Literatur

I got the book “Mesopotamia” as a birthday present from Elin a while ago. “An Avant-Pop Reader”, it says on the cover. It’s full of short stories by young, fresh german authors. Published by Christian Kracht, author of “Faserland“.
The little “Reader” contains some good stories, some mediocre ones and some that are incredibly braindead. And it is a good summary of the contemporary german (avant-)pop literature.

Of eighteen texts in the book, only three bother to tell a story. This pop literature is not about telling a story, it’s about describing a mood. It is like showing holiday photos: If the people are interested in your holiday, they love it. Otherwise, they’re bored to death.
Take “Faserland” for example. A book about rich morons, who talk about irrelevant things and wear Barbour jackets. The message of the book is: Life can suck when you’re a rich moron in a Barbour jacket.

So what? I don’t care. I can’t relate, in any way, to rich morons in Barbour jackets. The book was so boring, I can hardly remember reading it.
The idea behind this sort of writing is obviously to write about what you know best. Which leads to writing about your own life and your friends. This is the blogger’s approach to writing; it assumes that the world is interested in a description of your last summer job. Which it isn’t.
People don’t get books to find our if the author, or his petty alter ego, had a nice day. They want books about stuff they care about. You can see this quite nicely in the “Avant-Pop-Reader”: The useless stories are about mundane topics, like: “I went skiing with my mates”. The good stories are about mundane topics, like: “I went to a party that sucked”.
In good literature, however, the plot is only a vehicle for telling what you really care about.
The story may be about a party that sucked, but in reality it’s about love, lonelyness and despair. Theses are things people can relate to. But a story about someone skiing with his friends isn’t automatically a story about friendship, no matter what the author says.
One thing really amazes me, though: There are still authors who think it’s cool idea to ignore obvious facts. And they get published, they sell. And everybody gets bored to hell and back in the process.
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