All of Heinrich Böll’s major fictional works have been translated into Russian and have appeared in book form, except for "Irisches Tagebuch" (Novij mir) and "Ende einer Dienstfahrt" (Inostrannaja literatura). In accordance with the special rules and quirks of the Soviet publishing system, issuance of his major works has not proceeded in chronological order: from Und sagte kein einziges Wort in 1957 to the volume comprising Der Zug war pünktlich; Im Tal der donnernden Hufe; Entfernung von der Truppe in 1971. Publication of any foreign book in the Soviet Union is never a routine matter, and some of Böll’s works almost did not survive the elaborate sifting process of the Soviet publishing machinery. In particular, this was the case with Ansichten eines Clowns whose lack of Perspektivbewusstsein caused considerable consternation among establishment critics. Nothing, however, can match the Byzantine tussle with Gruppenbild mit Dame.



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