Uwe Tellkamp

Der Turm

The Tower
Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2008, 1000 pages

Those who did not experience the later years of the GRD can hardly know what it means to have time, quite a lot of time, and they perhaps cannot suspect what a curse this can be. [...] Der Turm leads us into an unreal, not quite present world. [...] It tells the story of an educated middle-class family that does not fit into our picture of the ‘Farmer and Worker State’. [...] The author, born in 1968, personally experienced much in the tale. He was a tank commander and worked as a doctor in an emergency hospital. But the story is not told from inwards out, but rather as if by a stranger who, amazed, calls the past to mind. [...] With great skill in composition, Tellkamp imposes his rhythm on the reader. Alongside epic descriptions, there are letters, above all from the soldier Christian, diary entries and notes by Meno Rohdes, and countless conversations, many of which are virtuoso voice imitations – for instance, of a doctor’s congratulatory speech, writers’ small talk and Saxons fitting in. This masterpiece ends with a colon: ‘... but then all at once ... the clocks struck the hour, struck November 9th, “Germany, united fatherland”, struck at the Brandenburg Gate:’.

Uwe Tellkamp – Biography

Jens Bisky: „Aufruhr der Uhren. Zur rechten Zeit: Uwe Tellkamps großer Roman „Der Turm” erzählt von den sieben letzten Jahren der DDR"
© Süddeutsche Zeitung, 13.09.2008

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