Reading and Discussion Christopher Kloeble "The Museum of the World"

Christopher Kloeble Das Museum der Welt Christopher Kloeble©Valerie Schmidt

Sat, 04/06/2024

4:00 PM

Goethe-Institut Boston

In conversation with Moritz von Brescius

Moderator: Nikhil Rao The Museum of the World
Bartholomew is an orphan from Bombay. He’s twelve years old and speaks almost as many languages. That is why, in the year 1854, he is hired as a translator by the brothers Schlagintweit from Germany who, with the support of Alexander von Humboldt and the East India Company, embark upon the greatest expedition of their time, which takes them across India and the Himalayas. But Bartholomew is also pursuing his own agenda: he wants to establish the first museum of his remarkable, complex native land. And for this, he is willing to risk everything – even his life.
Based on the true story of a huge scientific undertaking by three Bavarian brothers, and brilliantly translated by Rekha Kamath Rajan, Christopher Kloeble’s The Museum of the World is a fantastic adventure that will change the way we see the history of colonialism.

Christopher Kloeble is a novelist and scriptwriter. His first novel, 'Amongst Loners', was the winner of the Jürgen Ponto-Stiftung prize for best debut. His third book, Almost Everything Very Fast, which he is currently adapting as a TV series, was published in English with Graywolf Press (USA) and was nominated for the Dublin Literary Award and the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis. He is also the author of The Immortal Salz Family and the memoir, Home Made in India. The English translation of his latest novel, The Museum of the World, came out with HarperCollins India in 2022.

Moritz von Brescius ©privat Moritz von Brescius is currently a fellow of the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History at Harvard University. He is also a senior lecturer in modern history at University of Bern. His first book was published as German Science in the Age of Empire: Enterprise, Opportunity and the Schlagintweit Brothers (Cambridge University Press, 2018). It investigated the national, imperial, and indigenous interests in one of the largest and most controversial expeditions of the mid-19th century: the four-year research mission to India and Central Asia, undertaken in the service of the British East India Company by the Munich-based Schlagintweit Brothers. This work has been awarded several prestigious research prizes.

Nikhil Rao ©privat Nikhil Rao is Associate Professor of History at Wellesley College. His book titled House, But No Garden. Apartment Living in Bombay’s Suburbs, 1898-1964 was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2013.