Translated into English by Jamie Bulloch
A German classic from a forgotten author.
Schlump is seventeen, a romantic, a chancer and a dreamer. It's 1915 so naturally he volunteers for war. In France he is assigned an administrative position in a small town and has a marvellous time. But when he gets to the trenches, where death and mindless destruction are the everyday, he starts to understand something about war. Funny, brutal and charming, here’s the First World War from the perspective of the inimitable Schlump.
Hans Herbert Grimm was born in 1896 in Vogtland. In 1928 he published his anti-war, semi-autobiographical novel Schlump anonymously in German. The following year it was published in English, in Britain and America. In 1933 the book was banned by the Nazis and Grimm became concerned with preserving the anonymity of his authorship. To avoid detection, he joined the Nazi party and worked as a language interpreter during the Second World War. On returning home to Soviet-occupied Germany he was no longer permitted to work as a teacher because of his involvement with the Nazis. In 1950 he was called to a meeting in Weimar by government officials - he never revealed what was discussed but two days later he committed suicide. Authorship of Schlump remained a mystery until 2013.
"The best of German war books so far" - J. B. Priestley
"Schlump...was considered anti-nationalistic, anti-heroic, philanthropic, pacifist, pro-French, humanistic, European, quite good-humoured and well-written. A bright book from a dark time... The book burners were completely right: an un-German book" - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"Grimm's major achievement is his ability to balance such unsentimental accounts of people's wartime sufferings alongside the unfailing delight of Schlump's gauche charm" - New Books in German
"A delightful rediscovery... The republication of this unstintingly humane novel fills the gap in the history of First World War literature " - Suddeutsche Zeitung
"A thoroughly unconventional First World War novel, part fable, part documentary [...] non-nationalistic, Francophile, astute, romantic and accurate" - FAS
13.1 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
Book Page Count
Book Publication Date
7 May 2015