A biographical novel on Heinrich Heine’s later years and his last great love.
DER WEIßE ABGRUND
(The White Abyss)
by Henning Boëtius
btb/Verlagsgruppe Random House Bertelsmann, July 2020 (voir catalogue)
Paris, ca. 1850. Bed-ridden and terminally ill, Heinrich Heine wants to prise one final work from the jaws of death: His memoirs are to be his magnum opus. It’s been a long time since he last attended an illustrious bohemian dinner – instead, he receives occasional visits from German exiles and French artist friends. One day, Elise Krinitz seeks him out. The young woman admires Heine, and hopes to find in him a mentor for her own literary ambitions. He tenderly and ironically calls her ‘Mouche’, and they soon embark on a platonic, but nonetheless passionate affair. Yet when Heine dies on the 17th February 1856, his memoirs are lost forever. Steeped in the fascinating panorama of 1850s Paris, Boëtius’s novel is a unique portrait of the final years of the great German poet Heinrich Heine.
Henning Boëtius was born in 1939, studied German and philosophy and gained his PhD in 1967. Boëtius has authored a wide range of publications that include novels, essays, poems and non-fiction. His novel Phoenix from Ash has been translated into many languages. He is also well known for his crime novels.