Man, Asleep

Man, Asleep

Sibylle Berg

A young woman is slowly getting older, but to her, it seems all too fast. The men in her life seem to be getting younger every day – although, sadly, no more intelligent. The world is vacuous and heartless, and love is just a marketing tool for selling soap powder. But then the unthinkable happens – she meets "him", her perfect man, the only one who can truly make her happy. "He wasn't particularly handsome, nor was he rich. Apart from making me feel I was lovable, he had nothing much going for him that I can think of at all." But then she gets a reckless idea stuck in her head: "We should go away together, I thought, as I got into bed, clambering up to lie along the mountain range that was his belly. We should travel." Why do we seek change when we are happy the way things are? Why couldn't she just stay put? They end up stuck on an island with a well-kept beach in some remote corner of China, when the man suddenly disappears. Only the woman is left, and she goes in search of him. Sibylle Berg presents a tale of modern love, using images that are at once melancholic and malicious to describe a world where our only hope of survival is not to be alone – a world that shows no mercy to a woman who, in spite of everything, refuses to surrender her dreams.

"Man, asleep is by turns cynical, melancholic and tender – a novel at once brutally honest and profoundly unsettling in its trenchant compulsion to put everything – itself included – under the diagnostic microscope. Berg holds up a mirror to the reader, catching them out with their unspoken feelings: "It's not as if I was so impressed by my own soul as to wish for another sharing the same inadequacies"." (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

Man, Asleep


Sibylle Berg liest aus "Der Mann schläft"

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