By Siobhan O’Leary
Looking for a primer on the best in contemporary German-language lit? Look no further than this piece written by Ina Hartwig for Die Zeit — and translated into English. The authors discussed include Lutz Seiler, Ulrich Peltzer, David Wagner, Clemens Meyer, Marlene Streeruwitz, and others.
How often has contemporary German-language literature been accused of lacking urgency? The accusation has not always been undeserved, but it has seldom been further off the mark than today, a good two decades after the fall of the Wall. The post-ideological vacuum which, at the end of the old world order, seemed to have resulted in a certain paralysis, has now given way to powerful and fascinating diagnoses of our times. Contemporary literature has long been fulfilling its very real seismographic duties. It is delivering earnest, sarcastic, sceptical, lyrical, buoyant and enduring images, more bold that the most incisive editorials, which go straight to the heart of the unknown society in which we live.