For a writer often described as a master of the short story, Böll in recent years has published precious little in what he considers his favorite genre. And when now and again he does present us with a new short story, we welcome it with a sense of uneasy anticipation. His short stories of the last two decades, creditable though indeed they are, do not rank with the best efforts of his younger years.


This article was read originally during a special session on Böll's work at the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association of America, held in New York in December 1983. The news of Heinrich Boll's death (July 16, 1985) came just as this special issue was going to press.



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