Read They Divided the Sky: A Novel by Christa Wolf Online

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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 oFirst 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....

Title : They Divided the Sky: A Novel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780776607870
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 232 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

They Divided the Sky: A Novel Reviews

  • Lisa
    2019-03-25 11:55

    In a divided country, heaven is split in two - just as hearts, families, friends and lovers are marked by the Berlin Wall built in the heads of people long before it is physically put in place to illustrate the failure of a people. This is a strong contender for the saddest love story I have ever read - love for home, love for another person, love for ideas, love for life. Do I have to mention the loving heart is broken in so many places it is impossible to mend it?Do I have to mention there is no cure for the heartache people feel who have survived the atrocities of the war, only to find themselves in the impossibility of German life between capitalism and socialism, built on the guilt of Nazi Germany's looming shadow?Two young people meet and fall in love in East Germany before the ominous date of the 13th August 1961, which made the separation between the two German states irrevocable and definitive for the decades to come. They share worries and hopes, and see the development of socialism with critical, yet objective eyes. For the young man, the state represents a way of life he cannot embrace in honesty, seeing too much of his parents' fascism transformed into new doctrine, "preachers of socialism speaking of politics like devout Catholics speak of the Immaculate Conception". He is no martyr, no hero, and refuses to live the hard, devout life of a believer. Ultimately, that means he has to escape before it is too late. And what about his young fiancée? What should she choose? Following her love, or her hope for a better life in an idealistic and religious sense of the word? Leaving her political religion behind is a sacrifice that will make her suffer and feel guilt, and she instinctively feels that love cannot survive that kind of choice. But if love cannot survive, will she be able to look up at the wrong side of the divided sky each morning?As she reflects in her misery: it would have been easier to make the choice against West Germany if people there had been suffering under the yoke of their capitalist plight. But they seem happy. How can they be happy and wrong?A true believer chooses the road of being unhappy and right.This is a powerful testament of the minds of young Germans in 1961, facing a division that allowed no middle ground, no moderate and common sense objectivity. On the ruins of their horrific totalitarian past, they have to make sense of the senseless reality that is on offer. Private loss and grief hardly play any role at all, but it exists nonetheless - heartbreakingly real to those who are forced to choose sides!Powerful, powerful reading, by one of the most prominent German authors of the era. Highly recommended, as a love story, as a historical witness account, as a piece of writing on the universal questions of humankind in any given environment!

  • Violet wells
    2019-04-07 04:26

    There was a moment while reading this when I thought how fascinating it would have been had Christa Wolf stepped out of her narrative and related in a mirror narrative how difficult it is to write a novel when you live in a repressive regime that will inevitably censor your work. Unfortunately, she didn’t and what we get is a politicised love story whose pro-state propaganda reeks of fawning insincerity. Repressive regimes might provide inspiration in abundance but what artist would choose to live in a country where everything created would be subjected to rigorous petty-minded censorship? When she’s writing about personal stuff she’s fabulous. The first thirty pages were a joy to read. But then the politics begin. And they bored me silly. The novel is about the love affair of Rita and Manfred. Manfred will betray the relationship by defecting to the West (not a spoiler as we learn this almost immediately since the novel is recounted in flashback). Wolf goes overboard in making Manfred unlikeable from the word go. Despite being ten years older than Rita he lives with his parents who he treats with venomous contempt like a feckless teenager, a rebel without a cause. In other words, he’s a kind of scarecrow of how the Communist Bloc liked to view the West. Rita on the other hand is too good to be true. She doesn’t perform a single unworthy act in the entire novel, because she’s there to represent the purity of the State, an implausible whitewashing that isn’t conducive to dramatic tension. I was reminded of how cleverly Hardy dramatized the weakness in Tess’s nature to bring about her downfall in the face of a jealous male. (I feel I owe Hardy some praise after giving him such an unequivocal clubbing last month!) Manfred too becomes jealous of Rita, though without reason. There are no such darker currents in Rita’s character. Rita receives her political education when she works at a plant where train carriages are made. There is a plethora of male characters here none of whom I could tell apart because they didn’t interest me. Lots of dreary writing about production methods and high-minded point-scoring political squabbling. My feeling was, Manfred was right to grow weary of it all! This was Christa Wolf’s first novel and she went on to write much better novels, especially her feminist forays into Greek myth. Interestingly, she’s much more widely read in Italy than appears to be the case in the UK and the US. What Wolf does brilliantly in this novel is write of a young woman in love for the first time. But as a novel it’s at heart a heavy-handed work of propaganda which the East German ministry of culture would have little problem endorsing, which they didn’t. Perhaps she was young enough in those days to believe in the Communist dream; thankfully her critical faculties were greatly more sharpened and refined in her later work.

  • Davide
    2019-03-28 03:47

    Quando i romanzi scatenavano grandi discussioni pubbliche; con implicazioni politiche. È il primo romanzo di Christa Wolf, uscito nel 1963 ma ambientato due anni prima, quando iniziava la costruzione del Muro di Berlino: fu subito molto apprezzato e discusso, e presto diventò un film, diretto da Konrad Wolf, premiato nella Repubblica democratica tedesca. Come dice Maria Teresa Mandalari nella postfazione: l'autrice e la protagonista respingono «il relativismo morale, il lassismo edonistico, il fariseismo opportunistico, l’egocentrismo sterile, il rassegnato fatalismo, infine la fuga dalla verità, personale e ambientale.»Si può anche condividere, ma tutto questo non è scontato. La consapevolezza è inseparabile da fratture e dolore; e le incertezze non mancano. Anche questa è una narrazione dove il "senso della fine" è già chiaro fin dall'inizio: dalla prima pagina troviamo Rita ricoverata per un incidente-forse suicidio per la fine di un amore; e solo dopo si riparte intrecciando il presente con l'inizio della relazione con Manfred. È quindi il racconto di un amore segnato fin dal principio (del racconto, non dell'amore) dal trauma della sua fine. Compaiono presto “brigate di lavoratori”; Rita oltre a studiare per diventare insegnante lavora in una fabbrica dove si costruiscono vagoni ferroviari (anche in Italia quelli sono gli anni del dibattito su Industria e letteratura, ma non ricordo di aver mai visto citato questo libro, che di fabbrica parla molto); aria e acqua della "città" non nominata sono chiaramente segnati dallo sforzo produttivo; e altri elementi creano un clima DDR. Tra i vari personaggi compaiono figure di dogmatici e odiosi uomini d’apparato; ci sono critiche a cattivo funzionamento delle cose in Germania est ma anche almeno un paio di quasi commoventi figure di militanti, che vogliono umilmente contribuire a edificare il socialismo.Dai dialoghi e dai ricordi di Manfred e di suo padre, come da quelli degli uomini della fabbrica, emerge il non univoco rapporto con il passato, il passaggio dal nazismo al comunismo; e l'altrettanto complesso rapporto con l’Ovest, che poi diventa una delle questioni principali. Nella narrazione in terza persona al passato ogni tanto si intrufola il presente e la prima persona di Rita, in un modo che trovo a volte leggermente fastidioso. Alla fine forse quello che mi è piaciuto di meno non è un certo senso di chiusura e di ristrettezza che sembra aleggiare anche sui momenti più felici, ma quella descrizione del conoscersi - all'inizio della relazione soprattutto - fatto molto di cose non dette ma capite comunque con totale certezza e precisione, tramite sguardi o movimenti. Però mi è anche venuta voglia di vedere cosa ha scritto dopo.

  • Vale
    2019-03-22 11:45

    Non l'amore, ma i suoi dintorni.Scriveva Pessoa: Non l'amore, ma i suoi dintorni valgono la pena … La sublimazione dell'amore illumina i suoi fenomeni con maggiore chiarezza della stessa esperienza. Ci sono verginità di grande comprensione. Agire compensa ma confonde. Possedere significa essere posseduto e dunque perdersi. Soltanto l'idea raggiunge, senza sciuparsi, la conoscenza della realtà.Dunque si ama, ma a volte è impossibile amare, si è incapaci di agire. Scrive bene Pessoa: “soltanto l’idea raggiunge”, ma la realtà, che il poeta rifuggiva peraltro, è un’altra cosa. Diciamo che non è così semplice.Il cielo diviso è proprio la storia di un amore impossibile perché le vite dei due protagonisti sono antitetiche. Rita è protesa verso l’affermazione dei suoi ideali che sostanno e danno corpo al suo essere nel mondo mentre Manfred vorrebbe vivere una “storia” diversa, quella individuale della vita di tutti e non quella dell’umanità. Vedrai, vedrai, forse un giorno cambierà sussurava Tenco nella sua canzone, ma il cambiamento non sempre avviene. A volte sembra di camminare lungo la stessa strada, per poi scoprire che sono solo percorsi perfettamente paralleli che difficilmente sono destinati ad incontrarsi e la geometria euclidea ci dice che è un postulato indimostrabile, è vero in quanto tale. Il cielo diviso è il simbolo di un modo diverso di concepire la società e la vita, nonostante l’amore. Al di là delle lotte proletarie di Rita contrapposte alle scelte individualiste del suo Manfred, manca altro, manca la comprensione del mondo di chi ci è vicino, si ama un simulacro di buone intenzioni. Con i mattoni si costruiscono muri, vero, ma anche ponti. Questi ultimi nascono solo se si percepisce dove ancorarli sull’altra sponda, ma si ha paura, tanta paura, di chiedere all’altro dove ancorarsi in lui.La Wolf ci dimostra con questo romanzo l’inconcepibile: due anime destinate ad amarsi che sono divise nonostante la purezza dei loro sentimenti, quantunque il fato avesse predisposto il loro incontro. Scriveva Wislawa Szymborska in Amore a prima vista:Sono entrambi convintiche un sentimento improvviso li unì.E' bella una tale certezzama l'incertezza è più bella.Non conoscendosi prima, credonoche non sia mai successo nulla fra loro.Ma che ne pensano le strade, le scale, i corridoidove da tempo potevano incrociarsi?Vero, ma poi subentra il mondo con le sue leggi e le anime si riconoscono in corpi con nomi, cognomi , mani, carne, sguardi e qualcosa evapora, qualcosa si perde nella paura, qualcosa viene abbandonato a se stesso.

  • Julia
    2019-03-30 05:40

    [EDIT! Scroll for my review.] Neil MacGregor picks up on this book in his great monography "Germany. Memories of a Nation": "'Der geteilte Himmel' (Divided Heaven), written by the East German novelist Christa Wolf, was published in 1963, two years after the Berlin Wall went up. It made Christa Wolf's reputation, and has long been seen as the most thoughtful, poignant account of the diversity of the two Germanys as seen from the East. It tells the story of Rita and Manfred, young lovers living in the East before the Wall was built, when travel from East to West Berlin was still easy. [...] 'At least they can't divide the sky', says Manfred at the climax of the novel [...] 'The sky?' thinks Rita, 'This vault of hope and desire, love and sadness?' 'Oh yes, the sky is what gets split first.' Throughout the novel, the sky - in German 'Himmel' means both 'sky' and 'heaven' - stands for aspirations, and ideals, for what society strives to be. The divided heaven: two separate and separated political structures, two irreconcilable ways of organizing hopes and desires." MacGregor, Neil (2014): Germany. Memories of a Nation. London: Trustees of the British Museum and BBC. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Firstly, I just need everyone here to know that the German "Der geteilte Himmel" does not only mean "The divided Heaven" but at the same time "The Shared Heaven" <3 I stumbled upon this clarification (written by someone else in another context [Edit: I remembered it was MacGregor as quoted above]) and decided then to read this book which I knew we had in a bookshelf in the house I grew up in (located in the former death zone/no man's land of the divided Germany). Some pages in I was already pleasently surprised just by the style, the well chosen words, the pictures Wolf paints. She continues to write a story so well composed also in other aspects: all the dimensions - characters, feelings, personal relations, business, politics - are very well arranged and the story felt real to me. Wolf manages to depict both the historical or political context and the individual love story but she doesn't shine too much of a light on one of them. This made me feel very much part of it all. If you like and finish the book, re-read the first pages (or maybe everything) right after which made me appreciate the book even more.

  • Lucrezia
    2019-03-27 04:41

    "Proprio sopra di loro scorreva, in senso obliquo rispetto alla piazza, la linea di confine tra il cielo notturno e diurno. Velami di nubi passavano dalla metà già grigia e notturna del cielo a quella tuttora chiara che svaniva in colorazioni ultraterrestri. Al di sotto -o al di sopra?- c' era una striscia di verde vitreo, e nei punti più profondi persino tuttora azzurro. (...)Un tempo, le coppie d' amanti prima di separarsi cercavano una stella, su cui i loro sguardi la sera potessero incontrarsi. Che cosa dobbiamo cercare noi?- Il cielo almeno non possono dividerlo,- disse Manfred beffardo.Il cielo? Tutta questa cupola di speranza e di anelito,di amore e di tristezza?- Sì, invece,-disse lei piano.-Il cielo è sempre il primo ad essere diviso."In sostanza tutto questo romanzo, straordinariamente lirico ,in alcuni pezzi , talmente bello, da mozzarti il fiato in gola in alcune pagine ,e in alcune frasi ,sopratutto; ma straordinariamente BARBOSO in altre, tanto che ho cancellato alcune parti, ed alcuni personaggi, quasi completamente; si può riassumere in due frasi, quella di sopra citata e questa :"Dopo un po, lui disse - Potrei continuare a tacere come fa il Buon Dio, ma ora invece dovrei mettere un po al corrente anche te. Niente di particolare, vedrai. Il fatto é che non riesco ancora ad abituarmici... Del resto,mi ero già quasi abituato. Ma adesso ci sei capitata di mezzo tu, e a un tratto tutto ricomincia a essere lo schifo di una volta. Stentava a superare i preliminari. E taci dunque avrebbe preferito dirgli lei. Era mai possibile ch´ egli le facesse una relazione precisa, come a una persona cui si debba render conto? O forse glielo doveva un rendiconto? Forse toccava proprio a me assolverlo , allora? pensa lei perché non può far altro che rifletterci su continuamente, sempre.Per la prima volta la colpisce il fatto che , in questi tempi, accade in ogni istante che l´ uno sia costretto a raccogliere la confessione dell´ altro, e deve dimostrarsene all´ altezza. L´ aria é greve di confessioni, come se ora molto dipendesse dal fatto che, dall´ intimo delle persone, venga alla luce la verità. Pensa: sono stata sufficientemente all´ altezza, io, della sua verità?" Al centro della storia c' è la coppia Rita/Manfred, e la vera e propria cronistoria della loro storia d' amore: nascita (è difficile diventare come lei?/Sarebbe capace di innamorarsi di uno come me?)crescita (Sei felice bambina? Felice? Sentiva di vivere come mai prima di allora /Manfred, che aveva conosciuto molte specie di donne e molte specie d' amore, capiva meglio della stessa Rita che cosa ci fosse di particolare nell' amore di lei. Non gli era mai capitato che noti trascorse insieme lo avessero legato ad una donna.) maturazione (Aveva sempre bisogno di nuove conferme del suo amore.Passava leggermente la punta delle dita sopra il suo viso, sulla fronte, le tempie appena appena incavate, dalle sopracciglia fino alle guance vellutate. Lei s' appoggiava indietro. La sua pelle conosceva in anticipo il tragitto percorso dalle dita di lui. Per suo mezzo, grazie alle labbra, agli occhi e alle mani di lui, aveva preso cognizione di se stessa: dalla chioma tepida, crepitante sotto il suo tocco, fino alla pianta dei piedi dalla pelle sottile. La meraviglia di lui non non aveva mai fine, e lei s' accorgeva che per amor suo egli faceva ciò che non avrebbe mai fatto per amore di nessuno: mentre lui la ritrovava sempre commossa dalla sua tenerezza.Come tutti gli amanti, temevano per il loro amore. Si sentivano raggelare a uno sguardo indifferente dell' altro, una parola impaziente oscurava la giornata.) invecchiamento (A ognuna delle sue parole, lei perdeva forza vitale. Era debole come non mai e piena d' amarezza.Oh, L' anelito per tutti i luoghi ove d' ora in poi egli si sarebbe trovato, per tutti quei paesaggi irraggiungibili e quei volti che si sarebbero impressi in lui, l' anelito alla vita piena, completa,in comune con lui, irruppe in lei e quasi l' annientò. Chi mai al mondo aveva il diritto di mettere una persona- e fosse pure una sola!- Davanti ad una scelta tale che, qualsiasi fosse la decisione, esigeva una parte del suo steso essere?/La domanda lo irritò a tal punto che l' avrebbe quasi picchiata. Una simile selvaggia disperazione non l' aveva mai vista ,in lui. In quell' attimo, egli capì che la vita lasciata alle spalle, la vita che ingiuriava, non lo avrebbe lasciato più.Questo lo faceva impazzir. Si trattava ormai di riuscire a stornare sopra un' altra persona questa delusione che provava sul conto proprio- di non aver cioè tenuto testa alla pressione di una vita più dura , più severa...) morte (Se andassi con lui, pensò Rita, nuocerei non soltanto a me stessa. Nuocerei anche a lui, e a lui maggiormente./Ciò che non era stato deciso, non poteva più essere deciso. Ciò che non era stato detto ,non potevano ormai più dirlo. Ciò che l' uno ignorava dell' altro, non l'avrebbero più appreso .)Oltre a questo, che è il fulcro del romanzo, del resto non mi rimane nulla ...Anzi sembra quasi scritto da un altra persona, abissi di noia , non mi vergogno a dire che ho contato le pagine alla fine dei capitoli che riguardavano Rita e il suo lavoro.. Per ritornare da Rita e Manfred ... quello che mi resta sono solo nomi e frammenti di vicende indistinte, che ben presto nei prossimi giorni si dissolveranno...Ma che lavoro fa questa ? La frenatrice di treni? L ' operaia? La carpentiera? Cosa ancora non ho ben capito... E poi? Non voleva fare la maestra? che ne è stato ... Puff tutto svanito ...Ma a parte questo, non fa niente, questo è un libro che merita di essere letto comunque, perché la storia d' amore narrata al suo interno è una delle più belle e realistiche che io abbia mai letto ... Non ci sono felici e contenti , nemmeno un lieto fine, ma questo lo intuirete fin dall' inizio, ma non vale forse la vita la pena di essere vissuta pur con tutto lo strazio che comporta ... Nonostante tutto Rita e Manfred ci hanno provato..."Pareggia tutto il fatto che ci abituiamo a dormire tranquilli. Che viviamo senza risparmiarci, come se ce ne fosse anche troppa di questa strana sostanza ch' è la vita.Come se non dovesse aver mai fine"P.S Grazie a Giulia per aver condiviso con me questa lettura, per i confronti sempre stimolanti avuti con lei, ma sopratutto per avermi concesso di guardare un po il mondo con i suoi occhi, esperienza meravigliosa, con il pretesto di questa lettura , e aver sopportato le mie divagazioni :)

  • Bookkitten (currently a terrible book hoarder)
    2019-04-09 04:41

    Dieses Buch zieht sich wie Kaugummi. Würde man es in eine Hausapotheke stellen, dann mit Sicherheit zu den Schlafmitteln.

  • Agnes Fontana
    2019-04-02 10:44

    Le roman procède par mise en abîme, Rita coule des jours fragiles dans une maison de santé et se remémore les événements qui l'ont conduite là. Une jeune fille de village est recrutée par un vaillant sergent du nouveau régime communiste pour devenir institutrice et dans le même laps de temps rencontre Manfred, un jeune physicien avec qui ça va être le grand amour. A la vie close de l'innocence campagnarde succèdent la vie en ville et la participation à la construction de la jeune Allemagne de l'Est. Au début c'est le bonheur, promenades en auto dans la campagne, le régime est une toile de fond qui ne semble pas pouvoir gacher cette félicité. Rita fait sa période à l'usine et en découvre les enjeux, les intrigues, les jeux de pouvoir dans la brigade... le début est très Kundera, le bonheur malgré le sombre contexte politique... mais finalement ce dernier aura raison de la félicité des deux amoureux. Le régime produit de l'injustice, de l'aigreur qui va contaminer jusqu'à leur relation, Manfred partira à l'Ouest chercher le succès et la reconnaissance que le régime lui a refusés, Rita le rejoindra pendant une de ces journées terribles où on sait que c'est fini alors qu'apparemment ça dure encore... Bien entendu tout cela est maintenant bien lointain et en même temps curieusement proche : qui écrira l'histoire des êtres séparés et brisés par l'hyperconsommation et la technologie ?

  • Mariele
    2019-04-06 06:33

    I just wrote a very wordy review, and it vanished. Well then, in short: This is Christa Wolf's first book, written in 1963.When it was published, it dealt with current affairs, as the story takes place shortly before the Berlin Wall is being built. However, reading it 50 years later, the book feels very dated and stilted. I thoroughly enjoyed some of her books, namely how Wolf has dug deeper and deeper into history with every new book she published. Her memories about growing up in the 1930s/40s were very informative. And I enjoyed the tales of how Cassandra and Medea are witness to the political demise of the privileged environment they live in. Christa Wolf is always political. But this is my second book of hers that I could not finish. The love story was about as romantic as an arranged marriage. All those polemic dialogues (between Rita and her co workers at the factory, and between Manfred and his academia colleagues) dulled down the story considerably. I never started to care about any of the characters in the book. Even though it is short, I could not bear to finish it. On page 100 I started to browse, reading only the first line of the paragraphs. On page 150, I gave up. Life is too short for boring books like this.

  • Julia Reim
    2019-03-27 08:47

    This was lame af. Can't believe I've read this. Would totally not recommend. Too much plot that doesn't serve any purpose.

  • Ilke Ceren
    2019-03-26 11:25

    einfach: total faszinierend

  • Maria Beltrami
    2019-03-21 05:33

    Una delicata storia d'amore ai tempi della DDR, con un lui apparentemente forte, scafato e sicuro di sè, che finirà per fuggire in occidente alla prima vera difficoltà, e una lei apparentemente infantile e immatura, che invece si rivelerà fortissima nel superare qualsiasi problema, pur attraversando un tentativo di suicidio.E infatti, nonostante abbia la possibilità di fuggire anche lei in occidente, torna nella Germania dell'est, a lottare per la produttività coi suoi comagni di fabbrica, studiando contemporaneamente per diventare maestra delle futuri generaioni socialiste, in tempo per farsi rinchiudere dietro il muro di Berlino.Il libro è sicuramente molto bello, con le sue tematiche che intrecciano amore e socialismo reale, teorizzato e vissuto, però putroppo una traduzione che definire scellerata è veramente poco costringe a intuire la bellezza dei temi, senza poterne godere appieno, e anzi, dovendo resistere alla tentazione fortissima di scagliare il libro fuori dalla finestra.Qualche esempio?La parola impancare, impancarsi, non esiste nella lingua italiana, e solo con molti sforzi si intuisce che viene utilizzata per indicare una persona che resta ferma nella sua posizione.Oppure, la parola stradale, nel suo uso di sostantivo maschile equivalente di strada (o forse viale), pur essendo presente nei dizionari non è comune nella lingua, e non rende di sicuro agevole la lettura.Oltre tutto la traduzione è letterale, sia nell'uso delle parole, sia nel fraseggio, e la costruzione delle frasi in lingua tedesca è così diversa da quella della lingua italiana da rendere incomprensibili vasti tratti del libro.Insomma, una vera delusione per un libro di cui mio marito mi aveva parlato benissimo ... ah, già ... ma lui lo ha letto in tedesco ...

  • Yasmeen
    2019-03-31 05:51

    Feels like curling up on an armchair on a rainy day with a book in your lap. This isn't like the other Christa Wolf novels I've read-- it's less striking, less strange. It's more directly political and more conventional. You can kind of tell it's her first novel-- but not because it isn't good. It's excellent. The central relationship isn't the type that I would normally care about-- but I did care about it. I don't know enough about the political climate she's working in to fully appreciate that aspect of the novel. But a) I enjoyed it anyway because there's so much more to it and b) I'm glad to have gotten some more exposure to it. Wolf paints some interesting portraits and writes beautifully. Overall good space to inhabit for a bit.

  • Noah
    2019-03-31 10:27

    Recht einseitig, propagandistisch aber gut geschrieben im kargen Stil der Christa Wolf ohne ein Wort zuviel.

  • Katherine Kreuter
    2019-03-25 05:32

    This probably needs to be read in the context of other works of German fiction both before and after the War. On its own, I'm not sure it would really engage someone coming from the outside. But if you have some exposure to 20th century German fiction, then this is a wonderful piece of that puzzle. It offers an intimate study of life behind the 'Iron Curtain' at a sensitive time - when the Berlin wall was being built. I have to admit I found it hard to get into the book, but that's partly because the central character is recovering from a breakdown and her perspective is understandably woolly. But the pace picked up and I became quite attached to her by mid-point in the novel. There are some wonderfully quotable bits here, and occasionally lyric passages. But it's about moral choices and political ideology, which may not suit everyone. I suggest you read with some Hans Fallada (Little Man, What now?) for a more balanced view of recent German history.

  • Jacob Wren
    2019-03-29 06:49

    Christa Wolf writes:Rita had already thought out for herself anything she might have learned from that dreaded meeting for which such careful preparations were made. She acknowledged with a nod the criticism for cutting lectures and the young teachers announcement that she was to receive a reprimand. After all, it was the least they could do in the face of Mangold’s righteous indignation.Then Mangold got up and talked for a long time. Rita barely listened to him, for she knew it all by heart. She felt now, as she watched him, that she could see through him and she wondered whether no one else realized what empty, silly, mechanical phrases he was mouthing. She was ashamed for everybody who toadied to him.Sigrid was nearly in tears. Rita smiled encouragingly, hoping that she would not go to pieces altogether. Mangold might succeed in frightening the others a little longer, she thought, but they would not be taken in by him in the end. And, as it turned out, the end was nearer than she had thought.“On whose behalf are you speaking?” Erwin Schwarzenbach broke in at last.Everybody turned to look at him.“Why, on behalf of the comrades here, of course,” said Mangold defiantly. “There’s that resolution…”“And what’s in the resolution? Does it say anything about why Sigrid acted the way she did? Does it say why she couldn’t ask for help?”Rita had had no chance to talk to Schwarzenbach since that other evening. She felt sure his little boy must still be alive, otherwise he could not have been so normal again.But there was no stopping Mangold. He droned on and on about the Party line – like a Catholic talking about the immaculate conception, Schwarzenbach called out furiously.The whole meeting would have ended quite differently if no one had stood up to Mangold. Why had no one else insisted that they talk about the real human problem involved? Were they all so unsure of themselves?Mangold insisted that things had to be brought to a head – that was how the Party got to the root of contradictions.“What you have to do is see that the Party is there to help people like Sigrid when they need help. What else is it there for, I’d like to know?” Schwarzenbach retorted sharply.“But that’s far too naïve.” Mangold went on with his tirade, dragging in world imperialism and the hard political school he had been through.“I can well believe that,” said Schwarzenbach quickly, as if this confirmed a suspicion he had had.“I’ll tell you something,” he went on more gently, as if he were speaking to Mangold alone. “Even though I’m a worker’s son I wanted to join the Werewolves and get myself killed when the war was nearly over. We deserved hatred then and we expected people to hate us, but the Party was patient and tolerant with us, although it expected a great deal of us, too. You know, ever since then I’ve had a great respect for tolerance and patience. Those are real revolutionary qualities, Comrade Mangold. Didn’t you ever feel you needed them?”Mangold shrugged his shoulders.“When have we ever had time to think about things like that?” he asked bitterly.“You have something there, of course. But I often wonder what would have become of me if… How old were you at the end of the war?”“Eighteen,” said Mangold slowly, as if he were giving away an important secret.The meeting went on for a long time. But there was no more talk of punishment. Mangold relapsed into silence. He had been thoroughly deflated, but Schwarzenbach had managed it in a way which made them all feel sorry for him; no one felt any desire to gloat over his defeat. Rita even felt she disliked him less than before.

  • Ken
    2019-03-21 07:54

    Entry from the publishers: University of Ottawa Press:DescriptionFirst 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.Author BioLuise 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.)About the Book"An ardent young socialist convinced of culture’s mission to educate, Wolf wrote her first novel in 1963. Originally called “Divided Heaven”, it has now been reissued as “They Divided the Sky”. The difference goes deeper than the title. Luise von Flotow’s faithful new rendering replaces a text that had been badly twisted by a zealous editor who was determined to suppress all straying from the party line....The new version introduces in English for the first time the introspective, autobiographical voice that became Wolf’s signature and strength. Its fragmented points of view and flashbacks were innovative. From the start her ambition was to honour the inner voice and “bridge the contradiction between party diktat and personal truthfulness”, in the words of her biographer, Jörg Magenau. This made her a revered, almost saintly figure to her East German readers; at the same time, her consistently uncertain, questioning tone put her on a collision course with the socialist leadership."

  • Vasha7
    2019-03-29 09:39

    This is a book very much situated in its historical time, and in fact dates are stated constantly throughout. It never actually mentions the building of the Berlin Wall by name, but assumes that readers will know what the author is referring to when naming that date; the first human space flight is described, however. Apparently, in the summer of ’61, people were quietly convinced that war would break out at any moment. There seem to have been things going on within East Germany too, which I couldn’t figure out from the hints. Besides the story considering recent events, characters (as is appropriate to a Communist book) frequently debate history. Wolf pays attention, too, to the legacy of the Nazi era and the war. The feeling of living at a crucial time is hardly unique to East Germany in the early 60s, but Wolf vividly recalls what it was like to have that feeling there and then.This provides the setting for a depiction of the troubles of the people of one train-manufacturing factory; their situation is not rosy, and their response to it not always wonderful; the worst side of human nature frequently comes to the fore. But principally, the novel is shaped around one love affair; the stresses seen everywhere, playing out in individual minds, ultimately drive Rita and Manfred apart. The protagonist, Rita, is the one whose responses to the times she lives in resonate the most with the author. Her determination to “live fully”, which means (among other things) engaging with trying to improve society around her, contrasts with Manfred’s detachment and drifting. The author agrees with Manfred’s perceptions of the serious problems the country has to deal with, but not with his despairing attitude to them.

  • Leonardo
    2019-03-28 11:51

    En The Divided Heaven, la novela de 1963 de Christa Wolf, un clásico de la RDA sobre el impacto subjetivo de la división de Alemania, Manfred (que ha elegido Occidente) le dice a Rita, su amor, cuando se encuentran por última vez: «Pero incluso si nuestra tierra está dividida, todavía compartimos el mismo cielo». Rita (que ha elegido permanecer en el Este) replica amargamente: «No, primero dividieron el Cielo». Aunque la novela disculpa al Este, ofrece una correcta perspectiva sobre cómo nuestras divisiones y luchas «terrenales» están basadas en última instancia en un «cielo dividido», en una división mucho más radical y exclusiva del mismo universo (simbólico) en el que habitamos. El portador e instrumento de esta «división del cielo» es el lenguaje como la «casa del ser», como el medio que sustenta toda nuestra visión del mundo, como la manera en que experimentamos la realidad: el lenguaje, y no primitivos intereses egotistas, es el primer y mayor divisor, y gracias al lenguaje nosotros y nuestros vecinos (podemos) «vivir en mundos diferentes» aunque vivamos en la misma calle. Lo que esto significa es que la violencia verbal no es una distorsión secundaria, sino el recurso final de toda forma de violencia específicamente humana. Viviendo en el Final de los Tiempos Pág.115

  • Alessandra
    2019-04-17 07:36

    Traduzione e postfazione di Maria Teresa Mandalari.Pubblicato per la prima volta in Germania nel 1963; copyright Edizioni e/o 1983, 1996.Un romanzo bellissimo. Poetico e toccante. Due piani si intrecciano nella narrazione: la storia d'amore di Rita e Manfred, nata all'ombra del Muro e naufragata a causa della divisione delle due Germanie; e le riflessioni e i ricordi di Rita, rimasta sola all'Est, in sanatorio in seguito ad un infortunio. Rita sceglie di vivere sola nella Germania Est piuttosto che seguire il fidanzato a Berlino ovest e da lì condurre una vita priva di significato, perché conseguenza dell'aver rinunciato ai propri ideali.Una delle prime prove di Christa Wolf, ma già romanzo compiuto, intenso, denso di significato.Ho solo faticato un po' a seguire le vicende della fabbrica e l'avvicendarsi dei vari personaggi che lavorano con Rita.

  • Drea
    2019-04-18 04:29

    Also, ich fand es großartig! Vor allem für die Sprache. ich habe allerdings noch keine weiteren Christa Wolf Bücher gelesen, die ja scheinbar immer besser werden sollen. Dies ist ihr erstes und ich bin schon ganz begeistert.Mir sind DDR und Sozialismus nicht so fern, da meine Familie die DDR noch erlebt hat, meine Eltern und Großeltern ganz selbstverständlich davon erzählen. Ich selbst bin 1987 geboren. Ich kann mir aber vorstellen, dass es für junge Leute aus ganz altbundesländischem Kontext wirklich wie eine Geschichte aus einem anderen Land wirken könnte. Eine Vorstellung die Schade, aber nicht zu ändern ist.Ich empfehle es aber man muss damit rechnen, dass es sehr im Kontext der Zeit geschrieben ist und man Hintergrundwissen braucht.Ich habe auch einen Blogbeitrag verfasst: http://lohntdaslesen.de/rezension-der...

  • Heleen
    2019-03-28 07:54

    Of ik in een vreemde wereld stapte waar ik niet alles begreep. Het is vooral het wantrouwen tussen de mensen, het elkaar dwars zitten. Er is goed en kwaad en dat maakt wat uit. Als je ervan uitgaat dat wat je doet geen verschil maakt dan had ze bij haar Manfred kunnen blijven. Rita hield vast aan haar idealen. Zie ook het korte verhaal '29 september' waarin ze kort beschrijft hoe het ontstaan van de roman haar bezighoudt en wat daarin voor haar belangrijk is.

  • martin
    2019-04-02 05:44

    A book written by an East German author well before the "Wende" discussing the human cost of the division of Germany? Many people will not believe such a book could have been written. I'm a Wolf fan but find her work frighteningly difficult. It's a book you'll put down several times before finally finishing it.

  • Willie the Coyote
    2019-03-27 05:54

    Non facile. Piu' di una storia d'amore, della crescita di una ragazza nella Germania "Socialista" a cavallo della costruzione del Muro, di una presa di coscienza, di una critica "costruttiva" ad un regime, di ideali e convinzioni che faticano a realizzarsi, di fallimenti, di risposte non torvate....

  • Donia Al-Issa
    2019-03-22 07:52

    "Of course I know that you can deceive yourself about many things (and that you have to, in order to stay alive)."Least favourite work of German literature I read, which is disappointing because it was one that I was most excited for. The fact that the story was told in both first person narrative and third was absolutely confusing to follow.

  • Joshka
    2019-04-18 04:49

    It was a bit Chinese to me (typical Dutch expression to say: I didn't understand it that well), but I liked it though. I expected it to be boring, but it wasn't boring at all. I especially liked the way Rita's feelings were described.

  • Kelsey
    2019-04-12 11:43

    I read Der Geteilte Himmel in German. Because of that it was really hard to understand when the different time jumps happen. I think if I were to read it again I would be able to understand it a lot better.

  • Ruby
    2019-04-12 05:50

    threw some water on it (accidently of course) which makes it currently unsuitable for reading.

  • Michelle Lisle
    2019-04-02 11:51

    good story but sometimes hard to follow

  • Jyoti
    2019-04-11 08:30

    ehmmm..not my kind of book