The first day of reading 2011

The first reading day of the Festival of German-Language Literature 2011 found no clear favourites so far. The jury was consistently split in their verdicts.

Gunther Geltinger (Bild: Johannes Puch)Gunther Geltinger (Bild: Johannes Puch)

"Blood and vomit literature"

Gunther Geltinger who lives in Cologne was
invited from a recommendation by juror Alain Claude Sulzer. As the first author of 2011, he read an excerpt from his novel.

He began his lecture with   an apology to the audience and the jury: he stammered, like the protagonist in the excerpt from his novel, that - set in "in a lifetime of cold" - evokes the death of his mother. The jury opinions ranged from "blood and vomit literature" to the suggestion that it was intended to be a "caricature of village life". This was "well done", but functions better as "trash text".


Jury discussion Gunther Geltinger

Maximilian Steinbeis (Bild: Johannes Puch)Maximilian Steinbeis (Bild: Johannes Puch)

Steinbeis read text with punchline

Next was the German Maximilian Steinbeis, who read the text "A buried treasure". The jury was in part pleased and in part unimpressed.

The text amounts to a punchline, which was only really funny to read the first time.  Some of the jury members also raised the question of who was actually telling the story here.  Perhaps Mephistopheles himself, said Spinnen - or has it something to do with guidance literature?


Jury discussion Maximilian Steinbeis

Daniel Wisser (A) (Bild: Johannes Puch)Daniel Wisser (A) (Bild: Johannes Puch)<


Wisser text is a "matter of taste"?

Daniel Wisser from Kärnten appeared as the third author on the first morning of reading. The jury was again very divided, after an intense debate the opinion was eventually, that whether one liked Wisser's text or not was probably a "matter of taste". The exaggerated portrait of an overbearing philistine was " inconsistent" (Winkels), the misplaced use of the conjunctive was also a point of contention in the view of some of the jurors. However, praise was given to the "sinister" protagonists who show more of the reality of today, than one would commonly like.


Jury discussion Daniel Wisser


Prassler-Text "predictable" and "obtrusive"

Next up was the German author Anna Maria Praßler, who had come to Klagenfurt at the invitation of Burkhard Spinnen.  She read the text "The Others" about the death of a former lover.

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

The judges, while acknowledging that many major issues like death, love, compulsions and deceit were addressed, at the same time questioned whether all of this "fits into" the text.

A somewhat "obtrusive" text, with a "predictable" intention, dismayed a number of the authors. Others like Hildegard E. Keller found the "plausible, neat language" of the text worthy of praise. The attempt here is to bring order into a life, argued Burkhard Spinnen in its defence; his colleagues, however, liked his remarks better than the text itself.


Jury discussion Anna Maria Prassler

Antonia Baum (Bild: Johannes Puch)Antonia Baum (Bild: Johannes Puch)


Reminiscent of Thomas Bernhard

The last author of the day of reading was the German Antonia Baum with her text "Perfectly lifeless, at best dead".

Some of the jury members thought it reminiscent of Thomas Bernhard; whether that was intentional or not was for many unclear. A "stream of consciousness from the handkerchief pile" said Hildegard E. Keller harshly. 
"It overflows", Burkhard Spinnen agreed. For Hubert Winkels, who had proposed the text for Klagenfurt, the text remained  in any case a "compact aesthetic unity".


Jury discussion Antonia Baum

Publikum (Bild: Johannes Puch)Publikum (Bild: Johannes Puch)


The competition is presented again this year
by ORF Cultural Presenter Clarissa Stadler. The readings can be followed
by everyone with free entry in the ORF Theater in Klagenfurt. 3sat covers all readings and discussions as well as the prize giving live. Ö1, Radio Kärnten and  "Kärnten heute" transmit daily information.

The readings are also covered every day from
10.15 live on the internet at The videos 
can be called up "on demand", as can the livestream from 3sat.

TDDL 2011TDDL 2011