Various Ways of Losing One’s Peace of Mind
A Reader edited by Brigitte Kronauer
208pp (49,500 words)
read the foreword by Brigitte Kronauer
The prose writing of the award-winning author Ror Wolf is as idiosyncratic as it is extensive.
Brigitte Kronauer’s carefully compiled and knowledgeably annotated selection makes his prose texts very accessible to the reader. The anthology is an invitation to make the acquaintance of a unique, distinctive author - or to rediscover him.
»The surge of Wolf`s universe showed me an anti-world, bursting with energy, sufficient unto itself, whose by-product was to reveal with the greatest clarity the impoverishment and emptiness of the official one. Here was someone who treated the shards of reality and of stories in a way I had not thought possible; their structure, drama, development were not at all laid down for all time by fogeyish authorities. Wolf juggled with bits of everyday life, sensations, manic limitations and reports of catastrophes just as he wanted or needed to.«
»Sometimes the whole universe seems to have been drawn into the elongations and contractions of a gigantic metabolic system that turns the identifiable fragments of reality upside down. Catastrophes, accidents, sodomy – anything that we perceive as singular and prominent incidents standing out from our everyday life - appear in Wolf's texts in abundance, as though they had been bought by the hundred at the discounter and been dumped from the package to the floor.
A fantastic spectacle! It is exactly this fantastic accumulation of events which makes the texts so exclusive and entrancing. The truth of form manifests itself in immense clusters and their reciprocal relativization. In fact, these accumulations have been dominant for a long time in almost all areas of Western society, publicly and privately: in the supermarkets and in the news, in the disaster statistics and capital markets, even in love and death.«
Ror Wolf’s complete works are available from Schöffling & Co.
»A gem of poetry.«
»Seldom in German literature has the seemingly solid ground of traditional narrative been so earthshakingly shattered.«
»In his prose, his poetry and his word and sound collages Ror Wolf inimitably combines linguistic artistry and grotesque comedy with a terse and compassionate perception of reality and its fundamental constants, fear and hope, pleasure and decay. He is a master of the cryptic and utopian play with the primal matter of poetry.«
Friedrich Hölderlin Award, Jury statement
»What would the world be without Ror Wolf (…) Wolf’s worlds are often as unsettling as those collages Max Ernst assembled from elements at once familiar, arbitrary and terrifying. That not only applies to Wolf’s own collages which resemble them, and which he has been producing for a long time as a relaxation from writing, but also to his texts. Rarely has the puzzling been so entertaining…«
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung