Translated by Isabel Fargo Cole
6 x 9 inches, 312pp. July 2015
ISBN : 9780857422347
Rs 595.00 (HB)
The perfect book for paranoid times, “I” introduces us to W, a mere hanger-on in East Berlin’s postmodern underground literary scene. All is not as it appears, though, as W is actually a Stasi informant who reports to the mercurial David Bowie look-alike Major Feuerbach. But are political secrets all that W is seeking in the underground labyrinth of Berlin? In fact, what W really desires are his own lost memories, the self undone by surveillance: his "I."
First published in Germany in 1993 and hailed as an instant classic, “I” is a black comedy about state power and the seductions of surveillance. Its penetrating vision seems especially relevant today in our world of cameras on every train, bus, and corner. This is an engrossing read, available now for the first time in English.
“[Hilbig writes as] Edgar Allan Poe could have written if he had been born in Communist East Germany.”—Los Angeles Review of Books
Wolfgang Hilbig worked as a stoker; his writing literally emerged from the boiler room, dark, poetic, idiosyncratic work unwelcome in the GDR. Hilbig moved to West Germany in 1985. Among many prestigious awards, in 2002 he was awarded the Georg BÃ¼chner Prize for his life’s work. He died in 2007, leaving a substantial oeuvre. One of Germany’s most important post- war writers, his books have never before appeared in English.
Isabel Fargo Cole is a US-born, Berlin-based writer and translator. Her translations include Boys and Murderers by Hermann Ungar (2006) and All the Roads are Open by Annemarie Schwarzenbach (2011). She is the initiator and co-editor of www.no-mans-land.org, the online magazine for new German literature in English.