Marcel Reich-Ranicki (1920–2013) was probably the most famous—or infamous—German literary critic of the second half of the twentieth century. From 1988 to 2001, Reich-Ranicki hosted the literary talk show Das Literarische Quartett on ZDF (a German public-service television broadcaster). He was known as a tough critic; one of his early books was entitled Lauter Verrisse ("Only negative reviews / hatchet jobs", 1970).

With this in mind, it is not surprising that an Amazon.de reviewer of Klaus Vieweg's book Hegel: Der Philosoph der Freiheit would write,

Oder nach Ranicki: "Der Autor hat ein langes Buch geschrieben, für ein kurzes hatte er keine Zeit."


Or, after Ranicki / in Ranicki's style: "The author wrote a long book; he didn't have time for a short one."

This sounds like a perfectly plausible thing for Reich-Ranicki to say but I have not been able to find a quote like this elsewhere. Since Reich-Ranicki mainly reviewed novels, I tried finding a version of the attributed quote with the German word for novel ("Der Autor hat einen langen Roman geschrieben, ...") but that did not lead to any results, either. What is the actual quote the above quote is based on and where or when was it said or written?



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