Wolf survived a wave of political and other attacks after its publication. She went on to create a screenplay from the novel and participate in making the film version. More importantly, she went on to become the best-known East German writer of her generation, a writer who established an international reputation and never stopped working toward improving the socialist reality of the GDR.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780776620350
Publisher: University of Ottawa Press
Publication date: 01/26/2013
Series: Literary Translation
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 232
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Luise von Flotow has published literary translations from German and French since the 1980s. Her interest in Christa Wolf and the re-translation of Der geteilte Himmel stems from her family background (origins in the northeast of Germany), extensive research and travel in East Germany (1986-1990), and the discovery and study of the existing translation (Divided Heaven 1965, Seven Seas Verlag, East Berlin.)

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They Divided the Sky: A Novel by Christa Wolf 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I'm hungrey", Pluto began to whine. Kann knew she would do this every time their mother would leave the den she would start to whine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She looked after Elise. "Well, she was not as comfoted as I thought she was..." she goes silent for a while, then her eyes widen with realization. "Ah, what a day, what a day! I see the problem now!" She then begins to mutter to herself, "yes, her reaction to Blaize, when he looked at Luna... it all makes sense now." She puts a wing on her face. "Ah, a fool I have been. 'Tis simple to figure out... I should have known." ~Talon
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He sighed. No one was listening. He contemplated his reflection in a puddle. For a Solcan, he was growing oddly slowly probably as a result of staying landbound for so long. But he was already an adolescent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gingerly he set his burnt paw down and sighe.