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Monday, 26.11.2012, 20:20
oh what a night...
Wiglaf Droste (DE)
Caution: If you're an English reader only, the following event taking place in our brainy El Lokal will leave you in a lurch, that is, with minimal comprehension because it will be presented almost entirely in German (as it should be with a book reading of a book written in that language).

But if you'd like to stop by anyway, chances are you'll meet an alphabetsoup crowd seasoned with brainiacs, cone heads, would-be authors, writer groupies plus a smattering of teutonic exiles besides serious followers of Wiglaf Droste (Great name, isn't it?). And what's coming out from our kitchen (Kombuese) and bar (Theke) as usual is in no need of linguistic brilliance or translation.

He shows some creative resemblance to Orson Welles, genius writer of the radio play "War of the Worlds; genius director of «Citizen...» something, but also quite uncannily to Orson's look in his genius portrayal of Hank, the corrupt sheriff in «Touch of Evil» who, when he asked gipsy Marlene Dietrich to peer into the crystal ball for him, got: «Hank, your future's all used up.»

Herr  Wiglaf Droste, judging by his past and present (he actually recited his songs and sang his words at our place before), may well have a future. He's a former young editor at «taz» & «Titanic», moved on to garner several literary prices (helped by the fact, that there are lots of those, like the «Ringelnuts Preis») and founded the combative culinary magazine «Häuptling Eigener Herd» («His Own Hearth Chief») with Ueber chef Vincent Klink aus Stuttgart. Issue no. 50 had the title «Jazz», issue no. 51 has «Das Tier in mir» («The animal inside me»). Books: On the Kein & Aber («Not Any & But») website you can read the message «Titel erscheint nicht» («This title will not appear») which may have something to do with, you guessed it, the title of the book: «Lieber Gott, ich mach dich fromm wenn ich in den Himmel komm». «Dear God, I will convert you to piety once I get to Heaven», words put into the mouth of the one and only Joseph Benedikt Raitzinger.

Like the Swiss writer Peter Bichsel, Wiglaf Droste is a master of the «Kurze Form»  that is the short story. In the published (this time) «Sprichst du noch oder kommunizierst du schon?» («Are you still talking or have you begun to communicate?») 'Die Zeit' online wrote something about «relevant, contemporary language flatulence" and that ...» Wiglaf Droste's grandiose, humorous and ironic tales belong on every bedside table.» If you have one, otherwise it's straight under the pillow. We're not saying that it's the kind of writing that will help you fall fast sleep, quite to the contrary: If by a miracle, or other influences, you do anyway it's at your own peril because you'll sleep laughing till morning. 

And it's a different humor too than the today too popular malicious and spiteful kind. For instance, something as profound as a Bratpfanne (frying pan) becomes a cultural metaphor in that it «helps convert the raw into art». He may just make some of your laughs get stuck between belly and throat, he may even force you to an inordenantly high level of thinking but first and foremost, he tells you of his love for his language and what it allows him to do with it: To turn it into high art and to put fun back into literature. Cheers Karl Valentin and Mark Twain.

Wenn Droste seine Sprache entsichert, fliesst eben nicht Blut oder Galle, sondern Weisheit and Witz.

(When Droste lets loose with his language it's not blood and bile that's spilled but wisdom and wit.) 

-Sueddeutsche Zeitung    

el Lokal