What were Sacagawea's rules of life?
PeterBieri A way of life PeterStamm Night is the day Jennifer Egan Black Box Silvia Bovenschen Just Courage Sociologist Peter Gross im
1 Nr August 2013 PeterBieri A way of life PeterStamm Night is the day Jennifer Egan Black Box Silvia Bovenschen Nur Courage Sociologist Peter Gross in a portrait Micheline Calmy-Rey on Middle East diplomacy Thilo Sarrazin reviews books on the euro crisis More reviews on PerOlovEnquist, Orson Welles, Karl Popper, Mark Pieth et al Charles Lewinsky reading of quotations
3 Nr August2013 PeterBieri A way of life PeterStamm Night is the day Jennifer Egan Black Box Silvia Bovenschen Just Courage Sociologist PeterGross in a portrait Micheline Calmy-Rey on Middle East diplomacy Thilo Sarrazin reviews books on the euro crisis More reviews on PerOlovEnquist, Orson Welles, Karl Popper, Mark Pieth among others Charles Lewinsky reading of quotations Contents No more confusion and comfort PeterBieri (page 18). Illustration by André Carrilho Books about old age, illness and death are often filled with respect and caution. Not so the new novel by Silvia Bovenschen (67), who, confronted with multiple sclerosis, presents a furious story about four old women who cheat death (page 7). And the terminally ill Christopher Hitchens (61) reports his own death (p. 19) just as precisely as it is ironic. But the most surprising is the St. Gallen sociologist Peter Gross (72). He sees old age as a real source of meaning for our society, which is marked by stress, depression and burnout. Gross neither calls for fitness madness, nor does he gently plead for indulgence. No, old age is the descent of life after a long, arduous ascent. A world where four or five generations live at the same time is a dream not a nightmare! In it, the elderly should play the "peacemakers" on the path to "contemplative, peaceful and sustainable societies". A bold but also clever vision that radically turns pessimistic age scenarios upside down (p. 12). Of course, the “young” literature is not missing either: the new Peter Stamm, for example (p. 4), the Twitter novel by Jennifer Egan (p. 9) or the worlds of adolescent adolescents (p. 24). While browsing through our book box, you may come across discoveries among the blossoming and withering topics. UrsRauber Fiction 4 Peter Stamm: Night is the Day By Manfred Papst 6 Dror Mishani: Missing. Avi Avraham determined By Stefana Sabin Gail Parent: Sheila is dead and lives in NewYork By Regula Freuler 7 Silvia Bovenschen: Nur Mut by Gunhild Kübler 8 Per Olov Enquist: The Book of Parables by SandraLeis 9 Jennifer Egan: Black Box by Simone von Büren Gert & Uwe Tobias VonGerhardMack 10 Sabine Peters: Narrengarten By Judith Kuckart 11 E-crime thriller of the month Giampaolo Simi: Father. Killer. Child. By Christine Brand short reviews of fiction 11 Stefan Zweig: I have a need for friends By Manfred Papst Hedwig Dohm: Sommersame By Regula Freuler AnouschMueller: Brandstatt By Regula Freuler Isabella Straub: Südbalkon By Manfred Papst Portrait 12 Peter Gross, sociologist and essayist Like the final movement of a sonata By Kathrin Meier-Rust Column 15 Charles Lewinsky The quote from William Shakespeare Silvia Bovenschen also writes brilliantly and disarmingly about getting older in the new book (p.7). Short reviews non-fiction book 15 Esther Girsberger: Livia Leu By Urs Rauber Wulf Rössler, Hans Danuser: Castle made of wood By Urs Rauber Meriwether Lewis, William Clark: The long way to the west By GenevièveLüscher Paul B. Rothen: i de gottvergässne stedt By Kathrin Meier-Rust non-fiction book 16 David Marsh: When it comes to money, the fun listens to Dominik Geppert: A Europe that doesn't exist By Thilo Sarrazin 18 Peter Bieri: A way of living By KlaraObermüller VARIO IMAGES 19 Christopher Hitchens: Finally by Kathrin Meier-Rust Jan Whitaker: Wunderwelt Warenhaus VonGenevièveLüscher 20 Mark Pieth: The Corruption Hunter By Lukas Häuptli Jenna Miscavige Hill: My Secret Life At Scientology And My Dramatic Escape By Berthold Merkle 21 Kurt O. Wyss: We Only Have This Land By Micheline Calmy-Rey 22 Brigitte Hamann: Bertha von Suttner VonGenevièveLüscher 23 John Lanchester: Why everyone owes everyone something and no one ever pays anything back By Sieglinde Geisel Hardy Bouillon: Philosophy of the free n Society By Kirsten Voigt 24 Advisory Board on Boys' Policy: Boys and Their Worlds By Walter Hollstein Stefan Ragaz: Lucerne as reflected in the Diebold Schilling Chronicle By Fabian Fellmann 25 Bernd Stöver: History of the Korean War By Urs Rauber 26 Meret Oppenheim: Don't put words in poisonous letters wrapping ByGerhardMack The American book Henry Jaglom: My Lunches With Orson. Conversations By Andreas Mink Agenda 27 Cleopatra: The Eternal Diva VonGenevièveLüscher Bestseller August2013 Fiction and non-fiction Agenda September 2013 Event information Editor-in-chief Felix E. Müller (fem.) Editing Urs Rauber (ura.) (Head), Regula Freuler (ruf.), Geneviève Lüscher (happy), Kathrin Meier-Rust (km to the right), Manfred Papst (pap.) Permanent collaboration Urs Altermatt, Urs Bitterli, Manfred Koch, Gunhild Kübler, Sandra Leis, Charles Lewinsky, Beatrix Mesmer, Andreas Mink, Klara Obermüller, Angelika Overath, Martin Zingg Production Eveline Roth, Hans Peter Hösli (Art Director), Urs Schilliger (Photo Editor), Raffaela Breda (Layout), proofreading St.Galler Tagblatt AG Verlag NZZ am Sonntag, “Bücher am Sonntag”, PO Box, 8021 Zurich, Telephone, fax, August 2013 NZZ on Sunday 3
4 Fiction Novel Peter Stamm tells in his new novel “Night is the day” as laconic and elegant as ever. But he threatens to lose his characters Longing for lost souls Peter Stamm: Night is day. S. Fischer, Frankfurt Pages, Fr.28.90, E-Book By Manfred Papst Gillian is injured in the hospital after a serious car accident on New Year's Eve. Her husband, who drove the car drunk after visiting friends, is dead, she has broken bones and is disfigured in her face. Her nose is gone and she has several difficult operations ahead of her. She will never be who she once was. It is hard to imagine that she would resume her job as a presenter and model woman for a weekly cultural program on Swiss television. In addition to the pain and fear of looking in the mirror, there are feelings of guilt. Gillian and Matthias had an argument that evening. He had found nudes of her, the origin of which she said nothing. Now there is nothing left to explain, nothing to make good. Gillian has lost face in a double sense and now has to look for a new identity, find a new life. PeterStamm Peter Stamm was born in Thurgau in 1963. He studied English, psychology, business informatics and psychopathology in Zurich. He has lived in Winterthur with his wife and two sons for many years. His debut novel "Agnes" was published in 1998. This was followed by four volumes of short stories and three novels as well as numerous plays and radio plays. “Night is day” is Stamm's fifth novel. His work has been translated into several languages and is internationally successful. When she was still a moderately talented actress and was not seen on television, her husband was considered the more prominent journalist. He wrote about this very magazine for a magazine in which culture hardly appears. He was part of the scene without being taken seriously intellectually. You go to vernissages and premieres in pairs, live chic, eat classy and go to the wellness hotel over the weekend. You have everything but a perspective. But gradually the telegenic presenter surpasses the journalist. Nevertheless, she is not happy. Gillian becomes Jill Something is missing from her, and she seeks it in an increasingly obsessive relationship with an artist named Hubert, who was once on her show. His method or trick: He speaks to women on the street and asks them to let him photograph them naked in their everyday life. He later reworks these photographs into pictures in his studio. He does not approach his objects sexually. He seeks the captivating gaze, the wordless encounter without touch, the energy of which is then discharged in the work of art. But the meeting with Gillian, which has led to an increasingly hectic change between the two, fail. At first she is a brave model. But when she wants to sleep with him, he abruptly rejects her, pointing out that his girlfriend is pregnant. It all happened before the accident. After six years, Gillian is more or less restored. She has turned her life upside down, has not returned to television, but moved to the Engadine, to her parents' holiday home, with whom she has a cool relationship and whom she rarely sees. There she organizes the animation programs for children and adults in a mountain hotel, sometimes even plays in a swing and feels far better than in her previous life. She calls herself Jill now. She only hears from Hubert again when the artist is invited to the alpine cultural center with a carte blanche. A lot has changed for him too. His relationship is falling apart because Astrid has fallen in love with an esoteric named Rolf, and the relationship with his son Lukas is difficult. Hubert's creative powers have long dried up, he teaches at a university and feels like a con man. He drives to the Engadin without the slightest idea what he is trying to stage artistically. It comes to a scandal: As the vernissage approaches, he is unceremoniously unloaded. A replacement is found quickly and he collapses. After he has recovered, he is looking for a new and humble life similar to Jill: he teaches hotel guests to draw and only travels to the Unterland two days a week to give lectures. The former presenter and the former artist become a couple, at least temporarily, until he is drawn away and she goes her own way: "The game was over, she was free and could go where she wanted." This is the last sentence of the novel. Diffuse scenes and figures Another author would have turned the story of this loss of face and identity into a colorful drama of existential force. Not so with Peter Stamm. He has always known himself to be cautious and imprecise. His scenes are as diffuse as his figures. They often say pre-punched sentences or hesitant or those that lead nowhere. It is not negligence. Peter Stamm looks closely, and he is looking for a language that meets the half and provisional. The mixed feelings. The hesitation in perceiving, the inauthenticity of naming. With this he has become the chronicler of a satu- Peter tribe with his «drawing board literature» has become the chronicler of a saturated, perplexed generation. 4 NZZ on Sunday 25 August 2013
5 VERAHARTMANN / 13PHOTO ized and at the same time perplexed generation. The author worked on this book for a long time. Years ago he declared an earlier version to have failed and put it aside, but then took it out again and pushed it further. One notices the breaks in the work, the efforts of its creation. Like other works by the author, who is known for his cool yet atmospheric “drawing board literature”, it is not all of a piece. The change of perspective in the three parts is not entirely plausible; the author soon loses sight of the basic conflict outlined at the beginning. Stamm tells us a story of the needs and longings of strangely lost souls, of the failure of love, and he also casually paints a mocking picture of the cultural scene. It's funny, for example, how Hubert gives a local journalist from Graubünden information about his concepts and doesn't leave out any clichés. Hubert as a perplexed artist in his alpine hermitage, Jill as a maid in the Bauernschwank: This is where the text begins to come to life. Boring to kitschy The title of the novel quotes Shakespeare: "Night is the day that deprives me of your image / and day is the night that sees you in a dream." One could read the verse as a blueprint from Stamm's book. But the author does not follow it consistently, but gets lost in a sparse, linear narrative that is often nothing more than a list and is correspondingly boring. What kind of coffee is drunk, smoked and kept silent! Much can also be learned about the weather, almost always in succinct sentences, general statements, and the first words. Sometimes the metronome defines the rhythm of speech. And when Stamm becomes philosophical, it crosses the line with the text type "Lebenshilfe" several times. It may be that these sentences are not meant absolutely, but are assigned to the characters who just don't know any better. Nevertheless, they are tiring. And towards the end the novel gets really cheesy. When it comes to the details, Stamm's class flashes again and again: when he thinks about the details. At the end of the first part there is a scene like this: When Gillian is on her feet again, she drives to the scene of the accident in her car. There she discovers a bouquet of flowers and a grave candle that has been placed in memory of her husband. She packs both up and throws them into a trash can at the nearest car service station that says "Thank you" in four languages. Peter Stamm is a master at such small scenes. For them we admire him. But they are far too rare in this book. l 25 August 2013 NZZ on Sunday 5
6 Fiction Detective novel The Israeli Dror Mishani relies more on psychological depth than local color. Avi Avraham investigates. From the Hebrew by Martin Lemke. Zsolnay, Vienna Pages, Fri, E-Book By Stefana Sabin The city of Cholon here, the new housing estate in Gindi Park, is Inspector Avi Avraham's field of activity. Because Israeli literature was created as part of the national project, it reflected the history of the nation and its sensitivities and was resistant to detective novels, claims Dror Mishani, editor at the Jerusalem publishing house, Keter, in an interview with the newspaper «Ha aretz». In fact, it was not until the end of the 20th century that Batya Gur () paved the way for Israeli crime literature with her novels about Chief Inspector Ochajon. Mishani embarked on this path with a novel published two years ago, which has since been followed by a second. Mishani has made the small town of Cholon in the immediate vicinity of Tel Aviv the scene of the action and a special investigator of the Tel Aviv Police, Inspector Avi Avraham, the main character. The cases that Avraham has to investigate seem to be criminologically rather simple, in any case he does not get into a fight, does not have to pull a weapon or chase cars, but use empathy and logical thinking. If Gur had enriched the criminalistic acts with descriptions of social conditions and thus connected the genre of the crime thriller with that of the socially critical literature, Mishani tried to breathe psychological depth into his crime thrillers by giving his investigator brooding traits. Mishanis Avraham, like most of his literary relatives, is a loner who uses forensic technology but mainly relies on his intuition and experience. Avi Avraham's first case involves a boy who goes to school one morning and neither arrives nor returns home. When the mother reports the boy's disappearance to the police station, Avraham first tries to put her off. But just one day later he starts the search for the boy. He asks the parents, neighbors, teachers and classmates and tries to put together an overall picture from the information he receives. He creates the portrait of a boy who is as intelligent as he is shy, in which he thinks he sees a reflection of himself. This identification with the victim by no means facilitates, but makes his investigation more difficult. Every time he thinks he is close to a solution, he has to realize that he is wrong. "If a crime is committed in our country, it was usually the neighbor or the uncle or the grandfather," Avraham had explained at the beginning, but in the turmoil of the investigation he then ignored this banal principle. Even small insights distract him from the realities of the facts, and he gets lost in guesswork. The wrong leads that Avraham is following and his fallacies act as retarding moments that structure the plot until the case is resolved. But even then he has to find out that he has lost his way.“I'm reading a detective novel,” Avraham once told a colleague, “and in the process I do my own investigation and prove that the inspector is wrong in the book or that the reader is deliberately misleading and that the real solution is different from the one which he presents. " This reading habit of his investigator figure makes Mishani the design principle of his novel when he declares the case to be solved and at the end of the day questions the solution again. This is the most skilful narrative trick in a detective novel that manages with little tension and no local flavor. l Chick-Lit A pioneer of “sex and the City” can be discovered in German for the first time Single woman in the urban jungle Gail Parent: Sheila Levine is dead and lives in New York. Novel. Metrolit, Berlin Seiten, Fri In stores from September 9th. By Regula Freuler When Helen Gurley Brown published the guide "Sex and the Single Girl" in 1962, she laid the actual foundation for Chick-Lit, that fiction genre with a fixed storyline: Financially and sexually independent big-city single woman chases Mr. Right. Ten years later, in 1972, Gail Parent followed up with her novel "Sheila Levine is dead and lives in New York": Sheila, a chubby urban neurotic in her early twenties from Jewish parents, chases her dream man in the streets of the 6 NZZ on Sunday 25 August 2013 Big apple. This is all the more dramatic as her mother has nothing else on her mind than her daughter's imminent marriage. So we listen to Sheila Levine, giggle at her self-deprecating, desperate chatter and her tragic-comic role play and the inner monologues and dialogues. Her roommate Linda is her painfully beautiful counterpart, who has a man on every finger, but pushes everyone off the edge of the bed, which is enough that he doesn't like the “catcher in the rye”. Sheila usually endures it with the composure that is possible for her, but leaves no stone unturned to succeed in the marriage market. But even after three years in New York, things don't look any better. She has a fantastic lover, but he takes her off the rails to finance his drug use. When she finally announced her suicide, he preferred to accept an invitation to the Hamptons for the day of her planned funeral. It doesn't end as badly as announced, and after all, the Sheilas of these big cities have been an integral part of our book market ever since. Parent, born in 1940, knew what she was writing about. She herself was a professionally successful woman from Jewish New York parental home whose career as a TV writer began with the sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". With her book she landed a bestseller, which was later also made into a film. She achieved her greatest success as the author and producer of the series "The Golden Girls". l
7 Novel In the new book by Silvia Bovenschen, one of the most astute German essayists, four old women brace themselves against death Dying is not for cowards Silvia Bovenschen: Just courage. S. Fischer, Frankfurt a. M pages, Fr.25.90, E-Book 18 .. By Gunhild Kübler That one is immune to death as long as one is engaged in a project that is close to one's heart is a captivating thought. No wonder that it drives some writers to write for their life in this way in old age. Elias Canetti, who rebelled against death all his life, probably never finished his great «Book of the Dead». To write as if you could get a delay, this impulse is not alien to Silvia Bovenschen either. The Frankfurt literary scholar, who became known for a groundbreaking study on the “female imagination” and has been one of the most astute German-speaking essayists for almost four decades, was confronted with her own frailty early on due to her illness, multiple sclerosis. Against all fears, she celebrated her 60th birthday in 2006, which gave her a new boost of energy and courage. In the same year she published a bestseller of fearlessly clear-sighted and yet serene, very personal notes on the subject of aging. She had escaped her previously cultivated writing into a different genre. Since then she has broken new ground and has published other books of fiction, the stories "Disappeared" (2008) and the two detective novels "Wer Weiss Was" (2009) and "How is Georg Laub?" (2011). Fascinating drama about old women in a white villa. These seven people appear in quick succession in short conversation scenes and are characterized with sharp lines. This illuminates their situation in life and the way in which the four old people master their painfully reduced life. They want to succeed less and less, and so they shout their anger into the world or sadly isolate themselves from it and find many reasons why it would be better to resign as soon as possible. It was already clear to insilvia Bovenschen's bestseller from 2006 that getting older is not for cowards. Growing old and dying, one could add, certainly not. The serenity is finally over. The common age bastion is falling apart. Verses by old Hölderlin draw the conclusion: «I enjoyed the pleasant things of this world / The youth hours are how long! how long! have passed, / April and May and Julius are far away, / I am nothing anymore, I no longer like to live! " The inexorable process is demonstrated here, which loosens people from their anchorages and kicks out of their bodies illness, depression and a catastrophic deception, which in the end pulls the ground away from everyone's feet. And while a summer's day smiles again in front of the windows of the villa, a day of anger is now meeting inside with poker and broken glass, fire and smoke. The interior is broken and a murder occurs, but the perpetrators and victims are not to be betrayed here. Spooky figures appear on semi-private allegories, some of which have arisen from literature, some from opera, and some from the author's imagination, which creates original images. With subtle speeches, these beings offer themselves as dying companions. In the end, the four old ladies are as if swallowed by the earth. Escape from death «Before it becomes dissolution, death is confrontation. Courage to face it, in spite of all futility, courage to spit in death in the face », says Canetti. The fury with which the four old men oppose the mechanics of death would surely have pleased him. And also the inconspicuous final punch that is hidden in one of the three mottos of this novel. It is said to have come from an “unpublished volume of essays” that the writer Johanna must have written in 2017, long after she disappeared from the villa. Accordingly, at least one of the four women has escaped death for the time being. What became of the other three remains open. The narrator of the whole thing, a great-nephew of Charlotte, who appears in a forward-looking colored frame story, in the end no longer knows. But because he is a screenwriter, he will probably know why he is so fascinated by this drama of the four old women: It is an almost finished screenplay with brilliant roles for four great old actresses. l In the old people's shared flat «Nur Mut» is the name of your latest novel that has just been published. In it, she gathers four elderly women who are friends with each other in a white villa of upper-class spaciousness and splendor: the still flirtatious fashion expert Nadine, the forgotten writer Johanna, the former teacher Leonie and the paleontologist Charlotte. All four lost their husbands years ago. They are childless, with the exception of Charlotte, who set up this shared apartment for the elderly with the help of her loyal house helper Janina in her former parents' house. Charlotte may no longer see her only son and daughter-in-law, but at least she lets her 17-year-old granddaughter Dörtebe live with her, a neglected luxury girl with a flippant language that not even her timid admirer understands, a two-year-old student nicknamed Flocke. TIM KLEIN / GALLERYSTOCK August 25, 2013 NZZ on Sunday 7
8 Fiction Novel Swedish novelist Per Olov Enquist recalls his most powerful religious experience, his sexual debut When Love Awaks Per Olov Enquist: The Book of Parables. A romance novel. Translated from the Swedish by Wolfgang Butt. Hanser, Munich Pages, Fr VonSandraLeis When older men suddenly report their sexual beginnings at the end of their lives, all the warning lights flash. Mostly rightly, because such literary effusions are often of little use, and the verdict “old man's prose” applies. Not even the great Philip Roth is immune from this. The greatest caution is required, the almost 80-year-old Swedish master Per Olov Enquist, and as a precaution he repeatedly weaves in passages in which companions warn him: “You stood swaying and complaining on the bank of the river. And reminded them that he was not fit for writing down this romance novel. " The almost 80-year-old Swedish author PerOlovEnquist writes a poignant novel about the meaning of life (recorded in 2009). Mature woman and youth The novelist, playwright, essayist and children's book author Enquist, along with Lars Gustafsson and Tomas Tranströmer, is one of the greats in Swedish literature. He became known in Germany with “The visit of the personal physician” (2001), “Das Buch vonblanche und Marie” (2005) and with his autobiography “Another life” (2009). In it he confidently and movingly tells how he fell into the hell of the suff and survived. Per Olov Enquist is both a Christian and a doubter. And on top of that, someone with a good deal of self-irony. Enquist has never overestimated himself. Perhaps that is precisely why he hesitated so long to make the story of the "woman on the knot-free pine floor" literary. In the third person, Enquist reports about himself and thinks back to his sexual initiation, which remains an unattainable benchmark throughout his life. It happened on a hot Sunday afternoon in July 1949 when Ellen, a woman of fifty-one, introduced the young man to the delights of physical love. That was scandalous and burned itself into him "like a branding iron in an animal". All the more so since he was raised in a strictly religious way by his widowed mother, whom he loved and who belonged to the Pentecostal movement. But he was not plagued by remorse, on the contrary: for him, the first act of love was "perhaps the strongest religious experience of his life". Enquist mentions his three marriages in a single subordinate clause in the novel "The Book of Parables"; the book revolves around his sexual debut. He writes: “Later, he always understood sexuality as if it were the opening of the innermost door to another person. There were other doors, but this one was the innermost one and the decisive one. " In his new novel, Enquist compares earthly love with heavenly love and tells of it in nine parables. The starting point is the dead father's notepad. He died in 1935, when the boy was six months old, he came into possession of this notepad, and in it he discovered the “absolutely not fragmentary love poems” that the father wrote to his mother. Nine leaves are missing; they remain lost, and Enquist knows that he will never be able to completely and correctly revise his eulogy for his mother. Nevertheless, he tries: The result is his novel about love. Enquist sketches different expressions of love in masterful tableaus: He writes about a cousin who goes mad because of a forbidden love and whose mother commented: "Better a crazy daughter in heaven than a sinful daughter in hell." He writes of an aunt who was widowed at a young age and waited in vain for divine love until "the flame of faith" had finally cooled down. He writes from Vompostfräulein, which fired his erotic fantasies, and he writes about a boy who absolutely loved his cat and yet one day put a plastic bag over his head. Earthly and heavenly love who experiences it is as close to the miracle as to the madness. Per Olov Enquist talks about this with a wise serenity. He writes: «Love cannot be explained. But who would we be if we didn't try? " Enquist tries it, and he succeeds brilliantly: the Swedish scenes are memorized, even the smallest secondary character takes on a contour, and when he uses dialectal expressions and exclamation marks or sets entire passages in italics, this arises not only from ingenuity, but also from an existential need for communication . Someone enjoys what he is doing and his translator Wolfgang Butt manages to translate the stylistic nuances into German in a stupendous way. Funny, scrupulous, tender Enquist is funny and scrupulous at the same time: he shows respect for his characters, he keeps an ironic distance from himself (for example when reflecting on his own medical history), and he becomes thoughtful when he asks about the responsibility of the writer. Readers write to him again and again and expect help in life. An author has to come to terms with this misunderstanding, notes Enquist. Nevertheless, the following applies: the writer is not a preacher, but a herald. "The Book of Parables" is amusing and profound at the same time. A great novel that asks questions about the meaning of life. It's love Enquist describes them associatively, choppy and fragmentary from the perspective of the inner monologue. But also like the psalmist in "Song of Songs": tender, moving and redeeming right down to the innermost fiber of the body. l PETER PEITSCH 8 NZZ on Sunday 25th August 2013
9 Science fiction American Jennifer Egan experiments with modern forms of publication ProSection 140Zeichen, published as Twitter-roman Jennifer Egan: Black Box. Translated from English by Brigitte Walitzek. Schöffling, Frankfurt a. M pages, Fri, E-Book By Simone von Büren «Calculate the possible disadvantages of tears before you shed them." "Bare feet on the stone floor make practically no noise." "The fact that you don't hear an alarm doesn't mean you haven't triggered one." “Black Box”, the latest text by American author Jennifer Egan, consists entirely of such practical advice and statements. This is how we understand, after a few moments of fascinated perplexity, “field instructions” that a secret agent records on a chip implanted under her hairline by pressing her left middle finger with her left thumb. From this series of brief statements we can see that the attractive 33-year-old was employed by the American government as a civil agent to get into an intimate relationship with a “widely feared” man in the south of France in order to obtain information and thus to contribute to “the American way of life to preserve". We learn that “the potential heroine” previously worked in the music industry and is married to a Kenyan engineer whom she met in a robotics seminar. In order to understand the dangerous mission of the agent, the reader has to fill in the gaps in her unusual “logbook” and relate the isolated sentences to each other. He needs the same attention and exact observation that the agent has to muster if she wants to survive the mission. To increase her chances of survival, all kinds of devices have been implanted in her body: a microphone behind the first turn of the right ear canal; an emergency button behind the right popliteal ligament; a camera in her left eye and a transmission cable between her toes. Her body, made into a black box in this way, provides her clients with the necessary information and is clearly worth more than her life. This body, which has been converted into a machine, still feels pain, which is why the woman uses the "dissociation technique" before the sexual assault of her "chosen one" and advises her successors to return to the body as carefully afterwards, "as if you were after a hurricane back your house PROLITTERIS ». Certain remarks that mingle with the technical instructions also point to an emotional being with an individual story: that the woman grows tomatoes on the fire escape at home and finds it comforting to snuggle up in a bed, even if it is her enemy's. Egan succeeds in a phenomenal way, with this idiosyncratic dramaturgy and in a poetically concise language, the tense plot of a science fiction thriller. She published “Black Box” in the USA in May 2012 via the “New Yorker” Twitter account: one tweet per minute, 60 tweets per evening on nine evenings. Woodcut Free imagination A bird desperately tears its beak open while its feathers melt over a burning candle. Half of an apple sets off as if it were the house of a wandering snail. A pink skull has a toad as its face, which has just woken up under the roof of the bones.The woodcut by Gert & Uwe Tobias has no title, the two brothers do not want the viewer's imagination to be directed in one direction while they make every effort to connect everything. The artists spent their early childhood in Transylvania before they moved to Germany with their parents and sister. The curiosity about relics of folk culture lives in her works as well as the love of stories from the baroque era. Anyone who is interested in the world in all its abundance will impress the tirelessly innovative author who closed her latest novel “The greater part of the world” with a series of PowerPoint slides, not just once more with a daring one formal experiment, but also with a new form of publication. At the same time, she has chosen the perfect shape for her material: Because the compressed sections with a maximum of 140 characters correspond to the brevity and conciseness of the messages that the agent can record on her chip. And the intimacy of the mission “Your task is to establish closeness to your chosen one” is reflected by the intimacy of reading SMS-like bites on your own cell phone. l doesn't like to slow down the narrow logic of the mind. The surrealism sends its regards. The two Tobias quickly became known with this collage technique. The fact that they chose the woodcut as their medium accelerated their careers even more. The time-honored medium is viewed in a completely new way as an image carrier for the most diverse. The motifs are developed separately and configured on the computer. They are milled into the wood piece by piece with the computer, allowing a fine cut, drastic color neighbors and smooth transitions. The volume, which accompanies an exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Ravensburg (bis), gives a light-footed introduction to the work. A nice opportunity to get to know it. Gerhard Mack Gert & Uwe Tobias. Edited by Nicole Fritz. Kerber, Bielefeld pages, 37 color images, Fri August 2013 NZZ on Sunday 9
10 passions of a non-conformist
11 E-crime thriller of the month Until the idyll breaks. Short reviews of fiction Giampaolo Simi: Father. Killer. Child. German by Anja Natteford. Bertelsmann, Munich Pages, Fr, E-Book Stefan Zweig: “I have a need for friends”. Anthology. Styria, Vienna pages, Fr Hedwig Dohm: Summer love. Freiluftnovelle.Edition Ebersbach, Berlin Seiten, Fr GUNER GLÜCKLICH / LAIF "In my second life I am Furio Guerri, the monster." The first-person narrator reveals himself in the very first sentence, revealing that the arch has two sides, one of which is dark. And that there is a before and an after in his life, in which nothing was as before after the caesura. “But there is not only Furio Guerri, the monster. In your first life you are Furio Guerri, a sales representative. " This is how the Italian author Giampaolo Simi begins the second chapter in his novel “Father. Killer. Kind. », The harrowing psychogram of a family father who is also a monster. Or rather: who becomes a monster. One narrative thread begins at that point in Furio Guerri's life at which he seems to have achieved everything: He has a good job as a sales representative for a printing company, owns a house with his wife and child. A model family. But happiness slips away from him. Because the woman suddenly realizes that there is a life for her too that doesn't end behind the stove. And because Guerri's job is bad. The Second Life of Guerri, the second narrative thread, takes place ten years later. Guerri has been in prison for a long time and is returning to the free world. His goal: He wants his daughter back. But Guerri is no longer the same. He's the monster now. And you don't give a teenage daughter back to a monster. So he takes special measures: On the one hand, he seduces his daughter's teacher. On the other hand, he uses Internet chat to get in touch with his daughter, who has no idea who the other person is, with whom she gets along so well online. Author Giampaolo Simi underscores the difference between the two lives of Furio Guerri with his extraordinary narrative structure: he tells the afterwards in first-person form, the before in the second person. The two narrative strands are mounted in parallel, which increases the tension. You know that something bad must have happened, that an evil act draws the line between the before and the after. And yet you don't know for a long time what exactly the horror is that lurks behind every line. Until the surface of the deceptive idyll bursts. And you are sobered to find that Guerri, whom you have come so close to, is actually a monster too. It would be better if it were different. By Christine Brand l Klemens Renoldner, director of the Stefan Zweig Center at the University of Salzburg since 2008, has edited some of the most popular stories by his hero: "Twenty-four hours from the life of a woman", "Confusion of feelings", "Chess novella" with less well-known texts combined. We encounter the twenty-year-old's “Forgotten Dreams” story, but above all articles, essays and portraits from the Vienna of Altenberg, Schnitzler, Joseph Roth and Sigmund Freud. When reading and rereading, the dominant impression is that Stefan Zweig, who was born in Vienna in 1881 and who died in exile in Brazil in 1942, often tended to be pompous and perfumed as a narrator. As a contemporary witness and essayist, however, Zweig was always interesting. His autobiography “The World of Yesterday” remains his masterpiece. Manfred Papst Anousch Mueller: Brandstatt. Debut novel. C. H. Beck, Munich Pages, Fr, E-Book Born in 1979, Anousch Mueller is not, strictly speaking, a “digital native”. But she has immigrated very well digitally: She writes a blog and does not draw a clear line between private and public. So she presents wedding photos, baby photos; provides us with a cervical opening protocol and reports on her nasal surgery, which should be forgotten right away and instead refer to her debut novel. There Annie Veit tells in first person how she grew up in a Thuringian village in the 90s. It's about her mother's old love, the disappearance of a teenager, and often sex and introspection. The choice of words sometimes seems a bit over-the-top, and the text has been sprayed with a good dose of capital city cool. Still, Mueller manages to grab you with this mysterious story. Regula Freuler Hedwig Dohm was the grandmother of Thomas Mann's wife Katia. Above all, however, she is one of the most important figures in the history of the women's issue as one of 18 siblings born in Berlin. In 1853 she married the editor-in-chief of the satirical magazine “Kladderadatsch” and thus gained access to Berlin's cultural and political world. She acquired a great deal of knowledge in self-study, and her first feminist work was published. She devoted herself to fiction late in the year when the volume of short novels “Summer Love” appeared. This also contains the novella, which is originally called "Children, aunts and all kinds of people". In the form of a letter, we learn from Marie Luise, a middle-aged woman, what happens during the summer break on the Baltic Sea. A narrow, but wonderfully lucid and socially critical work that is worth discovering. Regula Freuler Isabella Straub: south-facing balcony. Novel. Blumenbar bei Aufbau, Berlin 2013, 254 pages, Fr Ruth Amsel is the name of the first-person narrator in "Südbalkon", the first work of the Austrian author Isabella Straub. Mentally and materially, she is not doing well. She has no regular job and has to report to a “society for reintegration” twice a week. Her boyfriend is a computer nerd. She is part of the precariat, but does not take refuge in the role of victim. She strolls through the city, observes her fellow human beings with mockery, curiosity, affection, and makes up stories about them. Their attention, their imagination and their wit save them from delusion and depression. Isabella Straub tells cheeky and alert that we like to follow her into the most absurd situations of everyday life. Born in Vienna in 1968, she knows her trade, which she has tried out as a journalist and copywriter. A great debut! Manfred Papst August 25, 2013 NZZ on Sunday 11
12 Portrait With a brilliant essay on the epochal meaning of longevity, the sociologist Peter Gross contradicts the pessimistic scenarios about the aging of the population. Kathrin Meier-Rust visited the author of the “Multioptionsgesellschaft” in St. Gallen Again, the final movement of a sonata One picks up the ribbon with a little skepticism. A harmless title: «We're getting older. Many Thanks. But what for? », A somewhat deliberately happy presentation. Another book that gently and wisely encourages us to let go and accept? Or that, in view of the coming aging of society, calls for an uprising of the elderly or for fitness training? Both should keep you young. But then that: someone turns everything upside down here. Peter Gross, former professor of sociology at the University of St. Gallen, famous for his book “Die Multioptionsgesellschaft”, states in his new essay a “mercilessly one-sided, negative and partisan view” of the aging society: “The only thing missing is the senior hatch. » Instead of increasing life expectancy and falling birth rates, one would obviously wish for the old pyramid-shaped population structure of premodern societies to bring back many children, a few old people, without considering what they meant in reality: namely, early death for a large number of children and young people and a low life expectancy . On the contrary, the sociologist sees both the low birth rate and increasing life expectancy as great civilizational achievements: on the one hand the freedom to determine how many children you want, on the other hand the victory of medicine over (too) early death. Because with the tall PeterGross Peter Gross, born in 1941, studied in Zurich and Bern. In Bamberg he was professor of sociology before he accepted an appointment at the University of St. Gallen in 1989, where he taught until 2006. Gross is married, has two children and three grandchildren. His first book “Die Multioptionsgesellschaft” (Suhrkamp 1994) was a bestseller. This was followed by “Die Ich Jagd” (Suhrkamp 1999), “Beyond Redemption” (Transcript 2007). After “Glücksfall Alter” (Herder 2008), “We're getting older. Many Thanks. But what for? Four approaches »(Herder, Freiburg i. Br Seiten, Fr). 12 NZZamSonntag 25 August 2013 If there are no longer just two, but three and four, maybe one day five generations living at the same time, tall generation trees emerge: the population is no longer growing in width, but in height. Children have fewer siblings and cousins, but more grandparents and great-grandparents. "Old age is also a problem: He cannot be scared off at all, and he always hitchhikes into the middle of the village." False horror scenarios The historically new longevity opens up "a large window of life that has opened up unprecedented in history" for every single person. And it is precisely the “mass aging” that could counteract the senseless hectic pace that causes so many people to suffer from stress, depression and burnout today.The problem is not aging and not the growing proportion of old people, but the deep "eclipse of meaning" that surrounds aging and the aging society today. Extremely eloquent and with a historically sharpened eye, the author undertakes to portray this meaning in two ways: both for the individual aging person and for the aging societies of Europe. Peter Gross stands friendly in the door and invites you to enter. In the beautiful old apartment on the steep slope of the Rosenberg you can see far over St. Gallen to the collegiate church and the white-glistening Säntis massif. Gross looks ten years younger than his year suggests. Of course, everyone is doing that today that we are surprised at it, it just shows how much our ideas about age are still shaped by our own grandparents. Groß is a grandfather of three and has been a retiree since 2006. "Retirement is quite comfortable for professors: you get rid of your duty and keep your freestyle," he says. But of course you can feel the aging: «Age is also my new LAP, my partner in life. It is a problem: he cannot be scared of at all and hitchhikes again and again into the middle of the village. " He would rather not talk about the many visits to the acoustician. “The best thing about the hearing aid is that you can turn it off. Then it's wonderfully quiet. " Here you have to get rid of the objections right away: Isn't the positive view of the aging society something romanticizing? What about the costs of pensions that get out of hand? Today, when 50-year-olds can no longer find a job. What about the diseases Alzheimer's and dementia? What about the offense of being old in a society in which 40-year-olds are afraid of getting old and 70-year-olds dress like 20-year-olds? Peter Gross knows the discussion. He often sees a negligent handling of facts, especially in horror scenarios about the alleged impossibility of financing: "The discussion is bursting with inaccuracies and errors." Just the common saying that “the young” have to pay for “the old”: “In truth, the employed pay for both, for the old and for the young.” And there is also no connection between the elderly and health care costs. In addition, the disaster scenarios were always based on the simple extension of today's rules into the most distant future, which is of course nonsense: It is precisely these rules and laws, such as the AHV retirement age, that should be changed. Of course, employment should be extended and the retirement age should be abolished flexibly, if not at all. For Gross it is almost incomprehensible that companies are still not reacting to the aging of the population in their employment and training practices: If the customers get older, the workforce must be adapted to these customers. A wealthy old lady, who recently moved to St. Gallen, recently reported with indignation about a respected bank that had wanted to put "such a youngster" in front of her as an advisor, that was no longer an option for her. How the gender discussion affects companies
13 “Anyone who has a why to live can endure almost every how,” says 72-year-old sociologist Peter Gross on the question of the meaning of life in old age. MARATRUOG August 25, 2013 NZZ on Sunday 13
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