O Catilina /Kudrun’s Diary
“Albert Drach, together with Elias Canetti, is the most original writers of the German language.” Times Literary Supplement
A traitor to the fatherland or social revolutionary, criminal or moral philosopher? Albert Drach reveals his sympathy for the historical figure of Catilina and, in the course of his exploration, he is influenced by discussions of contemporary issues such as terrorism or nuclear weapons. This young first-person narrator is embroiled in a myriad of crimes that turn out to be feverish dreams. The previously unpublished text Kudrun’s Diary is an adaptation of the Middle High German heroic epic and focuses on the psychological outlining of the main character: in her personal notes, Kudrun appears to be a self-confident, pragmatic and – despite her imprisonment – a largely self-determined woman, whose need for revenge was increasingly replaced by a readiness for reconciliation.
In these late prose texts, which are probably among his most radical, Albert Drach explores the lives of the Roman rebel Catilina and Princess Kudrun from the Middle High German heroic epic. And in doing so, he makes surprising contemporary references to the main characters.