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New York Review of Books

The Strudlhof Steps: The Depth of the Years

The Strudlhof Steps: The Depth of the Years

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The first English translation of an essential Austrian novel about life in early-twentieth-century Vienna, as seen through a wide and varied cast of characters.

The Strudlhof Steps is an unsurpassed portrait of Vienna in the early twentieth century, a vast novel crowded with characters ranging from an elegant, alcoholic Prussian aristocrat to an innocent ingenue to "respectable" shopkeepers and tireless sexual adventurers, bohemians, grifters, and honest working-class folk. The greatest character in the book, however, is Vienna, which Heimito von Doderer renders as distinctly as James Joyce does Dublin or Alfred Döblin does Berlin. Interweaving two time periods, 1908 to 1911 and 1923 to 1925, the novel takes the monumental eponymous outdoor double staircase as a governing metaphor for its characters' intersecting and diverging fates. The Strudlhof Steps is an experimental tour de force with the suspense and surprise of a soap opera. Here Doderer illuminates the darkness of passing years with the dazzling extravagance that is uniquely his.

Author: Heimito Von Doderer
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Published: 12/14/2021
Pages: 864
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.80lbs
Size: 7.90h x 5.00w x 1.90d
ISBN: 9781681375274

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 07/15/2021

About the Author
Heimito von Doderer (1896-1966), who was born in Vienna, Austria, received the Grand Austrian State Prize for Literature and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature five times. He served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I and began to write during the years he spent as a prisoner of war in Siberia, eventually fleeing and returning to Vienna by foot. His novels The Strudlhof Steps and The Demons brought him international recognition.

Daniel Kehlmann is a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. His most recent novel, Tyll, was shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize. He lives in New York, NY.

Vincent Kling is a translator and scholar of German literature who teaches at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has translated fiction, poetry, and criticism by Heimito von Doderer, Heimrad Bäcker, Andreas Pittler, Gert Jonke, Gerhard Fritsch, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and Aglaja Veteranyi. He was awarded the Schlegel-Tieck Prize in 2013 for his translation of Veteranyi's Why the Child Is Cooking in the Polenta.
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