Saša Stanišić’s first book was a role-play (think: dragons & magicians). I found this out as I was anxiously waiting for years & constantly checking online for any update about a new publication. That was after I’ve read his extremely good (and highly successful) novel “Als der Soldat…”.
[[The role-play past made me convince Rem Brandt (aka Primo Cavallo) that you can turn from role-play writer into an award winning novelist.]]
The surprising part is that Stanišić’s first novel is very far from any role-play resemblance. “Vor dem Fest” on the other hand is full of narrative structures & breaks, fantasy moments & time wraps.
Surprisingly though, I like(d) it. Most probably because of its quirky characters and their bizarre but tender interaction in a (further) declining mini village in Eastern Germany.
At the checkout counter of St Marks Bookstore yesterday afternoon David Foster Wallace’s ‘This is Water’ caught my eye. It’s promoted as delivering life advise. Given his suicide & his publically discussed struggle with depression I was sceptical. Reading some lines I had hope though & bought it.
It’s a very thin book. Not many pages. Not much text on the pages. Still, while reading & finishing it on a short train ride from BK to Manhattan I went through a myriade of emotions (and it’s not over yet).
That written, despite fleshing out the depressing frame of (mainstream?) adult life he clearly points out where/how to find hope or freedom or choosing well. It’s just clear, it’s extremely hard.