Ulrike Edschmid

Das Verschwinden des Philip S.

© Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2013Ulrike Edschmid: Das Verschwinden des Philip S. © Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2013 This conspicuously tentative, very gracefully written book of recollections “Das Verschwinden des Philip S.” never mentions the first-person narrator’s name. The publisher calls the book a “novel”, which may be a sales trick or a precautionary measure, as this strongly autobiographical reconstruction is not without its dangers, forty years after the events, events that morphed subtly and sinisterly into militant radicalism, terror and ideologically-motivated hatred. In real life, Philip S.’s name was Werner Philipp Sauber. He belonged to the “2 June Movement” (which Ulrike Edschmid does not mention) and died on 9 May 1975 in Cologne after an exchange of fire with the police. His affair with Ulrike Edschmid had ended more than three years previously. She did not share at close quarters the last years of his life, which he spent in illegality. (…) And the special and courageous thing about her perspective and style stems from the fact that she writes against thinking in political camps and attempts to keep herself free of them. The benefit is considerable. What emerges is a picture of the time that has its own poetic momentum; the author focuses on tangible things. Her prose is clear and emotional, but never sentimental.

Ina Hartwig: „Wanderer auf Abwegen“
© Süddeutsche Zeitung, 22 March 2013

Ulrike Edschmid
Verschwinden des Philip S.
Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2013
ISBN 978-3-518-42349-3
Related links