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Jugend ohne Gott

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Der dritte Roman Horváths ist sein erfolgreichster Er wurde 1937 veröffentlicht und spielt in ebendieser Zeit Die Gestapo nahm das Werk 1938 in die Liste des schädlichen und unerwünschten Schrifttums aufDeutschland nach der Machtübernahme der Nationalsozialisten Ein junger Lehrer gerät in Bedrängnis als er in einem Schüleraufsatz abfällige Bemerkungen über Neger anstreicht Der humanistisch d. The Worst Case ScenarioWhenever a religion demonstrates its inadeuacy to account for the contemporary facts of life be sure that another religion is on the way to fill the vacuum It too will fail but only after increasing the uantum of human misery significantlyThe impulse toward religion seems irresistible Why Comfort Despair A desire for justice or revenge It seems that the evil which permeates the world demands a response Religion is that response Without religion there is no hope Or so it might seemReligion rationalises evil as a temporary aberration something to be endured for a higher achievement heaven nirvana the respect of the gods self satisfaction Ultimately justice will prevail and evil will be overcome or at least relativised as the error religion claims injustice to beSince it is evil that necessitates God he is automatically recruited to the cause of combatting the designated evil the black man the immigrant the political opponent the religious opponent the opponent of any sort These are unjust by definition and must be corrected by their elimination as God commandsYouth is never without religion which it inherits from its parents and therefore youth is never without God Religion is strongest in youth for whom the correcting of injustice is of obsessive concern since youth feels no other real responsibilities except obtaining justice for itself Youth fortunately is constrained in its religious duties by a lack of power and so seeks out and combats evil primarily among its own ranksSome remain youthful throughout their lives maintaining their religion as a guiding force as the scope of their adult power expands They may redefine what constitutes evil and conseuently adapt their religion to the times as they advance in age Unsurprisingly religion tends to become increasingly conservative with age among those who cherish it This adapted religion repressive from generation to generation they in turn pass on to youth with God as guide and constant ally Those who discover in adulthood that religion is mythical that God is dead may worry that evil will be conseuently unconstrained At least this is the story they hear from the religionists They don’t realise that it is the existence of evil which has prompted the creation of God; and that the death of one’s God means the life of another God fighting some other purported evil This might provoke despair but shouldn’t be surprising One God’s Mede is another God’s PersianAs the translator says somewhat defensively in his introduction to Youth Without God “A man does not need to be a fervent believer to sense the absence of God or to detect the presence of darker agency” He thinks we live in a godless age and suffer or are at least confused on account of it But it is clear that Horváth knows that the racist nationalist militant Nazism which his protagonist experiences is anything but godless The title represents a hope not a concernThe new National Socialist God justifies justice of an entirely different sort than the old God; but there is justice nonetheless So that it is incorrect to claim that “No divine justice will come not before death and not after it; not for the old and not for the young” This is not the “worst case scenario” Far worse is the new theological regime which thrives on a divinely ordained justice of a different sort of human repression Perhaps it’s time to realise that justice can’t be defined elsewhere than in human communityThis is essentially an extrapolation of Alain Badiou’s thesis that the designation of the Good and Human Rights as the opposite of perceived Evil is a very dangerous business I don’t know if Horváth’s story influenced Badiou but it certainly demonstrates the importance of Badiou’s insight See

characters ↠ eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ Ödön von Horváth

Aft mit der Anführerin einer Jugendbande Der Lehrer steckt in einem Gewissenskonflikt Hört er auf seine innere Stimme erzählt von seinem Delikt und bringt sich damit um seine Anstellung oder schweigt er Es kommt zum Gerichtsprozess und der Lehrer muss Stellung beziehenGemeinsam mit dem Klub einem kleinen verschworenen Kreis von Schülern versucht der Lehrer die Wahrheit über den Mord herauszufinde. The Verdict Fantastic Excellent Superb the BestAbout the novella Though it is structurally small and contains relatively less pages the themes presented in it are grand ones such as the nature of guilt the life in the totalitarian Nazi society the uestion of GodTruth And the greatness stems from the fact that these themes are treated with a few revealing insights and are captured in simple sentences containing a few words But the choice of words is very accurate About the titleThe title is provocative But then as a reader one finds God as one of the main characters present in the novel God does not speakHe just appears every now and thenAnd at the end the main protagonist who at the beginning of the novel is shown as the one struggling for belief admits to the presence of God But as a believer when one reads and comes to the end passages the revelation that comes has the nature of a redeeming graceA Final NoteI have not said much about the novella in the way of its plot characterization genre or any other thing related to literary field Because I do not know how to say it I still can not escape from the admirable feel that Horvath had created in this novel Lately I have realized that I have written many of my reviews in such manner that is immediately after reading a novel and before having myself released from the impact the book gave me I should change my policy of writing the review immediately after reading the bookIf only I could do that for this novel

Ödön von Horváth ´ 3 review

Enkende Lehrer spürt dass er sich dem faschistischen Zeitgeist beugen muss wenn er seinen Pensionsanspruch nicht verlieren willDie Klasse fährt in ein Zeltlager in dem die Schüler zwecks Wehrübungen kampieren Dort wird ein Schüler hinterrücks erschlagen Der Verdacht fällt auf einen Jungen dessen Tagebuch der Lehrer heimlich aufgebrochen und gelesen hatte Darin beschreibt der Junge seine Liebsch. Two month wandering in Europe Pilgrimage in Bavaria pilgrimage at Ludwig's castle Long stay at Murnau behind the lake I wanted to visit Gabriele Munter's and Franz Marc's house But Odon von Horwath I don't remember very well I have seen many years before « Tales from the Vienna wood » and it was a good memories Berlin 30th athmosphere Handke said it was the best author of his generation Horwath came very often at Murnau where lived his parents In 1930 he mets here Hitler and disputed with him He fighted againt Nazis in a coffee I find the place it is now a bank office This book make me think to the Erich Maria Remarue's one That also start in a highschool Violence is present ready to explose The professeur is the last rempart against barbary His disparture give way to Nazis Look at the August Sander's photo All this normal peopleIt is the image of his life Entartere artist he flet Germany and died stupidly in ParisHanneke will make a good movie of it Lisa Star and the Solstice Academy remember very well I have seen many years before « Tales from the Vienna wood » and it was a good memories Berlin 30th athmosphere Handke said it was the best author of his generation Horwath came very often at Murnau where lived his parents In 1930 he mets here Hitler and disputed with him He fighted againt Nazis in a coffee I find the place it is now a bank office This book make me think to the Erich Maria Remarue's one That also start in a highschool Violence is present Extreme Pumpkins II ready to explose The professeur is the last Kitty Princess and the Newspaper Dress rempart against barbary His disparture give way to Nazis Look at the August Sander's photo All this normal peopleIt is the image of his life Entartere artist he flet Germany and died stupidly in ParisHanneke will make a good movie of it


10 thoughts on “Jugend ohne Gott

  1. says:

    Which one will you choose Bread or death?Human consciousness is really strange thing it is what divide us from other animals it is what separate men from monkeys it is really what makes Moral animalsIt is really double edged sword it is really a great thing to be morally conscious when the world is going by but what would you do if you were the only consciousness one among your family among your friend and among your country What would you do when you see your family friends have ceased to moral beings and became a cog for ideology? Will you risk it and fight against the Authority? Will you stick your neck for higher values and beliefs? Values you only believe where everyone else has surrendered themselves to the propaganda and choose to say what Authorities want to say and do what the authority want to do and most importantly stop thinkingSorry for my long introduction but this book is really enlightening novel where the author describes effects of brutalization which Fascism exercise on its populationWe start with unnamed narrator in unknown country where the narrator is high school teacher and he corrects essays of his students and topic of the essays was why their country needed outside ColoniesAs the narrator correct his student’s essays one of the students wrote a racist remark“All niggers are dirty cunning and contemptible”The protagonist wrote a small remark on that essay They’re human too you know and this small remark gets the protagonist into fight with student father because the student father blamed him for seditious act angst the fatherlandAfter that incident the narrator finds his student fighting at the top of school and what happened there is really uncanny and it showed how the brutalization of that nation lead to some student fighting for nothingAfter that incident the school decides the student must go to camp not for vacation or tourism but for training into different kinds of army life but even then the narrator describes his depression at the mental state of his student“I think it’s an unbridgeable gulf If these fellows merely rejected everything that’s still sacred to me—well that Wouldn’t be so bad What hurts is that they put it aside without even having known it Worse still they haven’t the slightest desire to know it Thinking is a process they hate They turn up their noses at human beings They want to be machines—screws knobs belts wheels—or better still munitions—bombs shells shrapnel How readily they’d die on a battlefield To have their name on some war memorial—that’s the dream of their puberty ”In the camp happens many thing and what happens after that is really amazing taleThe crime The trial The bait the suicide the confession the travel the small student clubDoes these uote rings a bell“The Greatest Plebeian’s birthday meant a holiday today and the town was decked out with flags and streamers Through the streets marched the young girls who had searched for the lost airman the boys who would have left the negroes to die and their parents who believed the lies inscribed upon their banners Even the sceptical joined in the march and kept time with the rest—spineless divisions under an idiot’s command As they marched they sang—of a bird fluttering upon a hero’s grave of a soldier suffocating in the fumes of poison gas of brown girls and black girls who lived on filth of an enemy that only existed in their minds With their songs the liars and the debased celebrated the day on which the Great Plebeian had been born From my window too a flag was waving I noticed it with a certain gratification I had hung it out the night before For if you are ruled by the lawless and the debased you had better adopt their methods or they might flay you alive You must drape your home with flags—even if you’ve a home no longer When submissiveness is the solitary trait in the human character that those who rule will tolerate truth flies away and lies creep in —the lies that engender sin But don’t wait—hang out the flags Better bread than death ”


  2. says:

    On the side of the plot Youth Without God is a detective story but actually the novel is about society and those whom society tramples under its feet“God is the most terrible thing in the world”YesCharming were the thoughts that pierced my heart My mind had bred them Apparelled so becomingly they danced along and scarcely touched the ground A ball a fashionable ball In pairs they went gliding through the moonlight Cowardice with Courage Lies with Uprightness Wretchedness with Strength Malice with Valour Only Reason and Understanding did not join in the dance Reason and Understanding were wretchedly drunk They had lost their virtue But the dance went on and I listened to the musicA song of the streets – the song of filthAccording to language race or nation we set ourselves apart and each pile up our filth to overtower the other’sIt is a brilliant depiction of conformism And God is high above and He is a rapacious predatorThrough the streets marched the young girls who had searched for the lost airman the boys who would have left the negroes to die and their parents who believed the lies inscribed upon their banners Even the sceptical joined in the march and kept time with the rest – spineless divisions under an idiot’s command As they marched they sang – of a bird fluttering upon a hero’s grave of a soldier suffocating in the fumes of poison gas of brown girls and black girls who lived on filth of an enemy that only existed in their mindsConformity is a great force and it rules the crowds And hypocrisy is a deadly weapon of tyrantsFor if you are ruled by the lawless and the debased you had better adopt their methods or they might flay you alive You must drape your home with flags – even if you’ve a home no longer When submissiveness is the solitary trait in the human character that those who rule will tolerate truth flies away and lies creep in – the lies that engender sinIf society is infected everyone in it must fall ill


  3. says:

    The Worst Case ScenarioWhenever a religion demonstrates its inadeuacy to account for the contemporary facts of life be sure that another religion is on the way to fill the vacuum It too will fail but only after increasing the uantum of human misery significantlyThe impulse toward religion seems irresistible Why? Comfort? Despair? A desire for justice or revenge? It seems that the evil which permeates the world demands a response Religion is that response Without religion there is no hope Or so it might seemReligion rationalises evil as a temporary aberration something to be endured for a higher achievement heaven nirvana the respect of the gods self satisfaction Ultimately justice will prevail and evil will be overcome or at least relativised as the error religion claims injustice to beSince it is evil that necessitates God he is automatically recruited to the cause of combatting the designated evil the black man the immigrant the political opponent the religious opponent the opponent of any sort These are unjust by definition and must be corrected by their elimination as God commandsYouth is never without religion which it inherits from its parents and therefore youth is never without God Religion is strongest in youth for whom the correcting of injustice is of obsessive concern since youth feels no other real responsibilities except obtaining justice for itself Youth fortunately is constrained in its religious duties by a lack of power and so seeks out and combats evil primarily among its own ranksSome remain youthful throughout their lives maintaining their religion as a guiding force as the scope of their adult power expands They may redefine what constitutes evil and conseuently adapt their religion to the times as they advance in age Unsurprisingly religion tends to become increasingly conservative with age among those who cherish it This adapted religion repressive from generation to generation they in turn pass on to youth with God as guide and constant ally Those who discover in adulthood that religion is mythical that God is dead may worry that evil will be conseuently unconstrained At least this is the story they hear from the religionists They don’t realise that it is the existence of evil which has prompted the creation of God; and that the death of one’s God means the life of another God fighting some other purported evil This might provoke despair but shouldn’t be surprising One God’s Mede is another God’s PersianAs the translator says somewhat defensively in his introduction to Youth Without God “A man does not need to be a fervent believer to sense the absence of God or to detect the presence of darker agency” He thinks we live in a godless age and suffer or are at least confused on account of it But it is clear that Horváth knows that the racist nationalist militant Nazism which his protagonist experiences is anything but godless The title represents a hope not a concernThe new National Socialist God justifies justice of an entirely different sort than the old God; but there is justice nonetheless So that it is incorrect to claim that “No divine justice will come not before death and not after it; not for the old and not for the young” This is not the “worst case scenario” Far worse is the new theological regime which thrives on a divinely ordained justice of a different sort of human repression Perhaps it’s time to realise that justice can’t be defined elsewhere than in human communityThis is essentially an extrapolation of Alain Badiou’s thesis that the designation of the Good and Human Rights as the opposite of perceived Evil is a very dangerous business I don’t know if Horváth’s story influenced Badiou but it certainly demonstrates the importance of Badiou’s insight See


  4. says:

    Such an interesting diffrent way to write a crime novel I really enjoyed Horváts almost poetical writing The fact that it's set in 1937 makes it even interesting cause society worked differently It was also very inspiring in ways of truth telling and fighting for justice I feel refreshed


  5. says:

    Jugend Ohne Gott literally means Youth Without God I read this ages ago when I was in secondary school It was such a long time ago but when I re read this book in the last few days some pieces of it came back to me The protagonist is a teacher in Germany right before WWII He teaches geography and history and is annoyed by the fanatic and extremist tendencies of his students Their essays are just repetitions of the propaganda they hear from the radio and newspapers Students have to attend marches The teacher even accompanies the class to a military class trip that becomes mandatory for every studentDuring that class trip a murder happens We go through the entire mystery and the teacher continuously asks himself where is God? Did He abandon the youths? Why do they have to suffer through these horrible times which inevitably forces them to become horrible people to each other?The novel is a fast read and touches upon some interesting aspects guilt speaking the truth peer pressure A lot of this is happening now again in this post fact society


  6. says:

    Two month wandering in Europe Pilgrimage in Bavaria pilgrimage at Ludwig's castle Long stay at Murnau behind the lake I wanted to visit Gabriele Munter's and Franz Marc's house But Odon von Horwath I don't remember very well I have seen many years before « Tales from the Vienna wood » and it was a good memories Berlin 30th athmosphere Handke said it was the best author of his generation Horwath came very often at Murnau where lived his parents In 1930 he mets here Hitler and disputed with him He fighted againt Nazis in a coffee I find the place it is now a bank office This book make me think to the Erich Maria Remarue's one That also start in a highschool Violence is present ready to explose The professeur is the last rempart against barbary His disparture give way to Nazis Look at the August Sander's photo All this normal peopleIt is the image of his life Entartere artist he flet Germany and died stupidly in ParisHanneke will make a good movie of it


  7. says:

    The Verdict Fantastic Excellent Superb the BestAbout the novella Though it is structurally small and contains relatively less pages the themes presented in it are grand ones such as the nature of guilt the life in the totalitarian Nazi society the uestion of GodTruth And the greatness stems from the fact that these themes are treated with a few revealing insights and are captured in simple sentences containing a few words But the choice of words is very accurate About the titleThe title is provocative But then as a reader one finds God as one of the main characters present in the novel God does not speakHe just appears every now and thenAnd at the end the main protagonist who at the beginning of the novel is shown as the one struggling for belief admits to the presence of God But as a believer when one reads and comes to the end passages the revelation that comes has the nature of a redeeming graceA Final NoteI have not said much about the novella in the way of its plot characterization genre or any other thing related to literary field Because I do not know how to say it I still can not escape from the admirable feel that Horvath had created in this novel Lately I have realized that I have written many of my reviews in such manner that is immediately after reading a novel and before having myself released from the impact the book gave me I should change my policy of writing the review immediately after reading the bookIf only I could do that for this novel


  8. says:

    Very fascinating Enjoyed the setting of the totalitarian regime and the characters though it took me a while to get into


  9. says:

    The book is an exceptional account of the distorted times people have existed in and still do In the absence of a safety blanket the absurdness of ‘being and nothingness’ overlap to a kaleidoscope of raging pandemonium The unnamed narrator is no exception The novel is a poignant tale with wry yet subtle humour and sublime mystery at the heart of it along the lines of Dostoevsky and Kafka This is a fable to be treasured and revisited for generations to come Wouldn’t it be nice for us if the very meaning of words like “false” and “distorted” were unknown to us—but there they are only too familiar and they go strolling arm in arm and singing their vain laysSince the very existence of human society the need for self preservation has driven men to commit crimes But those crimes were secret deeds men hushed them up and were ashamed of them But to day men are proud of them There is a pestilence among us All of us are tainted friend and foe alike Our souls are great black sores and life is dying in them They die and we live on And my soul too is poor and weak  When I read in the paper that one of them has died my mind finds words—“Too few are dead too few” To day—even to day—haven’t I been thinking “Die—all of you Get out” But I don’t want to keep thinking that SOME ONE OUGHT TO INVENT A WEAPON which should nullify the effectiveness of any other weapon—the opposite of a weapon in fact Ah if only I were an inventor what wouldn’t I invent What a happy place I’d make the world So ran my thoughts as I swallowed my sixth schnapps But I wasn’t an inventor—would this world have missed anything if I’d never seen its light? What would the sun have had to say? And I wondered who would be living in my room now Don’t wonder such rubbish I told myself You’re drunk drunk If you hadn’t been born how would you know that your room existed? Your bed might still have been a piece of wood or a tree Shame on you old fool asking metaphysical uestions like a schoolboy who hasn’t digested his first experiences Don’t probe into hidden secrets You’re drunk Drink down your seventh schnapps“How can you ask that of them—to believe in God?” “God goes through every street” “How can God go through every street—seeing those children and doing nothing to help?” Silently he put his glass to his lips Then with a grave look he turned to me “God is the most terrible thing in the world”I felt a longing for my home as I saw this I wished I were a boy again I remember how I used to gaze out of the window in a storm—watching the low rain piled clouds the lightning and the hailstones I thought of my first love affair I shouldn’t want to see her now Go home I saw another scene myself sitting on a seat and wondering which I would be a teacher or a doctor? I’m glad I became a teacher Rather than heal the sick I wanted to impart something to the living and the healthy I wanted to help lay the foundation stone of a happier and lovelier age Go home Home where you were born What are you searching for outside the boundaries of home? I’m a teacher now—it means no delight to me Go home“Only very seldom” he went on “does a man become a saint if he has never been wicked Only very seldom do we find wisdom in one who has never been foolish And if it weren’t for the little stupidities of life we shouldn’t find ourselves in the world at all”Funny that—I believe in the Devil but not in a loving God Though I’m not sure I think rather that I refuse Him my belief With my free willFor that’s all that’s left to me now where freedom is concerned Within myself I can believe or refuse to believe Before others I must keep my views to myself What was it the priest told me? “We are punished and we do not know the reasons for our punishment”Charming were the thoughts that pierced my heart My mind had bred them Apparelled so becomingly they danced along and scarcely touched the ground A ball a fashionable ball In pairs they went gliding through the moonlight Cowardice with Courage Lies with Uprightness Wretchedness with Strength Malice with Valour Only Reason and Understanding did not join in the dance Reason and Understanding were wretchedly drunk They had lost their virtue But the dance went on and I listened to the music A song of the streets—the song of filth According to language race or nation we set ourselves apart and each pile up our filth to overtower the other’s Filth—for manure—for the earth so that something may grow Not flowers but rather bread Yes But do not worship it—the filth of which you’ve eatenThe paths of guilt cross each other and intertwine A maze a labyrinth—with distorting mirrors at every cornerFrom my window too a flag was waving I noticed it with a certain gratification I had hung it out the night before For if you are ruled by the lawless and the debased you had better adopt their methods or they might flay you alive You must drape your home with flags—even if you’ve a home no longer When submissiveness is the solitary trait in the human character that those who rule will tolerate truth flies away and lies creep in—the lies that engender sin But don’t wait—hang out the flags Better bread than death“And so you sit there in your club pouring your scorn on everything I suppose?” “Oh no Scorn is absolutely forbidden—that’s in rule three There are some I know who’ve only got contempt for everything—T’s like that for one but we haven’t We meet and talk over everything we’ve read” “What then?” “Then we go on to discuss how things should be in the world”The boy who had wanted to steal the secrets of life and death stood there like an idiot—and as if he were listening to something What could he hear? The creaking flight of madness? I hurried away“Where are you going?” “Away—far away” “Stop”Wait my gentle doe Snow will fall soon you’ll run nearer to men But I’ll drive you back into the forest where the snow lies fathom deep You’ll stay and hunger there in ice and frost Look at me once again I’ll speakBirth and death and all that lay between—he must know everything He would have probed into every secret but only to remain aloof with his own contempt He knew no awe it was only cowardice which composed his fear His love for reality was but a hatred for the truthSuddenly she smiled again and nodded to me But it was not she who smiled Nor were those her eyes Still as the dark pools in the little woods of my homeland And sad like children without light So God looked upon us here Once I had thought that His eyes would be malicious piercing—but no For God is Truth


  10. says:

    Falls suarely into the should have cut the first 50 pages basket The first few chapters contain some fine polemic someone should invent a weapon that nullifies other weapons but the book really gets going once our narrator stops looking outward and starts looking at himself Despite the fascism the anomy the picture of disgusting youth still relevant the murder and the turpitude of the narrator this is ultimately a kind of farcical comedy the narrator confesses to his wrongdoing and that confession itself leads after some time to a kind of justice As befits a man who fled the Nazis to Paris but was killed by a falling tree limb in 1939 the justice is bloody and discomforting but justice nonetheless The narrator himself enters a life of penitence which will make very many contemporary readers very uncomfortable and not in the silly art must make us uncomfortable way instead in the life makes me rather too uncomfortable way


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