New book from the Nobel Prize winner |

She was amazed when she received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009: Herta Müller, who had fled Romania to Germany in front of the despot Nicolae Ceausescu, absolutely did not expect this honor. But the trophy belonged to her, because she was and is considered one of the most innovative and experimental artists of …

She was amazed when she received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009: Herta Müller, who had fled Romania to Germany in front of the despot Nicolae Ceausescu, absolutely did not expect this honor. But the trophy belonged to her, for she was and is considered one of the most innovative and experimental artists of our time. Until now, she has faced relentlessly the totalitarian regime that reigned in her native country until 1989.

In her most recent book, however, she recalls her difficult move to the Federal Republic of Germany, during which she found herself stranded in a camp for so-called internally displaced persons in Nuremberg-Langwasser in 1987. The stay there Establishment proved difficult for her because she was suspected of spying for the Romanian secret service Securitate. Many passages of her work, just out of the press, deal with the interviews to which she was subjected: “The official of the inspection post A said: So you wanted to overthrow the government of your country? I said: How? at the inspection post now B. The so-called Mr. Fröhlich from test center B said: “They knew you didn’t want socialism. Why should he want you?

The Nuremberg Rescue Station, where the poet Natascha Wodin had bad experiences, brought Müller many negative experiences. In this place, she had the feeling that she had gone from bad to worse, because they played as badly with her as before in Romania. She is extremely reluctant to remember conversations with employees of the Federal Intelligence Service and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, as she was harassed by state officials during questioning before leaving Romania . For a moment, it may seem odd that Müller draws parallels between representatives of a dictatorship and a democracy, but given their poignant biographies, such comparisons are hardly surprising. The author is deeply stigmatized by the loss of his old home. No psychoanalyst can deal with this trauma away from her. In 2019, she published a story in which she pointed out that her “homesickness poison” was still in the air like “the smell of a dead cat”. In her new text, she once again reveals much of the all-consuming desire of the Banat, from which he sprang. In doing so, she deploys a seductive cosmos of metaphors, reminiscent of Paul Celan: “I was homesick so naked, he was shaved and frozen skyward like the treetops. The sun came out of the glass cage in an intimate cloak. and didn’t even warm up. “

For some time now, Herta Müller has been cutting photos and word sequences from magazines and newspapers. From there, she assembled adhesive images in the style of the Dadaists and Surrealists, which became the cradle of modern revolutionary literature. In her opus now published, she continues to indulge in the pleasure of collages. Such avant-garde compositions do not fail to have an impact on the reader. However, they follow a pattern that the artist absolutely needs to soften if she is not to be suspected of being monotonous.

The book

Herta Müller: “The officer said”

Carl Hanser Verlag,

164 pages, 24 euros.

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