Events | Conversation on Literature

Wednesday, September 18, 2019  |  Haus der Brandenburgisch-Preußischen Geschichte, Kutschstall, Am Neuen Markt 9, 14467 Potsdam, Germany (Wheelchair accessible)


Location Haus der Brandenburgisch-Preußischen Geschichte, Kutschstall, Am Neuen Markt 9, 14467 Potsdam, Germany (Wheelchair accessible)
Entrance 3,00 €
Contact 0331 62085-50

„Pfaueninsel“ – Das künstliche Paradies

"Peacock Island" – The Artificial Paradise

Thomas Hettche in conversation with Jens Bisky (in German language)

„Pfaueninsel!” wrote Fontane in his Wanderings through the Mark of Brandenburg, “Like a fairy tale, an image from my childhood days rises before me: a castle, palm trees and kangaroos; parrots screeching; peacocks sitting on high perches or doing cartwheels, aviaries, fountains, shadowed meadows; winding paths leading everywhere and nowhere; a mysterious island, an oasis, a carpet of flowers in the middle of the Mark.” In his novel “Pfaueninsel” (Peacock Island), Thomas Hettche, who received a residency fellowship in Wiepersdorf in 1992, explores this oasis in the middle of “Prussian Arcadia,” whereby he has more in common with Fontane than he has with the tragic narrative of unequal love, repudiation and resignation. In a conversation with the journalist and Prussia expert Jens Bisky, Thomas Hettche dissects this Prussian fairy tale about creating a perfect world in an artificial paradise.

Thomas Hettche © Thomas Andenmatten

Thomas Hettche, born in 1964 in the village of Treis at Vogelsberg, studied German language and literature, philosophy and film in Frankfurt am Main. After sojourns in Krakow, Venice, Rome and Los Angeles, he now lives as a freelance writer in Berlin and Switzerland. 2014 saw the publication of the novel “Pfaueninsel” which tells the story of the petite châtelaine Maria Dorothea Strakon, a “little person,” who lived in a castle on the Pfaueninsel on the Havel River, just outside of Berlin from 1810 to 1880. Thomas Hettche has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Robert Walser Prize, the Wilhelm Raabe Prize, the Bavarian Book Prize and the Herrmann Hesse Prize.

Jens Bisky (c) Bernhardt Link

Jens Bisky, born 1966 in Leipzig, studied cultural studies and German language and literature in Berlin. He wrote for the Berliner Zeitung and has been feature editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung since 2001. Jens Bisky is the author of several books including: “Geboren am 13. August” (2004); “Kleist: Eine Biographie” (2007); and “Unser König: Friedrich der Große und seine Zeit.” In 2017, Bisky was awarded the Johann Heinrich Merck Prize for Literary Criticism and Essays by the German Academy for Language and Poetry.

A cooperation of Brandenburgische Gesellschaft für Kultur und Geschichte gGmbH with Cultural Foundation Schloss Wiepersdorf


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