In these terrible days of pandemic and war, it is also the time when publishers send their first trailers for the fall. Behold, what kind of book does Suhrkamp announce almost discreetly in German-language literature among the new titles by Friedrich Ani, Durs Grünbein or Robert Walser?
The new novel by Uwe Tellkamp. It should be called “The Dream of Clocks”, the working title behind it is “Lava”, the title is about 900 pages long, and the publication is not scheduled for sometime in the fall, but for the middle of May.
But the word “already” is an understatement in this case. Because this novel, which Tellkamp wrote as a sequel to his successful 2008 pre-GDR novel “Der Turm”, was supposed to be published in 2020.
His appearance was then postponed to the spring of 2021, after all there was no more talk about it. The reason: suspected discrepancies between the publisher and the author; an author who is close to the AfD and other right-wing circles and said during a 2018 discussion with his colleague Durs Grünbein that “95 percent” of all refugees only came to Germany to “immigrate into the social systems here” .
It is about the interdependencies between politics and the media
During a reading in the small Saxon town of Pulsnitz, Uwe Tellkamp confessed that his follow-up to “Turm” would reach the present, in the year that almost a million refugees arrived in Germany, mainly because of the Syrian civil war: ” Then there was the how-to crisis of 2015, which can always be described, and I’ve been working on a passage in the book about this moment for a long time.”
And he went on to say about his novel: “Here people fight over ideologies, over what a society should be. I always cared about the social and therefore the political, not as agitation, but as material.”
It is easy to imagine that there was the possibility of a conflict between Suhrkamp and Tellkamp. It seems that an agreement has been reached and the novel has been published to the satisfaction of both parties. So now this “society novel” can be read and examined, and the author’s attitude and the character’s speech can be clearly distinguished.
Signed first editions are available at Buchhaus Loschwitz
As he says in the preview about the hero, who is working on a chronicle for the 25th anniversary of reunification: “He analyzes concepts of order and principles of the exercise of power, the interdependence of politics, the state apparatus and the media, observes the changes in every day of life.”
The question is if time didn’t pass on Uwe Tellkamp, ”The Dream of Clocks” was too long; if he really still needs his perspective, not just because of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Authors such as Manja Präkels, Daniel Schulz, Hendrik Bolz, and Lukas Rietzschel have written the social novel from an East German perspective.
In any case, the Dresden atmosphere of Tellkamp is already enthusiastic. “Endlich!!!” (with three exclamation points) is how Susanne Dagens Buchhaus Loschwitz announces the announcement of the novel on social networks and at the same time offers the signed first edition.