I've just posted a review of Gert Hofmann's Lichtenberg and the Little Flower Girl. For those interested in the work of this underrated German master, Edmund Hardy's excellent review of The Parable of the Blind is also certainly worth a read.
Simplicity is an underrated virtue in fiction, too often it is assumed that plainness and restraint are artless and Spartan. It is presumed that explanation and elaborate backstory create a fully rounded character. But such mimetics do not always make for satisfying art: the elaborate can be merely ornate: motivation can be imposed without a real feeling for the characters' true selves. Allowing a character to not have his/her motivations pinned down and explained away can give a story wings. In Hofmann's short, sturdy, pointed paragraphs, Lichtenberg is presented to us as he presents himself to the uncomprehending citizens of Göttingen: a dandy, an eccentric, a naïve, a learned fool; a flawed man, a good friend, an amateur. All this, and more, without crass psychology and with much humour.