Arnon Grunberg

Twenty years


A few of my publishers threw a small party in my honor at the Frankfurter Hof. I didn’t recognize all of my publishers. Of course I recognized my French publishers and editors, since I spent the last two weeks in Paris with them, I did recognize my German editors, both my current and my former ones. I immediately recognized my Italian editor but I missed my Israeli editor. (She wasn’t there.)
A Polish publisher, a lavish lady, based in Geneva told me that she had wanted to buy my first novel twenty years ago.
Back in my hotel I couldn’t sleep, so I started reading an interview with Herta Müller in Der Spiegel.
Ms. Müller said: ‘Mein Freund Oskar Pastior hat fünf Jahre in einem sowjetischen Arbeitslager verbracht. Er hat mir mal gesagt: Ich bin im Lager sozialisiert. Das hat ihn nicht erschreckt, wenn er das gesagt hat. Herr Gott noch mal, weil es stimmte! Er hatte auch Heimweh nach dem Lager.’

(See: here.)

Homesick for a concentration camp, that’s all I needed for a decent sleep.

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