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Biggish and smallish words with the writer Matthias Politycki

Not tough, but sometimes tortured

Matthias Politycki 1He’s a man of books and his own latest novel – titled Samarkand Samarkand – is an apocalyptic vision of a world that has, at some time in the near future, descended into global conflict. Against the backdrop of World War Three, a German military veteran, a lone wolf, heads to Uzbekistan on a mysterious deadly mission. It’s brutal, it’s violent. The author of this dark story is Matthias Politycki: my latest guest on Talking Germany.

Date

April 28, 2014

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DW at DW

The good, the bad, and the funny

“I’m good,” he says. It doesn’t sound like much. But it’s a lot. “I’ve just had my monthly check-up. And everything was fine.” A moment’s hesitation, then: “I have much to be grateful for.” It’s David Wagner speaking. Writer by profession. His most recent book: a Joan Didion-esque meditation on the liver transplant he was forced to undergo in 2007. It’s called, quite simply, Life. David is my latest guest on Talking Germany.

Date

August 16, 2013

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David Wagner’s Movie Pick

David Wagner is widely travelled. He’s lived in Rome, Barcelona, Mexico City and Paris. So, when I ask him for his FMOAT, he responds with a full French flourish: “Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie.” Luis Bunuel’s 1972 surrealist masterpiece, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, is a great choice. Un bon choix!

Date

August 16, 2013

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Andreas Altmann – man in black

Tough outer shell; soft core

He turns up dressed all in black. Including a rather stylish leather jacket. (I later learn that he has 13 others!) So what’s it all about? The black look? “Armani,” he fires back, “says that black is a state of mind.” The man with the black state of mind is my latest guest on Talking Germany: the writer and traveller Andreas Altmann. Among the things he’s written about are the bleak, bleak days of his childhood, which were plainly what Germans call grausam: horrible, tortured … black.

Date

June 6, 2013

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The pains and pleasures of Bodo Kirchhoff

Love, fundamentally

Of course I had read it! Not without a little trepidation, I will admit. It is, after all, a heavyweight volume of 670 pages – plenty of work, therefore. So I hoped it would be good. And it is: excellent, in fact. A compendious, compelling, frank and poetic study of love. Of the pleasure. And the pain. It’s the latest novel by Bodo Kirchhoff, who is also my latest guest on Talking Germany. The critics say it’s his best.

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Date

March 18, 2013

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