Christa Wolf (1929-2011)


Christa Wolf, one of the most powerful post-WWII German writers, died yesterday at age 82.  Here is the opening paragraph of perhaps her best-known novel, Cassandra:

It was here. This is where she stood. These stone lions looked at her; now they no longer have heads. This fortress — once impregnable, now a pile of stone — was the last thing she saw. A long-forgotten enemy demolished it, so did the centuries, sun, rain, wind. The sky is still the same, a deep blue block, high, vast. Nearrby, the giant fitted-stone walls which, today as in the past, point the way to the gate, where no trace of blood can be seen seeping out from beneath. Point the way into the darkness. Into the slaughterhouse. And alone.

Keeping step with the story, I make my way into death.

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