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Dichter zu Gast – Daniel Kehlmann
Autoren und ihre dunklen Geheimnisse

A conversation between Michael Maar und Daniel Kehlmann
A conversation between Michael Maar and Daniel Kehlmann


  • 08 August 2009, 19:30

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Daniel Kehlmann, Michael Maar


Michael Maar is an author who writes about books, and he is also a kind of literary detective: he discovered which author Vladimir Nabokov borrowed from freely for his Lolita and he revealed that Thomas Mann may have been involved in a violent crime during his youth (whoever considers this a nonsensical theory has obviously not read Maar's Blaubartzimmer); wherever Maar casts his eye, he finds what authors have hidden, omitted, or not even realized consciously themselves. Nobody draws the often problematic inferences from the written word to the actual life as convincingly as he does. Authors are not nice people, they have much to hide, and a reader as conscientious as Maar makes baffling discoveries.

Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich in 1975, the son of theater director Michael Kehlmann and actress Dagmar Mettler. In 1981, the family moved to Vienna, where he attended the Kollegium Kalksburg, a Jesuit school, and subsequently studied philosophy and German literature at the University of Vienna. In 1997, his first novel, Beerholms Vorstellung, was published. He has held literary teaching positions in Mainz,Wiesbaden and Göttingen and has won numerous awards, including the Candide Prize, the Prize of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Doderer Prize, Kleist Prize, WELT Prize for Literature, the Per Olov Enquist Prize and the Thomas Mann Prize. Kehlmann’s reviews and essays have been published by numerous magazines and newspapers. His novel Ich und Kaminiski was an international success, the novel Die Vermessung der Welt, translated into forty languages so far, became one of the most successful novels in post-war Germany. Daniel Kehlmann lives in Vienna and Berlin. As “Poet in Residence”, he is the curator of this year's literature program at the Salzburg Festival and has invited different artists to present their work, their view of the world, our times and also of Austria, together with him.