Ending at the Right Time
Johannes Kühn, much praised for his poetry, presents an "old-fashioned" novella about the courage of a man pursuing "his own, different biography" (Wilhelm Genazino). The discovery of a great, unmistakable narrator.
A young man, a student from a small town, spends his vacation working in a sawmill. Germany in the 1950s seems a quiet, almost pre-modern country but the peacefulness is deceptive. Beneath the rural, almost romantic surface the cogs of the world are in motion, and soon even the scattered small businesses move to the rhythm of machines. The young man escapes into nature – and is alarmed as nature, too, begins to seem unfamiliar.
Johannes Kühn tells a story that seems to come from a different era yet requires hindsight to be fully understood. While an entire country dreams of an economic miracle, of progress and wonderful technological developments, Kühn, the outsider, already feels the wounds and losses: the man who seemed behind the times was, in fact, the only clear-sighted person in the vicinity.
Johannes Kühn writes in the characteristic and unmistakable style that has been much praised in his poetry – simultaneously "old-fashioned" and modern, in short: timeless.