Goethe Book Club Goethe Book Club: Wolfgang Hilbig’s Old Rendering Plant (2017)

Wolfgang Hilbig - Old-Rendering Plant © Two Lines Press Wolfgang Hilbig - Old-Rendering Plant © Two Lines Press

Mon, 10/22/2018

18:30 Uhr

Goethe-Institut Washington

Read and discuss works by contemporary German authors in this series hosted by the Goethe-Institut. All books can be read in recent English translation or in the German original; our discussion will be in English. Led by local German professor Amanda Sheffer (The Catholic University of America), this book club focuses on contemporary fiction and will explore experiences and thoughts about the text.

Alte Abdeckerei (Old Rendering Plant) by Wolfgang Hilbig

Wolfgang Hilbig's short novel, Old Rendering Plant, draws readers into a mysterious district located on the border between literary imagination and political reality: "Beyond the coal railway line, southeast of a half-abandoned village, deep in an overgrown depression, right next to the deteriorated fence, the territory of the East began, and one could not go into the region without punishment." Hilbig's young hero explores this area full of ruins, leached fields, and industrial plants on extravagant expeditions. However, the adults warn him often: There are people who have disappeared there, they say to him, about which no one is allowed to talk, but they are not to be wiped from memory.

Wolfgang Hilbig, born 1941 in Meuselwitz near Leipzig, died 2007 in Berlin, moved in 1985 from the GDR to the Federal Republic. He received numerous literary awards, including the Georg Büchner Prize, the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, the Bremen Literature Prize, the Berlin Literature Prize, the Literature Prize of the State of Brandenburg, the Lessing Prize, the Fontane Prize, the Frankfurt Bergen-Enkheim Writing Prize, the Peter Huchel Prize and the Erwin Strittmatter Prize. The seven-volume edition of his works published by S. Fischer Verlag has been called "one of the most important editions of contemporary German-language literature" (Uwe Schütte, Wiener Zeitung).

In cooperation with the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at The Catholic University of America.