Digitization, globalization, and the all-dominating ideology of the market have created a network of dependence, which has become so unmanageable that human beings have reached the limits of their perception. In the absence of specific reference points, individuals find themselves in a world dominated by ruptures and abysses. This feeling of confusion and of being left behind threatens to revert to a primitivism, which (depending on the starting point) might exhibit animistic, nationalistic, racist or fundamental religious characteristics, which carry commensurate consequences for the perception of reality, and the social interactions of humans.
This is not the case in literature. What preoccupies us is that we are unable to capture and articulate this feeling, which threatens to overwhelm us. What is it exactly that evokes this instability? What awakens in us this feeling of isolation? Literature is in the unique position to get to the bottoms of things by inventing a language for these phenomena. By investigating the different literatures of the world, Norbert Niemann gives us the opportunity to grasp this world, as it presents itself.
Norbert Niemann, born 1961, is an author based in Munich and Chiemsee. His most recent novels are "Willkommen neue Träume“ (2008) and "Die Einzigen“ (2014). Niemann received the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize (1997), the Carl-Amery-Prize (2015), the Music Theatre Now Award for "Musicophilia,“ a stage version based on Oliver Sacks' book (2016), and the German Literaturfonds’ New York Stipend (2016). His essay "Erschütterung. Literatur und Globalisierung unter dem Diktat von Markt und Macht" appeared as a part of the series "Einsichten“ by Alfred Kröner Publishing in May 2017.
Once a professor of German language and literature, Eric Jarosinski has gone on to find his true calling as a former professor of German language and literature. He is currently the editor and sole author of @NeinQuarterly, the world's leading fictitious journal of utopian negation (found on Twitter), and a columnist for the German weekly Die Zeit. In addition, Jarosinski regularly takes his stand-up philosophy/sit-down comedy on the road as part of his ongoing Failed Intellectual Goodwill Tour. His writing and stage performances have been featured in numerous international publications, including the New Yorker, The Economist, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and El País. Jarosinski's first book, Nein. A Manifesto., was recently published in six languages.