Translated fiction round-up: A German philosopher shunned by society

Reviews of Veilchenfeld; The Madness; Daughters; Farewell, Ghosts; and The Family Clause

 Nadia Terranova, author of Farewell, Ghosts. Photograph: Daniela Zedda

Nadia Terranova, author of Farewell, Ghosts. Photograph: Daniela Zedda

“Reality as gruesome rumour” is critical in Gert Hofmann's novel Veilchenfeld, translated by Eric Mace-Tessler (CB Editions, 143pp, £8.99), first published in Germany in 1986 and available now in English for the first time.

The “reality” imposed on Veilchenfeld – a reserved, principled philosopher – is one which he is helpless to oppose. He is the wrong sort of person and in 1930s Saxony, that means being shunned and ostracised by both society and those in positions of power.

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