Paul Schatz im Uhrenkasten

Jan Koneffke

Paul Schatz im Uhrenkasten


272 pages
First day of sale: 01.10.2010
ISBN 978-3-8321-6139-2

Jan Koneffke

A Novel
276 pages
new in paperback Autumn 2010

“A pure pleasure to read!” – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"You have to make a story out of your life. And it should be down to earth and funny – if you don't struggle and thrash about in your story, you'll never be rid of your life."

Jan Koneffke tells the story of a youth who doesn’t know who he is, or who he is allowed to be. Through the power of dreams and fantasy he survives the problems of the Nazi era, of war, hate and fear. Fairy tale suspense and episodes of comic tragedy trace the boy’s life.

Paul Schatz, from the quarter in Berlin known as the Scheunenviertel, does not want to be just some little Mr Nobody. He does not want to have a father who is a Galician sign painter and Jew and beguiles women. »What was that, love? And what was that, a heartbreaker?« Mosche Sternkukker, who reads books, can answer other questions for him. So can Anna Feuerhahn, who leans against the lamp-post blowing huge smoke rings and waiting for clients. And grandfather, whom Paul Schatz idolises. He swings his snake-headed walking stick, is an anti-Semite, Master of the Lodge, and has a collection of two-hundred-and-thirty historical clocks – with magic powers.
His grandfather dies the day Hitler comes to power, but lives on in his grandson. Paul visualises Karl Haueisen's Lodge as a chamber inside the earth packed full of clocks, and when the Master of the Lodge moves the hand of a clock, he redirects world events.
Unfortunately, his grandfather does not prevent the persecution of Jews in the Scheunenviertel. Indeed the idol of the Master of the Lodge gradually loses its gloss as Paul seeks refuge with his uncle in Quedlinburg, whom he helps in the decaying castle library, learns to stutter as a camouflage, and finally awaits the end of the war in a hiding-place in the forest.
Karl Haueisen had committed a crime which Paul only hears about after the war. Seeking out his grandfather's grave so as to destroy it, he is forced to realise that others master the craft of annihilation better – than a little Mr Nobody.

Jan Koneffke was born in Darmstadt in 1960. He studied philosophy and German philology in Berlin and spent several years in Rome after his Villa Massimo stipend (1995). He now lives as an author and publicist in Vienna und Bucharest. He has published the novella Vor der Premiere, the novel Bergers Fall in addition to the volume of poetry Gelbes Dienstrad wie es hoch durch die Luft schoß and prose miniatures from a Balkan journey under the title Gulliver in Bulgarien. Among other prizes, he has received the Leonce und Lena Preis for lyric poetry and the Friedrich Hölderlin Förderpreis. Jan Koneffke’s most recent works include the children’s book Schlittenfahrt (2004) with illustrations by Jacky Gleich, the spine-chiller Nick mit den stechenden Augen (2004) and, at DuMont, the poetry volume Was rauchte ich Schwaden zum Mond (2001) as well as the novels Paul Schatz im Uhrenkasten (2000), Eine Liebe am Tiber (2004), Abschiedsnovelle (2006) and Eine nie vergessene Geschichte (2008).

Rights sold to: The Netherlands (Uitgeverij Signature)

Jan Koneffke

Jan Koneffke was born in Darmstadt in 1960. He studied philosophy and German literature in Berlin and spent seven years in Rome after receiving a Villa Massimo grant. He now lives as a writer and journalist in Vienna and Bucharest. He has been awarded the Leonce and Lena Prize for Poetry, the Friedrich Hölderlin Advancement Prize and the Offenbach Prize for Literature, among others. DuMont published his poetry volume “Was rauchte ich Schwaden zum Mond” (2001), “Abschiedsnovelle” (2006) as well as the novels “Paul Schatz im Uhrenkasten” (2000), “Eine Liebe am Tiber” (2004), “Eine nie vergessene Geschichte” (2008) and "Die sieben Leben des Felix Kannmacher" (2011).