Arnon Grunberg is a great literary talent.
The genre label “literary journalism” may be most appropriate for the journalism that seeks truths, rather than realities. In the case of Grunberg, then, what he said in a 2009 interview on Dutch television makes perfect sense: that his pieces about his life as a chambermaid or with soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan do not fall under the heading of journalism. All is literature, with Grunberg: a search for truth.
Earlier this year, in Nijmegen, I had the honor of receiving the Kellendonk Prize. I believe that in the word of thanks I read on that occasion I said almost everything I care to say about the joy and discomfort that winning literary prizes summons up in an author. It would be callous of me to read aloud that word of thanks here again, although, without meaning to sound arrogant, the text does come highly recommended.
The book is good, and maybe great, but it's unpleasant and depressing. Then again, that's our problem.
I see a youthful figure appear, worming his way through the revolving doors with a baby carriage. Could that be Arnon Grünberg? The hotel manager says it is, and I suppose he should know. The youthful figure seems to enjoy the fact that when he comes in here, in Waldhaus in Sils, there is no turning around - except for the revolving door of course. Try as one might, one hardly associates Arnon Grünberg with a baby carriage, just as little as one would make that association with Proust, who once came in through this same entrance. Is Grünberg hiding behind the baby carriage, in order to remain inconspicuous? Later, in the empty main hall, which the hotel calls the ‘Sunny Corner’, he explains how we are to interpret the baby carriage.
The reader will be stunned by the humour of the writer, of the absurdity of some situations, and the dialogues.
Go out with other men. Tell your husband about it in minute detail. Maybe that will wake him up.
The novel is a remarkable description of an author’s psyche that is also very entertaining.
Unraveling with humor and poignancy until the end.
Here, at this spot, you will find footnotes to the human comedy.