The Finishing Touches
Herbert Achternbusch is the Bavarian intellectual par excellence: a cruel mocker, a cynical observer but also a sensitive story-teller. His new book spans, with fascinating indiscretion, an entire life story – from a childhood in the Bavarian Forest to the adventures of a film-maker in the cultural wilderness of the German provinces.
Step by step, sentence by sentence, the seemingly unstaunchable flood of language crystallizes into a single story, a love story, and – of course – a poet's romance may admit no happy ending. But what tragedy can a writer like Achternbusch know? Love and hatred, meetings and separations, all experience is transformed into language. Even the ritual of damning the vanished love – however unfair, indiscrete and destructive it may seem – finally transcends all personal connotations. Nobody else could write of love, passion and despair with such humour and sadness as Herbert Achternbusch does in the story of his "Mongolian dreamwoman".