Philip Oltermann, Keeping Up with the Germans

Philip Oltermann, Keeping Up with the Germans. A History of Anglo-German Encounters, Faber and Faber 2012, ISBN 978 0 571 24017 3 Philip Oltermann was still at school when his parents decided to move to London and take him with them. He was not too keen at first, but after trying England for a year he decided to stay, instead of returning to Germany to do the Abitur. There’s an interview with Philip Oltermann at Granta in which he reads from his memoir piece for Granta, describing his arrival in the UK with his parents at the age of 16 and the gradual failure of the British sash window and absence of the German mixer tap. (I myself have suffered many years of visits to hardware shops looking at mixer taps with a brother visiting from England). He also talks about how English became his first language and about writing on the book which has now appeared. He says that he felt he was too young to write the book as a ‘memoir’ and so it is a history of Anglo-German relations. Here are the chapter titles (capitalization sic): Heinrich Heine Can’t Bear William Cobbett’s Swearing Christopher Isherwood Listens to Marlene Dietrich Theodor Adorno Doesn’t Do the Jitterbug with A.J. Ayer Kurt Schwitters Reinvents Dada by Grasmere Lake The Beetle Overtakes the Mini Freddie Frinton Teaches the Germans to Laugh Kevin Keegan Runs past Berti Vogts Astrid Proll Wishes She Wasn’t on Joe Strummer’s T-shirt There’s also a preface, an epilogue, and a useful index ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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