Irre by Rainald Goetz
Oh, dear worst-reader, worst-writer is a third into a book that he dislikes dearly which he may or may not write about on account he might not finish it. This sort of thing happens every once-a-once and I suppose it’s inevitable. Still. I don’t like writing about a book that I’ve only started and might not finish. High hopes that it would be something significant or something worth spending my semi-retired time on has run its course. So. Let me move on to this post and worst-write something about a book that I did finish. Wait. It was so long ago. I think I finished it. Of course I finished it. Oh my.
There is one book in my sloppy, unorganised collection that always stands out. It’s Rainald Goetz‘s (not quite a novel) Irre. The title translates to either “crazy” or “mad”. I prefer the latter. This is the one book that has been with me no matter what since I felt confident enough to actually read German. Even though I prefer a clean desk when I’m working, I’m pretty sloppy when it comes to everything else. Except for this book. If I’m clamouring around my collection to find my old copy of “Wagons Full of Cotton” by Tennesse Williams or copy #3 of Waiting For Godot (which is filled with my best notes), I always come across Irre. It seems to just lay where ever I’m looking as though its ghost has been attached to me since day #1 (in this German language). Heck, even twenty years after first reading it, if I’m watching a podcast or listing to some Miles Davis, if I stretch my weary head, turn my neck to relax it, Irreis right there in my view. I even hid it under some chick’s bed once to try and get away from it. But then she brought it back to me when she broke up with me. So I reckon it’s about time I post something about it, eh? The book that haunts me.
That said, I’m not sure I’ve ever understood anything I’ve ever read in Irre. The book itself isIrre. And even though it’s marketed and sold as a novel (Roman) it can’t be one. It doesn’t have a story and everything in it is kind of… Irre. So I guess I’d better stop there before I dig this hole of literary misunderstanding any deeper. Except for the idear that Irre is about something. And I think that something has to do with being German and working and not crying.
For those interested, the vid below is Rainald Goetz, the author of Irre, reading some of his (other) work. If you’re queazy about blood (like I am) then be advised that this vid might not be for you. At the least, Rainald Goetz is either deeply connected to his work or he has a perverse way of selling it. Plus, it didn’t help him win any prize.
Or did it?