The King Bows Down and Kills
Herta Müller is one of the greatest writers and most powerful narrators of contemporary German literature, and books such as HERZTIER and DER FUCHS WAR DAMALS SCHON DER JÄGER have earned her international fame, too. With DER KÖNIG VERNEIGT SICH UND TÖTET, her first book in Hanser Verlag, Herta Müller examines the political and historical conditions of her own art. Until she emigrated to Germany, her linguistic and political consciousness was formed in the Romanian dictatorship of Ceaucescu. Language is at the centre of all her reflections: language as a tool for exerting power and suppression but also as a means of resistance and self-assertion against totalitarianism.
Her reflections, however, also include memories of childhood and the family where German was spoken. An impressive, sharply contoured picture of a life under absolute control emerges – to which Herta Müller responded by choosing the freedoms of literature.
"Language was and is nowhere and at no time a non-political realm."