A hypnotic meditation on our present time and the role art plays in it, and in our life. It is a novel full of magic moments – and also Stangl’s most political book so far.
»It is deepest winter, a grey day in a succession of grey days, a good moment.« What for? To change one’s life, to »completely overthrow the status quo«.
Stangl’s fourth novel is a status report around this imperative, calling for the bleak situation to be changed.
There is a young woman, who, by demonstrating against the new right-wing government in Vienna in February 2000, is overcome by a new feeling of existence through this political act. At the same time, her sister Mona has chosen a completely different path which turns into a shocking but liberating »acte gratuit«. And 15 years on, a certain Dr. Walter Steiner is caught in an existential crisis when his wife leaves him. At the same time, he stumbles upon old pictures that connect him to these two women, opening up unexpected links.
The three protagonists roam Vienna at different moments in time, with different motives, and attempt in different ways to arrive in the real world – through political commitment, art or by abandoning all existing constraints. Stangl’s novel is a hypnotic meditation on our present time and the role art plays in it, and in our life. It is a novel full of magic moments – and also Stangl’s most political book so far.
»If you can, read a book by Stangl. Or translate him. You won’t be sorry. If Stangl continues at this rate, he will become one of the language’s most important writers. Already he’s one of its best.« (Ross Benjamin)
Longlist Deutscher Buchpreis 2013