First day of sale: 13.01.2016
JOHN VON DÜFFEL
GOETHE RUFT AN/
GOETHE IS ON THE PHONE
Ca. 320 pp.
Some would kill for it – or even travel to Lusatia.
A comedy about the fortunes and misfortunes of two writers
There are two kinds of writers: the radiant magician and the futile doubter. The narrator in John von Düffel’s most recent novel is doubtlessly belongs to the unsuccessful ones. For years he has been working on “something big.”
But he has a mentor: Goethe. That is not his real name, naturally, but if anyone today had his format, them it would be him: a legend in his own lifetime, a literary god. His readings are celebrated like high masses. Or rock concerts.
Goethe convinces his friends to take his place as teacher of a creative writing class in Lusatia. His assistant promptly brings him the portfolio with all the necessary documents needed to be a suc-cessful writer. But careful: it is the only copy.
The narrator thus comes into possession of the Goethe formula. And he simultaneously makes the acquaintance of Frau Eckermann. Are they in good hands with him?
“Goethe ruft an” tells the equally dynamic and charming story about the search for the secret of success, ironically approaching the crossroads between life and literature in the process.
John von Düffel was born in Göttingen in 1966. He currently works as a dramatic advisor for the German Theater Berlin, and is a professor for scenic writing at the University of the Arts Berlin. DuMont published his novels “Vom Wasser” (1998), “Zeit des Verschwindens” (2000), “Ego” (2001), “Houwelandt” (2004), “Beste Jahre” (2007), “Goethe ruft an” (2011), “KL – Gespräch über die Unsterblichkeit” (2015), „Klasssenbuch“ (2017), "Der brennende See" (2020) his collection of stories „Wassererzählungen“ (2014) as well as the essay “Wovon ich schreibe” (2009) and the novella “Hotel Angst” (2010). Among other awards, John von Düffel received the 2006 Nicolas Born Prize.