The novel by Henry Bell, “The Eyes of a Clown”

The novel by Henry Bell, “The Eyes of a Clown”

“Poets walk on their heels

On the edge of the knife and cut

In the blood of his sick souls. “

V. Vysotsky

Heinrich Böll can be called a writer depicting a “little man.” In the novels “The house without a master,” “Where have you been, Adam?”, “Billiards at half past nine” describes ordinary people, but the artist sees not a faceless mass, but a particular person, his uniqueness. Representing the inner world of the “little man”, he reaches the heights of psychologism. Apparently there is a passion for Belle creativity Dickens and Dostoyevsky.

The novel “The eyes of a clown” is amazing. Here much is unusual. It seems to us from the height of the current lack of money that the rich simply can not be unhappy, and Belle convinces us of the opposite: a child born in a family of coal magnates Shnirov does not know happiness. Old man Derkum, Marie’s father, the lover of the protagonist, says that one should regret not only the poor things of the homeless, but also the children of the rich. Hans Schnir talks about his childhood, and we understand what Derkum meant.

Hans can not stand his mother. For pathological stinginess, insincerity, but most of all – for the subordination of public ideology, which prevails today. She was a convinced Nazi, so faithful to Hitler, that even her own daughter did not spare. Hans can not forgive them for the death

of Henrietta. He never forgets it. This was his only soul in the family Shnirov. He is good to Leo’s younger brother. And my brother, I think, despite all his religiousness, there is not enough participation, warmth.

The novel lasts only two days. The novel is a monologue of the main character. He talks about himself and his attitude to the world around him. He is a person with a bright personality. I can not imagine that an 11-year-old boy in a country where a great majority adored Hitler immediately hated the young patriot of Nazi Germany, Kalika, felt the hostility of fascism to all living things. Hans has hated the Nazis since childhood, and he is outraged that in peacetime, after the defeat of fascism, they were repainted in the Democrats, “repented” and live in clover. What is it worth only his mother’s committee for reconciliation of racial contradictions! After all, it was one of the first to speak out against the “Yiddish Judaizers,” and in their house there was one of the centers for educating the fascist youth.

We know that the West Germany, which Belle writes, is one of the most prosperous European countries. But why is the clown so unhappy? After all, he’s a psychologist, he understands everyone so well-and his father, who pity for him only one brand, and Leo, who is mumbling something about the orders in the seminary, because of which he does not rush to help his brother. He understands and respects Tsyupfner, who took his wife away from him. But why does not anyone in Bonn want to understand him?

Hans lost his beloved, beautiful girl, his soul. And he can not survive it. Marie went to the Catholics, whom he curses all the time, argues with them, denounces them, but in return they only grinfully grin, even pity him. He’s just a clown. He is not dangerous to them. Especially now, when he began to drink, he broke his knee and for a long time can not return to his performances. Hans, as SOS signals, sends phone calls to those who could help him. But for some reason, nobody is getting a human conversation. I do not understand this country – after all, he called almost a dozen close friends, and none rushed to him, did not sympathize, did not listen.

He even called his mother, and she, first of all, was frightened for her purse. What kind of people are they? Here comes the father, he comes to the distressed son, he sees how unhappy Hans is, how his knee is swollen, but does not rush to him, does not burst into tears of repentance.

And all this can be experienced. But you can not survive the departure of Marie. The soul is wounded and bleeds as if it were yesterday. He can not look at other women, he needs only Marie, the only one. With what tenderness he remembers every movement, every dash. Everything he loves in her, even the Catholicism that separated them, he accepted. He woke her up so she would not be late for the morning mass, missed the religious meetings. He respected her. What would it seem like to desire? She said that she would love him until their death parted. And she left. It reminds me of the love story of Yevgeny Bazarov and Anna Sergeevna Odintsova. Smart and unusual Bazarov, too much power in him. And Odintsova loves wealth, comfort and peace. So is Marie. With Tsyupfner, she will not be poor. A safe house, lovely children, a good husband. But she loved only Hans! And Hans can not understand how one can love one, but marry another. He always speaks of the sin of adultery.

Hans Schnir is talented. He very subtly feels the psychology of others, he notices the cherished in man. He is unhappy because he is a true artist. Only a creative person is so acutely aware of the imperfection of the world.

The novel “The Eyes of a Clown” depicts the life of post-war Germany. But many moments of this life are common for every person: relationships with parents, with friends, just with adults, with loved ones are full of drama at any time and in any country. And we, young, understand the call of Henry Bell: forgetting the past is dangerous. Regardless of us, the past is present in our life, it influences a lot in the life of our modern homeland.


The novel by Henry Bell, “The Eyes of a Clown”