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Saturday, 7 March 2009
Heinrich Böll has just suffered one of the worst indignities any great writer can - to be badly served after death by fate or circumstance. Or bad planning. In what would be Kafkaesque tragedy if it weren't about to become known as Böllesque, all the writer's long-collected papers, novels, letters, photos - everything, his vast archives - have been obliterated when the building meant to house them collapsed. It's a major loss and almost a scandal - and, above all else, a pity. We'll have to make do with his published work, or start digging.