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The Strudlhof Steps: The Depth of the Years

The Strudlhof Steps: The Depth of the Years

By Heimito von Doderer
Introduction by Daniel Kehlmann
Translated by Vincent Kling

The Strudlhof Steps is an unsurpassed portrait of Vienna in the twentieth century, a novel crowded with characters who range from an elegant, alcoholic Prussian aristocrat, to an innocent ingénue, to “respectable” shopkeepers and tireless sexual adventurers, bohemians, grifters, and honest working-class folk. The greatest character in the book, however, is the city of Vienna, its streets and surrounding hills and woods depicted by Heimito von Doderer with all the vividness of Joyce’s Dublin or Döblin’s Berlin. The novel interweaves two time periods, 1908 to 1911 and 1923 to 1925, and finds its central focus and governing metaphor in the monumental outdoor double staircase that gives the book its title. Here people of the city, with their complicated pasts and ever-changing present concerns, continually intersect and then proceed on their separate ways.

The Strudlhof Steps is a masterpiece of modern Austrian literature that is at once an absorbing (and highly popular) soap opera, full of suspense and surprise, and an experimental tour de force. Vincent Kling’s translation is the first into English.

Paperback
872 pages
NYRB Classics, 2021
Originally Published in German in 1951
5 x 8 inches
ISBN 9781681375274
Fiction, Vienna

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