Even if everything else seems gray – there is beauty, a hint of paradise. For the young Yusuf it is associated with a landscape in the mountains, with green light and clean air, with people and animals, surrounded by lakes and waterfalls: “It was wonderful, as if everything were perfect. I have never seen anything so beautiful. You could hear God breathing. “
It is the only moment when Abdulrazak Gurnah invokes such an idyll; his novel “Paradise Lost” does not bear this title for nothing. In it, the Nobel Prize winner for literature tells the story of the slave Yusuf, of a complex, ruthless society in Tanzania at the end of the 19th century, in which the Germans are preparing to take on no less violent colonial rule. Gurnah will soon be telling the Munich literary audience about all of this – to return to the beautiful: His reading on March 15th in Literature House should be the climax of the literary spring in Munich.
The advance booking for this does not start until the beginning of February, as for several events of the particularly dense March program in the Literaturhaus, including Hanya Yanagihara (March 16), Joshua Cohen (March 23) or Natasha Brown (March 24). But in contrast to the more spatially restricted organizers, the literary house starts again with several evenings in the pandemic January, starting with Reinhard Kleist’s comic about David Bowie on January 19th and a Piatti day on January 22nd. “We’ll just keep going now,” says press officer Marion Bösker-von Paucker. And since the large hall has been rebuilt in recent weeks and the streaming technology has now been placed on the narrow rear side, there has been more space for at least 75 seats that are currently allowed to be occupied in accordance with the rules: “The hall is now becoming more flexible again. “
Since the Literaturhaus is also flexible when it comes to physical or virtual presence, the announced evenings will probably be able to take place in any case – for example with the winner of the Bavarian Book Prize, Emine Sevgi Ozdamar, on February 22nd. Her novel “A Space Bounded by Shadows”, beginning on a Turkish island in 1971, covers a wide arc through space and time. Geographically, a writer like Ingo Schulze, who this time arrives as the winner of the “Prize of the Literature Houses” (January 20th), draws the circles closer. In his novels he traces German developments, biographies and their breaks again and again, similar to Jenny Erpenbeck, who will present her novel “Kairos” on February 2nd, or Julia Schoch, who will speak about her novel “Das Vorkomnis” on March 8th .
The Munich writers were not idle either and publish numerous new books. Alexander Kluge presents the world and himself with a “Book of Commentaries” on his 90th birthday and lets himself into the on February 13th Chamber play celebrate. Peter Probst lays after the tragicomic first autobiographical novel “How I Invented Sex” a sequel and releases “Die Wilde Wut des Budgerittichs” in the literary house on February 24th. Doris Dörrie reports there: “The heroine travels” (March 25). And Albert Ostermaier gets the reading, which was canceled for January, from his volume of poems “Teer” on March 3rd in Poetry cabinet after; After an online event on the Catalan classic Joan Maragall with the Munich translator and poet Àxel Sanjosé (January 26), face-to-face events are planned again from February, including with the Albanian poet Luljeta Lleshanaku (February 1) and Volker Braun and Alain Lance (March 16).
There will also be several podiums about new non-fiction books: the chemist and science journalist Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim will explain complex facts in an understandable way based on her book “The Smallest Common Reality” in the Literaturhaus on January 23, the sociologist Armin Nassehi will explain the understandable “discomfort” In view of an overwhelmed society, formulate rather complex (January 31). The orientalist Navid Kermani, on the other hand, has dealt with questions about God and gives answers in a new book with a very long title. In a “musical dialogue” with the pianist Pi-hsien Chen and the composer Manos Tsangaris he will let it work on March 3rd in the Kammerspiele.
She also seeks a dialogue with the music International Youth Library: A scenic concert for children on the subject of “Odyssey” is scheduled for February 13th in cooperation with the BR Symphony Orchestra. Those interested in children’s literature can also contact the “Munich Book Show Junior” Note in the calendar (March 12th to 20th). At this time it is again Festival “word games” for young literature: This time, Benedikt Feiten, Lola Randl and Natascha Berglehner, among others, will present their new novels in the Ampere on three long evenings (March 9th to 11th). May all of this take place as planned: Not only the organizers but also the audience have to remain flexible – and like the hero in the Nobel Prize winner Gurnah’s novel, they are happy about every opportunity to break out of everyday life, “tormented by longing and comforted by dream images of a lost whole “.