Much praise for Christiane Neudecker

A little masterpiece for some, not ‘threatening’ enough for the others  - that was the text by Christiane Neudecker from Berlin for the jury. ‘Wo viel Licht ist’ (Where there is a lot of light) tells the story of a man who changes into his own shadow.

The text holds ‘great fascination’

Neudecker’s story of the realm of spirits and the dead reminded Hildegard Elisabeth Keller of ‘Andersen’s off-key fairy tales’. Crafted very precisely, this immersion into the realm of shadows held a ‘great fascination’ for her. The juror noted critically, however, that the two levels of ‘volatility’ in the text – one at the relationship level and the other at the level of transformation - could have been combined better.

Publikum (Bild: ORF/Johannes Puch)Publikum (Bild: ORF/Johannes Puch)

A ‘classic horror story’ for Sulzer

Alain Claude Sulzer was fascinated by the precise crafting of the text, whose images are used almost ‘like frames in a celluloid film’: ‘It’s a classic horror story, but it took me a while to notice it – it’s nice that we have one of those’, said Sulzer.

Fleischanderl thought the text lacked ‘anything new’

Karin Fleischanderl was anything but enthusiastic: the story adds nothing new to the tradition of the absurd and fantasy. The juror complained about a lack of ‘secrecy’, ‘trace of mystery’ and anything ‘threatening’ in the story – and at the same time we don’t find out why it is that the man turns into his own shadow.

Feßmann: ‘Extremely suspenseful’

Meike Feßmann draws a connection with Adalbert von Chamisso’s ‘Peter Schlehmil’, where his shadow is sold by the protagonist. She found the ‘juggler story ‘extremely suspenseful’, because the narrator is exchanged in the story. ‘The shadow becomes the first-person narrator  - a story that shows us what literature can do’.

Christiane Neudecker (Bild: ORF/Johannes Puch)Christiane Neudecker (Bild: ORF/Johannes Puch)

Jandl calls it a ‘fascinating feat’

Paul Jandl also praised the text’s great linguistic craftsmanship and narrative economy: ‘A fascinating feat, a beautiful, wonderful and suspenseful text’, said the juror.

Burkhard Spinnen puts praise in perspective

‘The word suspenseful is presumably subjective’, said Burkhard Spinnen in response. ‘I know which way it is going after two pages. Although everything is in its right place, my mass consumption of such stories between the ages of eight and 14 is paying me back now’. Although Spinnen admits that the text is crafted in a very precise way, he asks: ‘Why another one of these texts now? Chamisso talks about the loss of individuality, this is about light pollution in Hong-Kong’.

Hidegard E. Keller, Ijoma Mangold (Bild: ORF/Johannes Puch)Hidegard E. Keller, Ijoma Mangold (Bild: ORF/Johannes Puch)

Mangold is missing the eerie element

Ijoma Mangold was also on the side of the critics: ‘It all seems a little too ingenious to me. A jet-set text that relocates an old motif into today’s technological era. For me, this is too mechanical. And I also feel that the eerie element is missing entirely’, says Mangold.




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