Daniel Kehlmann. 2007. Beerholms Vorstellung. rororo. Hamburg. Daniel Kehlmann is from the younger generation of German authors. He was born in Munich in 1975, but lives in Vienna today. His most famous book is Measuring the world, one of the best selling German books in recent literature history. Kehlmann has been criticised a lot but nevertheless he seems to be one of the most popular authors in post war literature history.
I read the book Beerholms Vorstellung (probably Beerholm’s imagination in English, it’s not been translated yet) in German and I enjoyed it. It tells the story about the boy Beerholm whose mother is killed by a thunderstorm. His adopted father, Beerholm senior, merries anew and young Beerholm is sent to Switzerland to a bording school. He develops a deep interest for card tricks and true magic as well as mathematics and then, at the end of his time in school, he decides to study theology. His life is driving him insane and so he quits his studies to learn from the greatest wizard of all times.
I don’t really know what to think of this book. It’s written almost stream of conciousness-like but yet… it isn’t. It’s hard to describe and hard to get the point of it. I enjoyed reading it, but it didn’t really leave me totally satisfied, especially regarding the fact that I picked it as a representative for my own homecountry. Still we share the same question: What are we exactly looking for? Young Beerholm was looking for a meaning in his life and I am still looking for the meaning of reading a book from each country in the world. Maybe we will find an answer at the end of our journey. Beerholm seemed to have found one.