Sunday, February 12, 2012

"A sort of wryness mixed with tentative enthusiasm"

Simon Winder's review of Philip Olterman's new book Keeping Up With the Germans: A History of Anglo-German Encounters is worth reading for at least two reasons.

First, it neatly encapsulates something about Germanness:
Everything that makes modern Germany so appealing – a sort of wryness mixed with tentative enthusiasm, a wish to be liked tempered by a genuine concern to engage with a terrible past – are all in this book.
Second, it notes Anglo-German connections that are somehow simultaneously unexpected and inevitable:
A long, excellent analysis of the Baader-Meinhof Gang is almost over before the reader realises that the only real Anglo-German element in the chapter is that Astrid Proll, hiding in London, once went to a concert by the Clash where the band were wearing Baader-Meinhof T-shirts. 
I have something new on my reading list.

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