View Full Version : Deutscher Buchpreis 2009
The longlist has been announced (http://www.deutscher-buchpreis.de/de/296796?meldungs_id=333847)for the Deutscher Buchpreis 2009. The twenty titles are:
Der Mann schl?ft, Sibylle Berg
Wie wir verschwinden, Mirko Bonn?
Das Leben der W?nsche, Thomas Glavinic
Der Brenner und der liebe Gott, Wolf Haas
Welt aus Glas, Ernst-Wilhelm H?ndler
K?rzere Tage, Anna-Katharina Hahn
Die Stille, Reinhard Jirgl
Zwei schwarze J?ger, Brigitte Kronauer
Lichtjahre entfernt, Rainer Merkel
Der einzige Mann auf dem Kontinent, Ter?zia Mora
Atemschaukel, Herta M?ller
Flughafenfische, Angelika Overath
?berm Rauschen, Norbert Scheuer
Du stirbst nicht, Kathrin Schmidt
Die Frequenzen, Clemens J. Setz
Sieben Jahre, Peter Stamm
Was kommt, Thomas Stangl
Grenzgang, Stephan Thome
Vier ?pfel, David Wagner: Vier ?pfel
Einer von vielen, Norbert Z?hringer
INteresting. I don't know a couple of them. And then there are the heavy hitters, like Kronauer and M?ller. The Hahn book was praised to the high heavens and I'm currently reading the Jirgl which is as amazing as expected. Probably the best writer on the list but I'll bet he won't even make the shortlist. German critics. Meh.
Only a few of the writers, off the top of my head, have seen English translation at some point in the past; Thomas Glavinic, Peter Stamm, Herta M?ller, and Ter?zia Mora, who I met last year at Glasgow's Goethe Institute.
I have a soft spot for Stamm, although he isn't actually a very good writer. I do like all books of his that I've read very much. Just, really, y'know.
The Wolf Haas book is another instalment of the crime novels centered around Brenner he's published, I mentioned them in my review of his "Wetter" novel, I think. If Haas were scandinavian, Eric would throw a fit to see him nominated for a major literary prize with a crime novel.
Eric doesn't throw fits; he's just sarky about "intellectuals" and those that drool over crime novels as the only genre in the village. I don't like crime novels a) because they are essentially puzzles, and crosswords are more challenging; b) because they do it much better on TV, where we can all wallow in the gore and crime-solving in full technicolor. So when I read, I'd rather read something else, not only Stieg Larsson, or his German counterparts.
The Herta M?ller book looks interesting because it deals with the German-speaking minority in Romania. The clash of ethnicities in Eastern & Central Europe is always interesting. Deportation to a Ukrainian (i.e. Soviet) labour camp, this time seen from a German-speaking Romanian citizen perspective. As with the fate of East Prussia (read e.g. D?nhoff), Silesia, the Sudentenland, etc., things are not crudely black-and-white regarding those people who had German as their mother-tongue and ethnic identity immediately after WWII.
Funny how we (Brits, Yanks, Canadians, etc.) also invaded and occupied a defeated Germany and elsewhere after WWII, but we didn't send the defeated enemy to labour camps, or rape their women, as the Russian troops did to many women in conquered East Berlin. I do get the feeling that if you were German and not a leading Nazi at the time, it would be much better to be conquered by the "Anglo-Saxons" than by the Russians. Unfortunately for those German-speakers in Silesia, Romania, East Prussia, the Sudentenland, etc., the Russians got there first. Such is history.
And then there are the heavy hitters, like Kronauer and M?ller.
M?ller's english titles: Land of Green Plums and The Appointment are available @ Amazon...any recommendations?
I read all the samples available online (at www.libreka.de/promo (http://www.libreka.de/promo)) - and you can read the love german books earnest analysis here (http://lovegermanbooks.blogspot.com/2009/09/my-take-on-longlist-again.html), including my favourite sentence from all twenty. It was pretty hard work but I was more impressed than I thought I'd be.
And my tip to win is Herta M?ller. But that might be a bit too obvious - harrowing subject matter, accomplished writer, poetic language.
Once again I realise how completely ignorant I am of contemporary German literature. I haven't read anything by any of those authors mentioned, although I was repeatedly tempted to try Jirgl, Glavinic or Kronauer. Where should I start?
@Katy: as ypu can see, I completely disagree with you over the Hahn book. Couldn't see much that was fantastic about the book's writing. Sloppy, maybe. http://www.worldliteratureforum.com/forum/european-literature/20994-anna-katharina-hahn-kuerzere-tage.html
Funny how we (Brits, Yanks, Canadians, etc.) also invaded and occupied a defeated Germany and elsewhere after WWII, but we didn't send the defeated enemy to labour camps, or rape their women, as the Russian troops did to many women in conquered East Berlin. I do get the feeling that if you were German and not a leading Nazi at the time, it would be much better to be conquered by the "Anglo-Saxons" than by the Russians. Unfortunately for those German-speakers in Silesia, Romania, East Prussia, the Sudentenland, etc., the Russians got there first. Such is history.May I point out that we may have suffered the Blitz and lost a lot of people in warfare but in no way can that be compared to the suffering of the Soviet Union in WW II. The Soviets were out to make the German people suffer as much as they possibly could. This included rape, deportation etc. After all, they did lose 25 million of their people.
Obviously, it was better to fall into the hands of the Allies rather than the Mongolian hordes Stalin sent as forerunners.
And without the Soviets, we might just not have won WW II.
And no, I am not a Communist :)
Back to Herta M?ller - after the Nobel, the Deutscher Buchpreis should go to someone else IMO
Clarissa, don't go soft on the Soviet Union. They brought most of the horrors of war upon themselves. I saw a programme the other night about the systematic and sadistic blanket bombing of Coventry (U.K.) by the Luftwaffe. The Germans (called Nazis in the programme to avoid upsetting sensibilities), in their efficient way (an excellent quality in peacetime) deliberately bombed Coventry street by street (i.e. not just the munitions factories) to soften up the Brits so they might surrender to the ?bermensch.
This little escapade happened during the very same time that the German Nazis had got all pally with the Russian Communists, during the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Stalin had just had murdered all the competent generals during the late 1930s. So when the Nazis junked the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Russians were pretty rudderless, militarily. And because of the murderous r?gime in place in Moscow, no one dared to contradict the Great Leader. The Russians lost many of their 25 million people on account of their own incompetence, fanaticism and stupidity.
After WWII, the West set up the Marshall Plan to prevent Germany from yet again going lunatic. In the 1950s, the French and Germans started the European Economic Community (now the EU) to prevent any further hostilities between the two countries. Meanwhile, the Russians were sending thousands of kulaks (i.e. efficient private farmers) to Siberia and started the kolkhoz system of collective chaos and corruption. Then they stopped reform in Hungary, invaded Czechoslovakia, and tried to stymie Solidarity in Poland.
Sorry, no sympathy. Even ditherer Chamberlain didn't send Brits to labour camps. Max Mosley's dad was a pathetic figure. Meanwhile the Russians and Germans were cosying up to one another. History reveals a lot of things some people would rather not contemplate.
The Communist system was still going on when Ceausescu split with the Soviet Union and started a nasty dictatorship of his own. That is what Herta M?ller is writing about. And because of the sins of Germany, the German-speaking minority in Romania were used as convenient scapegoats. I recommend, once again, M?ller's description of life in Romania in those days:
Herta M?ller: Securitate in all but name - signandsight (http://www.signandsight.com/features/1910.html)
This is the true face of Romania, the Soviet Union, and Mao's China, not to mention the way Pol Pot ran Cambodia in an even more horrible way. Do read what Herta M?ller says about real life in paradise. Then emigrate to North Korea, if you think she's exaggerating...
So Kathrin Schmidt won! Haha is it true that Herta Muller said "This means now I won't win the German Book Prize!" or was that some poster being sarcastic?
schmidt annoyed me. well. havta read her book now.
Stangl, off of the longlist, is stunning
I loved the sample from Kathrin Schmidt's Du stirbst nicht, and it's now right at the top of my reading pile. She's another of the sometime poets on the list - but now writes only prose, as she in fact lost all her language after an aneurysm like the protagonist of her novel. Cue questions about "How autobiographical is the book?"
I agree with Clarissa that it was fine not to give the prize to M?ller, as it would have just gone up in a puff of Nobel Prize smoke. I saw Schmidt (but not M?ller) at the Frankfurt Book Fair and was very impressed by her down-to-earth attitude.
She's another of the sometime poets on the list
yeah but in contrast to M?ller, not a good one.
Kathrin Schmidt | konkordanzfall | Poetenladen (http://www.poetenladen.de/kathrin-schmidt-lyrik5.htm)
Mirabell, please discuss with your peers, instead of regarding them as only worthy of a three-word (sorry, ten, in this case) soundbite, with all the hallmarks of a vast store of superiority without the need to indulge in the infradig pursuit of discussion.
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