The Hothouse: A Novel
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Set in Bonn, the capital city of postwar Germany, follows sophisticated idealist Keetenheuve after he returns to Germany following his self-imposed exile, as his entrance into politics leads to his downfall.
brooding gave rise to destruc tion. And then the high commissars were received with open arms, come to my bosom! come to my bosom! Tears flowed, tears of emotion, little salt streams of re-meeting and forgiv ing, the skin had turned gray, a little rouge bobbed along on the tears, and Wotans inheritance was safe again. Flags are always available— rumpled prostitutes. Hoisting the flag is duty. Today I hoist one flag tomorrow the next I do my duty The weathercocks clatter in the wind.* O
parlia ment. There was no doubt about that. Only, Keetenheuve was no thrower of bombs. With that news, though, he could strengthen and support Knurrevvahn, w ho dreamed of becom ing the man of reunification (a common enough dream). But had the newspapers not picked up on the report yet, and run with it, so that the government would be tipped off, and have their denials already in place? Dana indicated no. The press in the Republic would give the interview little space, if any. The delight of
none. He ought to know that. He had known bunks in bar racks and Nissen huts, put-you-ups in bomb shelters, rubble billets, emergency lodgings, he knew the slums of London and the basement holes in Rotterdam’s Chinatown, and he knew that the minimum apartments that the committee was putting its weight behind were a step up. But he didn’t like mollification. He couldn’t see any allotment heaven. He thought he could see through the designs: he sensed poison and bacteria. How were these settlements
subsidy from Inter Nationes, Bonn, Germany All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America The text of this book is composed in Fairfield Light with the display set in Corvinus Skyline Composition by Gina Webster Manufacturing by The Haddon Craftsmen, Inc. Book design by JAM Design Production manager: Andrew Marasia Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Koeppen, Wolfgang, 1906[Treibhaus. English] The hothouse / Wolfgang Koeppen , translated and with an introduction by
foreigner? Was he among people who laughed and cried dif ferently than himself, who were different from himself? Maybe in his feelings he was a foreigner, and the laughter came out of the darkness and washed over him like a power ful wave that threatened to drown him. He groped his way out of the labyrinth. He rushed out of the cinema. It was panic flight. Ariadne squeaked after him: “Right for the exit! Right!” Theseus flees Minotaur lives The day was drawing to a close. There was still one