First day of sale: 19.08.2011
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 works as a dramaturge at Deutsches Theater Berlin and is pro-fessor of scenic writing at the Berlin University of the Arts. He has published novels and story col-lections with DuMont since 1998, including 'Vom Wasser' (1998), 'Houwelandt' (2004), 'Was-sererzählungen' (2014), 'Das Klassenbuch' (2017), 'Der brennende See' (2020) and most recently 'Wasser und andere Welten' (new edition 2021). His works have been awarded numerous prizes, including the aspekte Literature Prize and the Nicolas Born Prize.