JOHN VON DÜFFEL
Ca. 2500 pp.
John von Düffel in his element
“‘We always return to water’ is the first sentence I ever wrote in prose.” John von Düffel
“A master story teller” new books in german spring 2014
“An explosion of contradictory feelings turns into a cascade of extremely precise images... It is prose that takes one’s breath away.” Thomas Gärtner, Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten
“The melancholy of these ‘water stories’ are coloured in an irresistible rainy grey.”
Brigitte Schmitz-Kunkel, Kölnische Rundschau
“Düffel is very varied in his technical possibilities without wanting to show off too much.”
Christoph Schröder, Süddeutsche Zeitung
“Düffel’s literary water games do not remain on the surface.” Ralf Nestmeyer,
“In any case you love to hold firm around my neck and dive piggyback with me into the depths in order to linger for as long as possible in this underwater world where there is nothing to marvel at except for its remoteness from reality. You had, it seemed to me, learned to swim in order to be under water.” John von Düffel
A swimming pool, a lake, a pond, drenching rain and the ocean – John von Düffel’s new short stories take place in, at or on water. He writes about gleaming reflections and black depths, vast expanses and air-tight insularity, hotly swum muscles and icy grey lakes at wintertime.
A father must learn that his daughter outgrows him, a mother that her child will never be born. A teacher recognises than he can cannot transmit and give to others what he wants to, but only against someone else’s will. A passionate swimmer starts to love what he has made out of himself. A young man swims through the icy cold Baltic Sea and – however – does not die.
John von Düffel fathoms the depths of our thoughts and feelings in ten stories. His water worlds are in the process always more than just mere settings; they are a shimmering current of moments, thoughts and dreams.
In his volume of short stories Wassererzählungen, the passionate swimmer returns to the basic motif of his successful novel Vom Wasser and to the central theme of his life.
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.