Bestselling author Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre published his eagerly awaited novel "Still awake?" on Wednesday. published. In a "Spiegel" interview, the 48-year-old protested in several places that it - as previously speculated in media reports - could be a roman a clef.
When asked by the interviewer whether he had written a roman a clef for the Axel Springer publishing house ("Bild", "Welt"), the writer said: "Roman roman a clef? Absolutely not. What kind of unpleasant word is that, what's the point does that even mean? When it comes to 'romance of a clef', everyone thinks of the wrong door."
"Classic of SMS communication"
"Still awake?" is the name of the fictional work with 370 pages. Stuckrad-Barre is known for books like "Soloalbum" and "Panikherz". The author said in the "Spiegel" interview: "'Are you awake?' "It's a classic of SMS communication. Almost everyone who has been out and about in the nightlife for a while has already written it themselves or received a message like this - just better not in the context of a professional relationship."
The book begins by emphasizing that it is "in part inspired by various real events". The novel is "however, a detached and independent fictional story". The author "created a completely independent new work".
Days before the publication, Stuckrad-Barre had attracted attention with a PR campaign: numerous celebrities, including actors, musicians and journalists from ARD, spoke the headlines of the 18 chapters, which were sent bit by bit to the reached the public. They are called, for example, "Then women don't have to be surprised", "Men of the West", "Now it's getting dirty" or "An open secret".
Inquiries to Verlag Kiepenheuer
In the first chapter, an emerging relationship of trust between a trainee and the editor-in-chief of a TV station is described. The author sketches how the young woman feels flattered by the approval and attention of her boss. They eat lunch together in his office and then make an appointment for the evening, they say.
In one of the earlier chapters, a friend (they are "practically brothers") of the narrator, who owns a television station, also appears. While driving in the western United States, the narrator in the car tells this friend about news that he considers problematic. The station's editor-in-chief sent these messages to a younger employee. The first-person narrator clearly expresses his aversion to the editor-in-chief.
The 48-year-old Stuckrad-Barre wants to present his work in the evening (8 p.m.) in the Berliner Ensemble Theater.
"Morality painting of our time"
The book publisher Kiepenheuer
Stuckrad-Barre also gave an interview to the public broadcaster ZDF in advance, the broadcaster wants to present the conversation in the evening in its main news "heute journal". The broadcaster quoted the writer in advance: "Let's say: a boss and a trainee fall in love at work, wonderful story. It started on the fax machine and today nobody can separate them. Yes, that happens. But it's for both equally easy to end this relationship? The answer is clear. And there is abuse of power."
Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre, Still awake?, Kiepenheuer