Anna Maria Praßler (G) Jury discussion

Anna Maria Praßler was the first author in the first afternoon reading the text "The Others" about the death of a friend. She read at the invitation of Burkhard Spinnen.

Anna Maria Praßler (Bild: Johannes Puch)Anna Maria Praßler (Bild: Johannes Puch)


Video portrait


Of the loss of a love

The text recounts the memories of the female narrator of events in the year of her dissertation, the death from cancer of her former lover "Bjorn ", a married man, and the loss of this love through her fulfilment.

Feßmann: "Major issues addressed"

A lot of "major issues" such as love, death, compulsions and deceit were taken up here, observed Meike Feßmann in her first comments. It is debatable, however, how and whether all of this "suits" the text. It is problematic that there is little narrative space, due to the style which is best described as deocumentary. The impression she had was of a "storyboard", bearing in mind that the author indeed also writes scripts,  While the text generates "strong images", they do not work as a story. The "unfolding" of the characters is lacking, Fessmann added later.


Sulzer: "Enriched with trivialities"

Sulzer agreed with the criticism and wanted to say almost the same. The sentences were almost "casual" sounding, but he was not sure if that was the intention. "Ultimately an exciting story, but enriched with trivialities", said Sulzer. Here everything was to do with statements, no story was actually told. "Nowhere have I had to mark so much".

Hubert Winkels "annoyed"

"Yes, one can feel the intention to the point of annoyance" said Hubert Winkels, reinforcing the negative view. The text has been so intrusively done that it is obvious at once. Everything steers to the single fact that the main female character, who first knew only about the symbolic dimension of death, eventually through the death of her friend could recognize death and   could cry. But even that had to be told in an excessively complicated way in the final pages, because the author did not manage to establish this inability of her protagonist at the start.

Hubert Winkels (Bild: Johannes Puch)Hubert Winkels (Bild: Johannes Puch)

Keller: "neat, plausible language"

Hildegard E. Keller tried to defend the text a little from her colleagues: The texts tell of an insider in a university, who startsd to develop a subjective relationship to her subject. Without irony or detachment, the text describes the world in which this subject lives and develops her understanding. All this is told with "very credible, very neat language".

Hildegard E. Keller (Bild: Johannes Puch)Hildegard E. Keller (Bild: Johannes Puch)

Jandl: "Gray mouse in the university system"

"They are indeed key sentences!" Paul Jandl intervened He had to agree with Alain Claude Sulzer - the character is a grey mouse in the university system, and the story is as thin as the character. "This does not seem to have very existential significance," said Jandl.

Paul Jandl (Bild: Johannes Puch)Paul Jandl (Bild: Johannes Puch)

Spinnen hurried to the defence

He had wanted to invite anything but a trivial text to Klagenfurt, said Burkhard Spinnen in defence of  "his" text. The character representation of this prose role had impressed him. The character who at many points "talks nonsense" reveals dramatically her level of reflection in an attempt to bring order into her own life.

"The documentation of a collapse", said Spinnen, explaining the "contemporary psychological portrait" which he sees Prassler giving the reader. The ego here hoped to be "supplemented" by the friend, and when that failed to work. the friend was - in today's department store mentality -   just "traded in" - the death of the friend intervenes and adds its own dimension.

"An interesting exegesis - but are there also any indications in the text for this?" Feßmann contradicted Spinnnen. Jandl suggested the same thing: those remarks appealed to him more than the text itself, which gives one pause.

Strigl: "Nice idea succeeded in part"

In the end, only Daniela Strigl could produce a positive side for the Praßler text: it tells of "existential things", loosens something up, and at the end enables feelings to flow.  The story of "Katharsis", a "brilliant student," who notices that she's missed something, because her husband had died. In part this "nice idea" is well done. "A posthumous slap", said Strigl.

No, it was overall too short and formally told, said Hubert Winkels relentlessly, a la Susan Sonntag, illness is used here as a metaphor: "short, dry, frugal", the existential will not make the aesthetic visible, a "conventional thing" , said Winkels.


Barbara Johanna Frank

TDDL 2011TDDL 2011