„Man stürzt nicht zweimal in denselben Abgrund. Aber man stürzt immer auf dieselbe Weise, in einer Mischung aus Lächerlichkeit und Entsetzen.“
Éric Vuillard tells a story in brief, sharply cut scenes of historical moments lacking a decisive refusal. He starts in Berlin in 1933 – when Gustav Krupp and Günther Quant decide to finance Hitler – and traces decisive moments until 1938. Over dinner and cigars in the salon, he generates masterfully created, open-ended situations, making the unspoken refusal psychologically comprehensible and opening up entire systems of thought. The text oscillates between narrative and essay, the language between precision and poetry and Nicola Denis expresses this through a particular fluid and accurate translation. In the interplay between satire and analysis knowledge manifests: history does not happen inevitably. We do not always have to agree. – Jens Hillje
Éric Vuillard, born in Lyon in 1968, is a writer and film director. For his books, in which he retells great moments of history thus founding his own genre, he was awarded with, among others, the Prix de l'Inaperçu and the Franz-Hessel-Preis. In 2017, he received the prestigious Prix Goncourt for The Order of the Day. Published in German: La Bataille D’occident (2014), Congo (2015) and Sorrow of the Earth (2017).
Nicola Denis, born in 1972, works as a freelance translator in the west of France. She received her doctorate with a thesis on translation history. Her translations include works by Alexandre Dumas, Honoré de Balzac, Pierre Mac Orlan and Philippe Muray.
Translator’s website: nicoladenis.fr