Kurt Vonnegut grappled with his traumatic memories of the firebombing of Dresden for more than two decades before publishing Slaughterhouse-Five in 1969.  (The New York Times, 3/21/19)

In Time and Power, Christopher Clark examines how Prussian and German leaders “learnt to bend the past to suit the present” in four different centuries.  (New Statesman, 2/13/19; Standpoint, 3/2019)

Just in time for anguished end-stage Brexit negotiations, Robert Menasse’s “unexpectedly delightful book about Brussels” (translated by Jamie Bulloch as The Capital) has at last made it to English bookstores.  (The Economist, 2/16/19; The Arts Desk, 3/10/19)

“Ernst Jünger’s Second World War was less dramatic than his first; it could hardly be otherwise.” Find out more from his journals as an officer in occupied Paris, newly translated by Thomas and Abby Hansen.  (The Washington Post, 1/16/19; New Statesman, 2/20/19)

“‘Faust’ was the original viral content, and it’s still relevant today.” Olivia Giovetti looks back at retellings of the 400-year-old story, from Christopher Marlowe to The Americans.  (Electric Literature, 2/19/19)

“When a refugee flees to another country and claims asylum, she is, in effect, petitioning the state to listen to her story . . .  Where the state has failed to meet its moral obligation to listen, writers like Jenny Erpenbeck have stepped in.”  (Longreads, 2/2019)

Ali Fitzgerald’s graphic memoir, Drawn to Berlin: Comic Workshops in Refugee Shelters and Other Stories from a New Europe depicts “a city and the refugees who’ve tried to adopt it as their own, as well as the medium of comics as a tool for self-knowledge.”  (The Atlantic, 11/7/18; Los Angeles Review of Books, 2/9/19)

We can read Christa Wolf’s journals, writes Becca Rothfeld, “not as the sum of her worst lapses and most public mistakes, not as a political symbol or a work of history, but as a testament to her haltingly singular self.”  (The Nation, 2/22/19)

Decades after Isherwood said goodbye to Berlin, the city’s expat lit is still going strong—read up on some of the newest voices in a durable genre.  (Electric Literature, 1/3/19)

In Munich 1919: Diary of a Revolution (translated by Jessica Spengler), Viktor Klemperer “reports on the revolution first as an eyewitness and later as a memoirist who already knows how things will unfold.”  (The Nation, 1/10/19)

In memoriam: Mirjam Pressler (1940–2019), award-winning children’s author, literary translator, advocate for Christian-Jewish understanding.  (Deutsche Welle, 1/16/19)

“Can you be realistic and radical at the same time?” Max Weber’s “Politics as a Vocation” still has important lessons for us, 100 years on.  (The Economist, 1/26/19)

In memoriam: Anthea Bell (1936–2018), literary translator extraordinaire. She brought the words of W.G. Sebald, Stefan Zweig, Otfried Preussler—and the Asterix and Obelix comics!—to life in English translation.  (The Guardian, 10/18/18; The New York Times, 10/19/18; Translationista, 10/21/18; Financial Times, 10/26/18)

“History is everywhere, as is mankind’s bad behavior, in Walter Kempowski’s Homeland (Mark und Bein), newly translated by Charlotte Collins.  (The Guardian, 12/20/18; Financial Times, 1/4/19; Granta, 2/5/19)