They Divided the Sky – Christa Wolf – Episode 12

They Divided The Sky - Christa Wolf

On Episode 12 of the Radio GDR Podcast, GDR Objectified‘s John Paul Kleiner interviews Professor Luise von Flotow who translated the East German novel ‘They Divided The Sky‘ by Christa Wolf into English.

Christa Wolf
Christa Wolf – Author of They Divided The Sky
Professor Luise von Flutow with John Paul Kleiner
Professor Luise von Flotow with John Paul Kleiner

They share with us :

  • A biographical sketch of author Christa Wolf.
  • How Luise von Flutow became interested in Christa Wolf’s novels.
  • A brief synopsis of They Divided The Sky.
  • How was Christa Wolf received in East Germany.
  • What her relationship to the Socialist Project?
  • What was her standing in the German Democratic Republic?
  • Why some of Christa Wolf’s novels were available ‘under the counter.
  • What happened to a friend of Luise von Flotow who wrote about Christa Wolf on her education course pre 1989.
  • How was Christa Wolf received in the West.
  • Why They Divided The Sky is a revealing snapshot of factory life in East Germany.
  • John Paul Kleiner has read They Divided The Sky in German and he shares why he enjoyed the English translation as well.
  • Why They Divided The Sky was not universally praised in the GDR.
  • The first English translation of the novel appeared in 1965. Published by Seven Seas Publishing which was managed by Stefan Heym’s wife.
  • How the English version was heavily edited in 1965.
  • What inspired Luise von Flotow to translate They Divided The Sky into English.
  • Why East Germany reminded her of Canada.
  • The movie version is called Divided Heaven as some earlier translations of the novel. Himmel has two meanings in German, ‘sky’ and ‘heaven.’ Luise von Flutow shares with us why she preferred the word sky.
  • John Paul on why we should read more Christa Wolf novels as they are all very different.
East Germany Podcast
East Germany Podcast
Join our East Germany Facebook group to talk more about the GDR!
Join our East Germany Facebook group to talk more about the GDR!

Links and Resources Mentioned on Episode 12 of the Radio GDR podcast.

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