Walter Kempowski: Culpa. Knaus Verlag (Paperback, Literary Fiction)


Working Notes on The Echo Sounder

Original Title: Culpa

original edition

Paperback, with flaps, 384 pages, 14.4 x 21.6 cm, 5.7 x 8.5 in.
ISBN: 978-3-8135-0254-1
€ 19.90 [D] | € 20.50 [A] | CHF 28.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: Knaus

Date of publication: February 17, 2005
This title is available.



Walter  Kempowski - Culpa


Walter Kempowski’s ‘The Echo Sounder’ – the first part of his monumental historical work, published in 1993 – was to become one of the most spectacular literary successes with the public and critics alike during the 1990s. When you look at the four weighty volumes, you can barely imagine the effort, risks and dangers that had to be surmounted in order for it to be written; how much extensive research, how much gathering and archiving of material; how the author had to struggle to create the right form.

In his diaries, Walter Kempowski precisely recorded the process of ‘The Echo Sounder’s genesis’, from the initial idea via all kinds of challenges and crises to eventual publication. ‘Culpa’ records each separate phase of a constantly shifting conception, showing how the author experimented with ideas and rejected them again until finally hitting upon the final form of the composition.

Walter Kempowski called his notes ‘Culpa’ because he saw his daring venture as clearing guilt away right from the start. Guilt in the individual sense, as connected with the fate of his own family in the post-war period, and also in the sense of the duty he feels to preserve for posterity the memory of the catastrophic events of a whole generation.


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