Die Schlange im Wolfspelz -

Die Schlange im Wolfspelz

The Snake in Wolf’s Clothing. The Secret of Great Literature

Michael Maar

© Isolde Ohlbaum



Foreign Rights


About the book

What is the secret of good style; how is language transformed into literature? Michael Maar explores this question in his main and life’s work, for which he spent 40 years reading. What is style, what is jargon and what are the pitfalls that almost everyone falls into? How do the elementary particles need to interact in order to produce the perfect prose sentence? Through 50 portraits, Maar offers a history of German literature.

Jury evaluation

A linguistic circuit training, mental boot camp, and school of mindfulness: with “Die Schlange im Wolfspelz” (“The Snake in Wolf’s Clothing”), Michael Maar has written a major essay on good style, illustrated with many examples from German-language literature. Maar’s speciality: extolling. Whether he is praising Marie Ebner-Eschenbach “for the unromanticised, anti-idyllic naturalism, for her sharp psychology and ear” or applauding Theodor Fontane’s ability to “allow the world to get carried away in conversation”, Maar’s analyses and arguments are convincing. A book that can teach you to write and think.

Michael Maar

Michael Maar, born in 1960, is a Germanist, author and literary critic. He gained recognition with his work “Geister und Kunst. Neuigkeiten aus dem Zauberberg” (1995), for which he received the Johann Heinrich Merck Prize. In 2002 he was accepted by the German Academy for Language and Literature, in 2008 by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, and in 2010 he was awarded the Heinrich Mann Prize.


[Translate to Englisch:] Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung


[Translate to Englisch:] Deutsche Bank Stiftung

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