Opinioni Di Un Clown (English: The Clown) is a 1963 novel by West German writer Heinrich BÃll, one of the most prominent figures of post-war German literature. The novel tells the story of Hans Schnier, a professional clown who struggles with his personal and social life after his girlfriend Marie leaves him for a Catholic man.
The novel is a scathing critique of the hypocrisy and materialism of the bourgeois society, as well as the Catholic Church and its role in Germany's history. BÃll explores themes such as love, faith, guilt, alienation, and art through the protagonist's cynical and sarcastic voice. The novel also reflects BÃll's own experiences as a pacifist and a critic of the Nazi regime and its aftermath.
Opinioni Di Un Clown was first published in Italian in 1965 by Einaudi, and has since been translated into many languages. The novel received positive reviews from critics and readers alike, and was awarded the German Book Prize in 1967. It is considered one of BÃll's masterpieces and one of the most influential works of post-war German literature.
You can download a PDF version of Opinioni Di Un Clown from the Internet Archive[^1^] or listen to an audio excerpt on SoundCloud[^3^] [^4^].
The novel begins with Hans returning to his apartment in Bonn after a failed performance in a small town. He is broke, lonely, and depressed. He calls various people from his past, hoping to find some comfort or support, but only encounters indifference or hostility. He also recalls his relationship with Marie, who was his childhood sweetheart and the only person who understood him. They lived together for six years, but Marie decided to leave him when she felt the need to return to her Catholic faith. She married Zupfner, a lawyer and a devout Catholic, who helped her get a job at a Catholic publishing house.
Hans feels betrayed and abandoned by Marie, who was the main source of his happiness and inspiration. He also resents her for choosing a conventional and conformist life over their unconventional and artistic one. He blames the Catholic Church for brainwashing her and taking her away from him. He mocks and insults the Church and its representatives, such as priests, nuns, and politicians. He also criticizes the Church's involvement in Germany's history, especially its support for the Nazi regime and its silence on the atrocities committed during the war.
Hans is not only at odds with the Church, but also with his own family and social class. He comes from a wealthy and influential family of industrialists, but he rejects their values and lifestyle. He chooses to be a clown, a profession that he considers noble and honest, but that is despised and ridiculed by others. He does not care about money or status, but only about his art and his love. He is an outsider and a rebel, who does not fit in any group or category. He is also a pacifist and a humanitarian, who sympathizes with the victims of war and oppression. 061ffe29dd