Dear Mr. M - Chapters 1 - 4 Summary & Analysis

Koch, Herman
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Summary

Herman Koch begins Dear Mr. M with an intentionally jarring twist upon the common disclaimer found at the beginning of works of fiction, in which the author assures his readers that “Anyone who thinks he recognizes himself or others in one or more characters in this book is probably right” (i).

The second-person narrator of the first book of the novel (titled “Teacher Mortality”) begins what appears to be a series of short missives to their upstairs neighbor, who is a writer identified only as “M” (1, 3). M is barely aware of the neighbor’s existence or identity. In Chapter 1, the narrator establishes a disturbingly careful surveillance of M’s day-to-day life, attaching a kind of sneering commentary to a series of commonplace events: The departure of M’s young wife on a vacation and M’s first night spent without her, the appearance...

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This section contains 1,455 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dear Mr. M Study Guide
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