, 1917-85, German novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. Böll presents a critical, antimilitarist view of modern society in a collection of masterful short stories, Wanderer, kommst du nach Spa· · ·
(1950; tr. Traveller, If You Come to Spa…,
1956), and the novels Wo warst du, Adam?
(1951; tr. Adam, Where Art Thou?,
1955) and Billard um halb zehn
(1959; tr. Billiards at Half Past Nine,
1961). Humanity's excesses and its inability to alter his destiny are among Böll's principal concerns in the narratives Und sagte kein einziges Wort
(1953; tr. Acquainted with the Night,
1954), Haus ohne Hüter
(1954; tr. Tomorrow and Yesterday,
1957), Ansichten eines Clowns
(1963; tr. The Clown,
1965), and Entfernung von der Truppe
(1964; tr. Absent without Leave,
1965). Many of Böll's works present his critical reflections on Catholicism, the church, and contemporary German society. Among his other notable works are a collection of travel essays, Irish Journal
(tr. 1967); the novel Gruppenbild mit Dame
(1971; tr. Group Portrait with Lady,
1973); two English anthologies, Eighteen Stories
(1966) and Children Are Civilians Too
(1970); and formerly unpublished stories, Der blasse Hund
(1995; tr. The Mad Dog,
1997). Böll won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1972.
See J. H. Reid, Henrich Böll: A German for His Time (1988).
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