German language novel on nuclear proliferation
December 1, 2005 9:23 PM   Subscribe

Name that book: It's a German language novel in which several heavyweights of science address nuclear proliferation.

This book is relatively well known, though I'm not sure if an English translation exists. The subject matter leads me to believe that the book's publication date is early Cold War. Although my description is brief and likely erroneous* I hope it's enough to jog someone's memory.

*I haven't laid eyes on the book myself. My description is relayed from an aquaintance at a lab I worked at more than a year ago.
posted by FissionChips to Writing & Language (9 answers total)
It's not Copenhagen is it? A play, not a novel, and I'm not sure if it was written in German, but it sure sounds like what you're describing.
posted by loquax at 9:33 PM on December 1, 2005

According to this wiki page, Michael Frayn is English. The play was published in 1998, as indicated on page four of the book, which you can page through here.
posted by vkxmai at 9:41 PM on December 1, 2005

Yes, upon further reading, certainly not originally published in German. A great play though, I highly recommend it. Bohr and Heisenberg gabbing about physics and life, what could be more entertaining?
posted by loquax at 9:47 PM on December 1, 2005

I think you may be thinking of the play The Physicists by Friedrich D├╝rrenmatt (the link is to a spoiler-heavy Wikipedia description).

Amazon has an English version.
posted by sueinnyc at 9:58 PM on December 1, 2005

Copenhagen does fit my description but it's not the work I'm speaking of. I missed out on seeing Copenhagen at the Playhouse in Vancouver, I hope it returns.

sueinnyc, Die Physiker looks like it fits the bill! Thank you for the links, I look forward to reading it. Seeing as Die Physiker is also a play I will have to do a search to see when and where it has been produced.
posted by FissionChips at 10:20 PM on December 1, 2005

The link from Wikipedia to the Literary Encyclopedia confirms that I was thinking of Die Physiker. It describes Friedrich D├╝rrenmatt's motivation for writing the play, and that the play went on to have worldwide success after premiering in Germany in 1962.
posted by FissionChips at 10:30 PM on December 1, 2005

Oops, it priemered in Zurich, not in Germany.
posted by FissionChips at 10:39 PM on December 1, 2005

I'm glad that that worked! It's a wonderful play.
posted by sueinnyc at 10:47 PM on December 1, 2005

FissionChips, there's a PBS production of Copenhagen (with Stephen Rea) that came out a few years ago, which you might enjoy.
posted by scody at 11:50 PM on December 1, 2005

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