Moderator Dr Niaz Zaman, professor of English at Independent University Bangladesh (IUB), conducted the conversation with the readers. Participants of the Reader Circle were advocate Asfa Hussain, Shahrukh Rahman, Professor Razia Sultana Khan, Khadija Afzal and Shireen Islam. Bangladeshi book lovers eagerly participated in the discussion and thoroughly enjoyed the engaging reading
A discussion about the book “30 April 1945,” dubbed a literary encounter, was held on Saturday afternoon at the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh library.
“30 April 1945” is written by Alexander Kluge and translated by Wieland Hoban. The book is supported by a grant from the Goethe-Institut, and published by Seagull Books.
At the event, Reading Circle Dhaka, a book reading group, read and discussed Alexander’s book. They highlighted the contradictory and bewildering events that happened on that particular day, such as the Red Army’s Berlin invasion, Hitler’s suicide, and the beginnings of the United Nations.
During the discussion, the Reading Circle avidly discussed the book’s position concerning times of war and politics, discovered similarities with the present, and how the book could still be a reflection of the upheaval that changed the history of the world on a single day in 1945.
Moderator Dr Niaz Zaman, professor of English at Independent University Bangladesh (IUB), conducted the conversation with the readers. Participants of the Reader Circle were advocate Asfa Hussain, Shahrukh Rahman, IUB English Professor Razia Sultana Khan, Khadija Afzal and Shireen Islam.
Professor Razia, has been part of the Reading Circle, since 2008. Asked about the book read by the Reading Circle, she said: “I looked at it from a post-modern perspective. It is not one person’s story. There are a number of stories from a number of different perspectives. There is not just one plot. It is like a montage or a collage.
“The book is also a hybrid of genres - there are memoirs, historical data, sections that read like a biology book, even thrillers. The author uses different languages. He mixes up facts and fiction. The pictures and the historical bits are factual. But he has bits of fiction around them. So what is truth and what is not is difficult to say.
“There is also metafiction. In one of the paragraphs the author talks about feeling the soldier’s five senses. You see how something smells. You see how something tastes. You see how something is felt. I think this is what he has done in the book very well. He uses all the different senses. He uses pictures, songs and sketches. And you decide what you are getting out of it,” she added.
Professor Razia told Dhaka Tribune that she is grateful to Dr Kirsten Hackenbroch for her hospitality and the initiative she took to introduce the reading of German books in Bangladesh. She is looking forward to more such initiatives by them.
Bangladeshi book lovers eagerly participated in the discussion and thoroughly enjoyed the engaging reading.