First day of sale: 19.02.2015
JOHN VON DÜFFEL
KL – Gespräch über die Unsterblichkeit/
KL – Conversation About Immortality
ca. 160 pp.
‘John von Düffel is bold. In his new book ‘KL – Discussions on Immortality’ there are three figures, which each have striking similarity with a real television presenter, an ex-politician and a very prominent fashion designer. Is that allowed? Only if done in such a clever manner as in the present case (…) 160 pages to smile and think about!’ - Ulrike Sákárny, NDR
“Düffel is obviously fascinated by Lagerfeld’s intelligence and way of life, and for this reason creates his own portrait of him here. Intelligent, playful and particularly amusing. A magnificent, sometimes loud comical parody.” Martin Oehlen, Kölner Stadtanzeiger
“True or false? Scoop or fake? (...) Regardless of how much truth there is in it, John von Düf-fel’s book – with its Chanel style cover –it is a success story. The author dives deep into the psyche of the fashion designer and, by the end, lays it (...) unscrupulously bare (...) A book to arouse feelings.” Jeroen van Rooijen, Neue Zürcher Zeitung
“For such an imaginably complex topic, John von Düffel has found the lightest form imaginable. A work of mastery.” Dierk Wolters, Frankfurter Neue Presse
About the fear of disappearing
To be is to be seen. In today’s media world, this is truer than ever. And no one knows this better than the fashion designer KL, who is not only considered one of the most well known icons of our time, but who also shaped the beauty ideals with whom we are compared and to whom we compare ourselves today. The narrator/interviewer of this story sets off for Paris and visits KL in his studio to ask him about his view of the (visual) world that he helped to create. The aim is to survive the acid test of a conversation with one of the most eloquent and moody interview partners in the German language. All the while strictly regimented and monitored by the master’s staff, who only allocated the interviewer half an hour. Thankfully, KL is a fast talker.
However, the authorisation of this interview on our beliefs in visuals and the diktat of image cultivation proved difficult. In a night-time telephone call, KL demands a stream of corrections, which results in a second conversation that not only addresses issues touching on success and careers, but also very personal subjects such as loss and the death of his own mother. KL, who as an icon seems to be immortal, here shows himself from his vulnerable side. And the interviewer is quick-witted enough to record the telephone conversation. Will that bring him any closer to an authorisation?
Yet this is not the question when the narrator is once again asked to meet KL, this time in the VIP wing of a Hamburg hospital. There he waits to be allowed in to see the fashion guru, irritated by the notion that his protagonist might die and this before the publication of his book. Will this third interview with the master be his very last…?
›KL – Conversation About Mortality‹ attempts, in three very different conversations, to find an approach to this icon of aloofness. Conversations with two high profile women are also included – the presenter BS and the politician HS, who experience the full medial force when trying to meet the image requirements and public expectations. Their fate at the hands of the media reflects the darker aspects of the perception of women and of the image mania that arises in the daily combat for visibility and against the fear of disappearing.
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.