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The Tango Player (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – November 1991

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-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Christoph Hein (born 8 April 1944) is a German author and translator. He grew up in the village Bad Duben near Leipzig. Being a clergyman's son and thus not allowed to attend the Erweiterte Oberschule, he received secondary education at a gymnasium in the western part of Berlin. After his Abitur he jobbed inter alia as assembler, bookseller and assistant director. From 1967 to 1971 Hein studied philosophy in Leipzig and Berlin. Upon graduation he became dramatic adviser at the Volksbuhne in Berlin, where he worked a resident writer from 1974. Since 1979 Hein has worked as a freelance writer. Hein first became known for his 1982 novella Der fremde Freund (The Distant Lover). From 1998 to 2000 Hein was the first president of the pan-German PEN-Centre." -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.


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Amazon.com: HASH(0x92a7eccc) von 5 Sternen 3 Rezensionen
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HASH(0x92373a98) von 5 Sternen The World of Shallow Dallow 17. Februar 2008
Von Flippy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This is a sad book. There are no heroes, only a grey world, a place where politics has wiped away the character of humanity. The main character, Dallow, moves around in the novel devoid of emotion, of feeling, compassion and sensitivity. He is the void of the GDR personified, engaging in loveless relationships, relating only on the superficial level.

There is a Kafka-esque humor in the book when the reader encounters the two government officials. They are consistently indistinguishible, a Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum pair who harass Dallow into getting back into his old career path following his prison release. ("I was just the Tango player" he constantly reminds the reader).

Strangely enough, this book was written about a time that could be now. Dallow is only physically engaged in his various sexual encounters. He is isolated from others, his relationship with his parents pointless and weary. In our time and place, we have ipods and cell phones to isolate us. Tear back the layers of our digital distractions and we'll find Dallow in our modern world. This book is haunting if you can stand back and see how it compares to our new century.
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HASH(0x923751a4) von 5 Sternen "Disgrace" in Communist East Germany 1. November 2000
Von Manuel Haas - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Why should one read books about a political system that is dead and gone? The answer is, of course, that it is not so dead and gone after all. Communism may have collapsed as a political force, but the countries of eastern Europa are still full of the people it has created. People who have just been released from prison are like an ownerless dog, Hein's narrator says, constantly looking for a new master to caress and beat them. Maybe that is how quite a lot of people feel after the Iron Curtain has come down... Peter Dallow has just been released from prison in the East Germany of 1968; he had played the piano in a political cabaret, and a tango about the ageing ruler of the country had so infuriated the authorities that all members of the group are sentenced to spend two years in prison. Dallow still feels he was innocent, because he wasn't even a member, he had just stepped in for the man who usually played the piano. Hein's book is about the months after Dallow's release from prison.
The mood is similar to the one in Coetzee's "Disgrace": Dallow used to be a lecturer at Leipzig university, and his attitude towards his students seems to have been one of contempt and cynicism. Now he is in a state of disgrace, people feel uneasy in his presence and want to get rid of him. The Communist state, however, will not let go of him: The authorities, the secret service, the police, are annoyed that Dallow does not want to live on as if nothing had happened. Nobody could escape the system, no matter how hard he or she tried. Actually they keep trying to force Dallow to return to his post at the university. Maybe people like him are even more useful for a dictatorship than those who never got into trouble: Dallow is broken and cynical, he will never resist the government again; in contrast to practically all the people around him he is completely indifferent towards the hope for reform embodied in the Prague Spring.
Dallow's perspective offers a shocking picture of the state of human relationships in his country: Here too cynicism abounds. Love is only mentioned once - as an impossible dream. Sex is regarded as a purely physical need ("I feel like having sex with you."), and young girls gladly trade it for a place to spend the night. People leave each other just like that. Most characters seem to be scarred after lost battles. This, of course, is Dallow's perspective, and he refuses to cherish any hopes at all. Maybe Hein wanted to show what East Germany was like without the hope for change. The book was first published in 1989, when this change was finally happening...
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HASH(0x923758dc) von 5 Sternen Case Study In Grey 2. Oktober 2006
Von J. G. H. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
In the "Tango Player" Christoph Hein skillfully adumbrates the grey atmosphere of East German society. While not as engrossing as his "Distant Lover," which I'd easily recommend over this work, "Tango Player" is still a well-written and interesting glimpse into the former East Germany. In 1968, a year of remarkable political tumult, one would expect the main character, Peter Dallow, a historian, to be fully engaged in the events of his times. Instead we see through Dallow a refractory image of 1968: disengaged, socially sclerotic, and remarkably apolitical, even after being released from prison for taking part in the performance of what the State considered a defamatory song. This is one of Hein's greatest strengths: making the observations of alienated eyes somehow sympathetic. Not that Dallow is a sympathetic character, but he makes sense because Hein is so skilled.
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