Measuring the World
Author: Daniel Kehlmann
Translated from German by: Carol Brown Janeway
I bought this Novel, along with 5 other books, on Saturday at Crosswords, Banjara Hills. I picked it up on impulse, read the blurb and decided to go for it. Have read a few pages and it looks good. The author is a young 31-year old Daniel Kehlmann, which means the language will not the usual heavy-toned one which you’d associate with older writers. The bnook revolves around the journey of two brilliant German Mathematicians of the 18th century who decide to measure the world after they meet at Berlin. Their meeting coincides with the fall of Napoleon.
The reviews I have read after buying it have been very good. Here’s what Guardian had to say about it:
The novel marks a change in Germany’s post-war literary landscape. For decades German fiction has enjoyed the reputation of being serious, worthy and a bit dull. It has, for the most part, been preoccupied with the country’s grim past.
What distinguishes Measuring the World from previous German novels is its delightful authorial irony, whether describing the failed seduction of Humboldt by a 15-year-old servant girl – the book suggests that Humboldt is probably gay – or his adventures up the Orinoco river. At one point an alien spaceship makes an appearance, leaving the reader wondering whether anything in the story is actually true.
This is my first German Novel, or book for that matter, and I am quite excited about it. Hope to finish it, unlike The Discovery of India and Freedom at Midnight, which I have left midway.