From Hans Fallada, “Wolf Among Wolves”

From Hans Fallada, “Wolf Among Wolves” March 8, 2016

[The police officer Leo Gubalke] sighed. If one considered the matter closely, the world was surprisingly full of obstacles for a man who believed in order. Hundreds of things which the less scrupulous did every day were out of the question for him. On the other hand, he had the pleasurable feeling, without which a man could not live, that he was not only keeping the world in order, but was in harmony with it himself.

(I wish I could quote every single line of the tale of Leo Gubalke. It’s satire–he ends up creating disorder and even devastation because he can’t bear to let people think he oversleeps–but there’s such poignancy to it, such a deep inner understanding of the longing for order. That coexistence of “order is chaos” and “order is harmony” is maybe one key to Fallada’s writing in general.)


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!