The Wild and the Orderly
Peter von Matt, who celebrates his 70th birthday on May 20, 2007, is an exceptionally gifted expounder of literature. With contagious enthusiasm, he lets his readers participate in his discoveries – en gros and en détail. In a new book that embraces German literature from Lichtenberg to Freud, from E.T.A. Hoffmann to Ingeborg Bachmann and Elfriede Jelinek, from Goethe to Kafka and Heiner Müller, Peter von Matt once more proves that he knows how to combine the scholarly perspective on texts with extensive life experience. Whether he writes about the "Storm Clouds of Modernism" or "Eros in Politics", about the "Chief's Crisis" or "Death and Laughter", about the theatre or the library – every one of his precise and amusing essays is a small piece of art which illustrates why literature is so important in life, and why life itself is, sometimes, literature.