Theodor Fontane

Overall Rating: 5
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Author: Theodor Fontane
Title: Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg [Walking Tours Through The Mark Of Brandenburg]
Time: 1859-1881
Destination: Germany
Length: 22 years, non-continuous
Type: mostly walking
Rating: 5/10

Impersonal realism

[Note: I’ve been reading an abridged edition.]

The story: TF was a German poet from the 1800s who, among other things, enjoyed taking walks in the area around Berlin and writing about them.

several trips

This book isn’t about one continuous journey. Instead, it is made up of several different trips that TF undertook during various stages of his life. His areas of choice: Ruppin, Oder, Havel, Spree.

a slow read

The problem: it is a bit slow. And by slow I mean slow, not necessarily boring. I thoroughly enjoyed the parts where TF was communicating with people or talking about the history of a place. But his landscapes just seemed so lengthy that I would catch myself counting pages. Maybe this love for metonymy and detail was part of a particular style of poetic realism, but it actually felt like it was distancing the reader from the story (unlike Johann Gottfried Seume and even Heinrich Heine, who were rather personal writers, for example).

landscapes around Berlin

Anyway, if you are planning to travel to the area around Berlin, you might want to give this a shot.

A 5/10.

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