Hottentotten Stottertrottel – Wolf Schneider’s Biography!

Pic by Franzi.

Wolf Schneider is the one name that comes into my mind, when I think about excellent journalism and the distinct usage of words and grammar in writing. Schneider worked for such prestigious German journals and newspapers as the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Stern or the Welt. Moreover, he wrote a bunch of books about the German language and taught for many, many years on journalism schools.

Some sentences from his books about good (or more often bad) German style are with me and my writing all the time. The most important one: “Hauptsachen gehören in Hauptsätze!” // “Main things belong into main clauses!” It may sound incredible logic and easy, but so often one gets distracted and ends up with one loooong sentence with three subordinate clauses.

Schneider’s (German) biography Hottentotten Stottertrottel – Mein langes wunderliches Leben has been published in 2015, the year of his 90th birthday. The book is a wild mix of journalistic thriller and a trip back in time. He narrates his rollercoaster journey through the German journalistic world, his meetings not only with famous publishers like Henri Nannen or Axel Springer, but also with presidents, politicians and all kinds of famous or long forgotten big names of the last 60 years.

Since he has written the biography himself, it is once more a wonderful possibility to enjoy his clear writing style.

For me, a must-read for everyone who is interested in biographies, German history and – of course – in journalism.

Have a wonderful and entertaining week :)!

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