The Finishing Touches

Herbert Achternbusch

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".

The Finishing Touches

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