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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction


Berichte von Hinze und Kunze

Volker Braun

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To purchase Berichte von Hinze und Kunze

Title: Berichte von Hinze und Kunze
Author: Volker Braun
Genre: Fiction
Written: 1983
Length: 41 pages
Original in: German
Availability: in Hinze-Kunze-Roman - Deutschland
Berichte von Hinze und Kunze - Deutschland
  • Berichte von Hinze und Kunze has not been translated into English

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Our Assessment:

B+ : sharp, short pieces

See our review for fuller assessment.

The complete review's Review:

       Berichte von Hinze und Kunze (Reports from Hinze and Kunze) consists of some seventy-odd very short pieces -- anecdotes, parables, scenes -- around the characters Hinze and Kunze, familiar from Braun's earlier Hinze-Kunze-Roman (see our review) -- confusingly published, after long delays, after Berichte von Hinze und Kunze -- and Braun's 1973 play, Hinze und Kunze. This collection of short pieces allows Braun to present incidents, reactions, and ideas that did not fit in the novel (or that complement it), making for a fuller portrait of the two characters -- and a more comprehensive social critique.
       The East German party functionary Kunze and his "Schofför" (the Germanized chauffeur) Hinze make for an odd pair. One is representative for officialdom, the other for the common man, the citizen-worker. Both mouth the official lines of the socialist Workers' State but no one here -- Braun, his readers, his characters -- believes their literal truth any longer. The contrast between reality and the ideals and claims of the Party is too great to ignore, but Kunze, especially, tries to reconcile them in some way. The more down to earth Hinze (who lacks some of the advantages that the Party functionary Kunze enjoys) offers a more realistic perspective.
       Berichte von Hinze und Kunze most resembles Bertolt Brecht's classic collection, Geschichten vom Herrn Keuner. Playing with language and contrasts, and simply describing the absurdities of this world Braun is almost as successful as Brecht was decades earlier describing a very different Germany.
       A clever and sharp little collection, these are entertaining and worthwhile pieces. Recommended, especially in conjunction with the Hinze-Kunze-Roman. (They are conveniently published together in one volume now, in Suhrkamp's collection of "Romane des Jahrhunderts" ("Novels of the Century")).

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Berichte von Hinze und Kunze: Volker Braun: Other books by Volker Braun under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       (East) German poet and dramatist Volker Braun was born in 1939. He has won numerous literary prizes, including the Heinrich Mann Prize, and the Georg Büchner Prize.

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