The Simple Life
Original Title: Das einfache Leben
Captain Thomas von Orla can no longer stand the desolation of empty societal living.
He is searching for meaningful work that can bring him happiness and peace, and he finds it in the seclusion of an East Prussian estate in a cabin by the lake as a fisherman and forest ranger.
The book allows you to immerse yourself in a world of silence and natural beauty. There are heroes, they don’t speak much, they do good, they have a “big heart.”
Readers see how Orla and his friend Bildermann endeavor to protect Marianne, granddaughter of the landlord and his heir, in her development as a child, as a young girl and as a woman.
Several of the people involved do something for each other that helps and benefits the other without desiring anything in return. Orla explains it this simply:
Love is at its purest when you don’t want anything for it.
Some readers will need a bit of time to get used to Wiechert’s language and style, and in some spots will perhaps even consider giving up reading when the author expresses himself dreamily. But those few foggy words clear up quickly and the reader will be drawn into clear, clean thinking through the actions of those involved, their exemplary attitude towards the environment and fellow human beings. An attitude towards life of the greatest relevance for current generations in order for there to be a fruitful future. For the transition to a life in tune with nature and its laws, for The Simple Life.–
The Simple Life is not an easy book, but a rich one. Those who collect the numerous little gems in their hearts along the way will never regret having read the book to the end.
You will meet people who all convey something very strong and refreshingly pure. Many readers will particularly venerate and love Thomas von Orla as well as “the child” Marianne, the “young lady” von Platen. Thus, this warning:
As the plot unfolds it is very possible that male readers will fall in love with Marianne! And female readers with Thomas von Orla!
Our ideal was – at that time [during World War II and the first few years thereafter] there was a book by Ernst Wiechert, The Simple Life; I know that many people felt the same way back then as we did; this would have been our ideal …
(Helmut Schmidt, 1918 – 2015, German Chancellor from 1974 to 1982)