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Dietmar Dath  [ Germany ]

Biography

Guest 2010.

Bibliography

Cordula killt dich! oder
Wir sind doch nicht Nemesis von jedem Pfeifenheini
Verbrecher-Verlag
Berlin, 1995

Für immer in Honig
Implex
Berlin, 2005

Maschinenwinter
Wissen, Technik, Sozialismus
Eine Streitschrift
Suhrkamp
Frankfurt/Main, 2008

Die Abschaffung der Arten
Suhrkamp
Frankfurt/Main, 2008

Deutschland macht dicht
Suhrkamp
Berlin, 2010

Dietmar Dath was born in 1970 in Rheinfelden (Baden). He grew up in Schopfheim and after finishing school studied Physics and Literary Studies in Freiburg. As a student he had already begun to publish – under pseudonyms like David Dalek or Dieter Draht – literary and journalistic contributions on society and pop culture in newspapers and magazines, both in Germany and abroad. He also received attention for his translations of English-language cult authors like Joe R. Lansdale and Buddy Giovinazzo. Dath was chief editor at »Spex« magazine from 1998 to 2000 before moving to the »Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung« in 2007 to edit the cultural pages.

Dath published his first novel, »Cordula killt dich!« (tr: Cordula kills you!) in 1995. This was followed by other novels, including »Die Ehre des Rudels« (1996, tr: The Honour of the Pack), »Am blinden Ufer« (2000, tr: On the Blind Shore), »Phonon oder Staat ohne Namen« (2001, tr. Phonon, or The Town Without a Name) and »Schwester Mitternacht« (2002, tr. Sister Midnight). His novels often contain elements of autobiography: characters have alliterative names like David Dalek or Martin Mahr, they come from small towns in Baden and work in newspaper offices. His themes cover a broad spectrum, from pop culture and quantum physics to Marxism, science fiction and genetic technologies. He has described the novel as an »omnivorous form«. The author's writing, which advocates the abolishment of capitalism, is not about »how it is, but instead how it should be, how it will hopefully not be, or how it could be neutral. And these happen to be speculative or fantastic texts.« An example of his development towards a more monumental style is his 1,000-page novel »Für immer Honig« (2005, tr: Honey For Ever), in which he updates Leninist theories. It is about violent right-wing radicals in provincial Baden, zombies and demon-hunters, and covers social-theoretical, musical and literary-aesthetic discourses, as well as referencing US TV series. In 2009 the internet site litradio.net posted the entire novel in 62 readings. In his essay »Maschinenwinter« (2008, tr: Winter of the Machines), a polemic about capitalism and its alternatives, Dath denounces the inhumanity and obscenity of capitalist economic and financial behaviour. His most recent novel, »Deutschland macht dicht« (2010, tr: Germany Closes Down) is about the current economic crisis and tells a fantastic, comic-like story of the battle against the capitalist beast.

Dath received the Honour Award of the Lessing Prize for Criticism in 2008, and in 2009 the Honour Award for Literature from the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. He lives in Frankfurt am Main and in Freiburg.

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