4. März Wolfgang Borchert: Nachts schlafen die Ratten doch. Haltet eure ersten Eindrücke schriftlich fest. Full transcript. All about Die Hundeblume / Nachts schlafen die Ratten doch. by Wolfgang Borchert. LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for booklovers. Nachts schlafen die Ratten doch. by Borchert, Wolfgang. and a great selection of similar Used, New and Collectible Books available now at

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The blown-out window on the ruined wall yawned soft pink, suffused in the early evening sun. Wisps of dust played in the light between the smokestacks. The rubble heap slept. His eyes were closed. He sensed that someone had come and was now standing in front of him, dark and quiet. But as he blinked a little, he saw only two legs, clad in slightly tattered pants. The legs were so bowed with age that he was able to look straight through them. He risked a quick glimpse above the pants and took in the silhouette of an old man.

The old man carried a knife and a basket in his hands. His fingertips were diw. Of course, in that case, I won’t tell you what I have here in this basket.

How old are you, then? All of nine years! Then you must know how much three times nine is, right? I knew that right away. I don’t like pipes.

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Especially the little ones. Maybe you could have picked one out for yourself. But if you really can’t leave The man took the basket and stood up again. All of a sudden the lights went out in the basement. We called and called for him. He was a lot smaller than me.

He just turned four. He has to be there somewhere. He really is much smaller than me. The man looked down at the mop ddie hair. Then, suddenly, he said, “Yes, well Rats nnachts at night! At night you can just go home! Rats always sleep at night. Even when it’s just getting dark, they’re already asleep.


Then the old man said and his weak legs shifted uneasily as he said it”You know what? I’m just off to feed my rabbits now, and when it gets dark, I’ll come back and pick you up.

Maybe I could bring a rabbit with me. What do you think? White ones, grey ones, white and grey ones. Then I’ll go home with you, okay?

Rats Sleep at Night – Exchanges: Journal of Literary Translation

I’ll have to teach your father how to make a rabbit hutch. You’ll need to learn, too. I have to stay on guard until it gets dark. But the man couldn’t hear him anymore. He ran with his crooked legs into the sun. And his schlafdn swung excitedly back and forth. Inside the basket was rabbit food. Green rabbit food, flecked grey with dust. Er hatte die Augen zu. Mit einmal wurde es noch dunkler.

Jetzt haben sie mich! Der hatte ein Messer und einen Korb in der Hand. Und etwas Erde an den Fingerspitzen.

Nein, ich schlafe nich. Wohl auf Geld, was? Der Mann setzte den Korb ab und wischte das Messer an seinem Hosenboden hin und her. Wie alt bist du denn? Das ist ja ganz leicht. Und er sah durch die Beine des Mannes hindurch. Pfeife mag ich nicht.

Vor allem die Jungen. Aber du nxchts hier ja nicht weg. Der Mann nahm den Korb hoch und richtete sich auf. Und er dreht sich um. Auf die doch nicht! Und dann sagte er ganz leise: Unser Haus kriegte eine Bombe. Mit einmal war das Licht weg im Keller. Wir haben noch gerufen. Er war viel kleiner als ich.


Er ist doch viel kleiner als ich. Nachts schlafen die Ratten doch.

Wolfgang Borchert: Nachts schlafen die Ratten doch by Sina fischer on Prezi

Nachts kannst du ruhig nach Hause gehen. Nachts schlafen sie immer. Wenn es dunkel wird, schon. Lauter kleine Betten sind das, dachte er, alles kleine Betten. Da sagte der Mann und seine krummen Beine waren ganz unruhig dabei: Vielleicht kann ich eins mitbringen. Ein kleines, oder was meinst du? Wir haben auch noch Bretter zu Hause.

Er lief mit seinen krummen Beinen auf die Sonne zu. Und der Korb schwenkte aufgeregt hin und her. Kaninchenfutter was da drin. In the writing, there is always a beautifully crafted dynamic between the portrayal of the common fate and the individual bearing of it, which I find very challenging to convey as a translator.

Though perfectly fluid in German, these terse sentences work overly haltingly in English, but artificially conjoining them destroys something important of the original’s atmosphere. This translation is an attempt to capture faithfully something of this elusive friction in the genre. Alexis Levitin translates from the Spanish. Sophia Dahlin translates from the Spanish.

Side-by-side Original Translated Translator Notes. Rats Sleep at Night. Some are still very young. Would you like to? I mean, you’ve got to eat!

Behind the rock was a half-loaf of bread. And a tin box. That’s how they survive. He’s lying under there. Das kann ich nicht sagen. Auf ganz etwas anderes.

Ich kann es nicht sagen. Oha, denk mal an, neun also.