No Way Back

Author(s): FONTANE, Theodore
ISBN13/Barcode: 9780946162765
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Translated from the German by Hugh Rorrison and Helen Chambers


Hugh Rorrison and Helen Chambers follow their breakthrough version of Effi Briest with a new translation of another fine novel by Fontane, Unwiederbringlich – No Way Back (1891), set in Copenhagen and Schleswig-Holstein on the eve of the Prussian takeover of the territory in 1864.


Affable but unsophisticated Count Holk, of an ancient German Schleswig family, is inspired by a Romantic ballad to leave the modest but comfortable ancestral Schloss where he and his wife Christine have spent an idyllic early married life and build a new, architecturally ambitious ‘castle by the sea’. He is unaware of how the ballad ends … As a gentleman-in-waiting to a Danish royal princess, he is summoned to a six-month spell of duty in Copenhagen. At the princess’s lively, fun-loving court, the rural count falls into beguiling company, and his life begins to spiral out of control.


This multi-layered portrayal of a problematic marriage and a little-known corner of Danish-German history has all Fontane’s celebrated qualities: virtuosity of dialogue, elegance and irony, a tragicomic edge, and a distinctly modern sensibility.


No Way Back has the amplitude, the social and personal varieties, we expect of the major social novel; it surely ranks among the most imaginatively challenging and intellectually satisfying attainments in that dominant 19th-century form.’ –Paul Binding, The Spectator, 23/30 April 2011

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Translated from the German by Hugh Rorrison and Helen Chambers

Hugh Rorrison and Helen Chambers follow their breakthrough version of Effi Briest with a new translation of another fine novel by Fontane, Unwiederbringlich – No Way Back (1891), set in Copenhagen and Schleswig-Holstein on the eve of the Prussian takeover of the territory in 1864.

Affable but unsophisticated Count Holk, of an ancient German Schleswig family, is inspired by a Romantic ballad to leave the modest but comfortable ancestral Schloss where he and his wife Christine have spent an idyllic early married life and build a new, architecturally ambitious ‘castle by the sea’. He is unaware of how the ballad ends … As a gentleman-in-waiting to a Danish royal princess, he is summoned to a six-month spell of duty in Copenhagen. At the princess’s lively, fun-loving court, the rural count falls into beguiling company, and his life begins to spiral out of control.

This multi-layered portrayal of a problematic marriage and a little-known corner of Danish-German history has all Fontane’s celebrated qualities: virtuosity of dialogue, elegance and irony, a tragicomic edge, and a distinctly modern sensibility.

No Way Back has the amplitude, the social and personal varieties, we expect of the major social novel; it surely ranks among the most imaginatively challenging and intellectually satisfying attainments in that dominant 19th-century form.’ –Paul Binding, The Spectator, 23/30 April 2011

‘Helen Chambers and Hugh Rorrison have improved on the previous English version by Douglas Parmée, especially in the handling of conversation. While Parmée’s translation sometimes felt stilted, they compose natural, idiomatic conversations.’– Ritchie Robertson, Times Literary Supplement, 25 March 2011


THEODOR FONTANE (1819-98), of French descent and brought up on the Prussian Baltic coast, spent much of his life as a journalist. He was for several years a foreign correspondent in London, and subsequently chronicled the life and history of Berlin's hinterland and Bismarck's wars. The first of his seventeen works of fiction, Before the Storm, was published when he was fifty-nine. His international reputation rose steadily throughout the 20th century. Supreme in dialogue, his best work an elegant and engaging blend of irony, penetration and compassion, he is now seen as the finest German novelist of the 19th century.

Additional Information

ISBN13/Barcode 9780946162765
ISBN10 094616276X
Author FONTANE, Theodore
Binding Paperback
Date Published 15 Sep 2010
Frequency No
Report Date N/A
Pages 256
Publisher Angel Books

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