"Of course, I would rather be a winner than a candidate, but it's basically a matter of being more defeated than the winners." By the way, you should not take those awards seriously, more important than the prices are probably all agreed, books are, "wrote Peter Stamm requests Friday by post.
For the first time he was nominated for the Swiss Book Prize, the previous double win was given to the other. In the media, the author was often referred to as "regular guest" or "eternal candidate". That's over. Yesterday, Peter Stamm won this year's Swiss Book Award for his novel "Soft Indifference to the World".
At the ceremony, the author then said, "There are no best books." Books are not like tennis players: "Every book is for a particular reader." He bowed to his four colleagues nominated by the authors: The most beautiful thing about the book was that she had met with four authors at the Reading Tour, and that they were never competitors – or very briefly.
Critics and Downers
Gross was interested in yesterday's award ceremony at the Basel Theater's foyer, additional lines had to be set up, and galleries were crowded. Two themes hung in the room, but they were gracefully caught. On the one hand, the basic criticism of the tenth anniversary of the award last year. SRF "Literaturclub" moderator Nicola Steiner put her finger on the painful spot on the annual events and questioned the dual role of certain jurors. As a result, there was a storm in the scene, the lecturer got to the center. Meanwhile, the waves were wiped out, the rules were revised and focused. For example, jurors are no longer able to submit their candidates in newspaper articles or settle events with them after a short list has been announced. The only downside: the chance was desperately lacking in the rehabilitation of Steiner.
The second was the harsh criticism of the jury following the announcement of this shortened list. Jury spokesman Manfred Papst condemned the accusations of some media and the conciliatory talk that no one can please everyone. Criticism is criticized. There are three good concepts for him: personal signature, conscience and urgency.
Exactly with these terms, all nominated books can be nominated. In the online public poll of these newspapers, Gianna Molinari plunged to the top with her debut "Here's Still Possible". Heinz Helle "Overcoming Gravity" introduced a novel that negotiates the great questions of mankind with linguistic virtuosity. Together with Peter Stamm these two books were popular. There were voices in the audience that would like something political, such as Vincenza Todisco's "Das Eidechsenkind" winner book. Or the confrontation with the future, which is already evident today, as in Julia Lucadous dystopia "The skyscraper". Or after Jonas Lüscher and Christian Kracht for the previous two years again, a woman?
Political and feminine
Petra Stamma's novel, however, is not an apolitical book. And perhaps the novel can also be described as a woman if we use the "gender" category of thinking that has recently attacked the overseas war. Female power is not related to biological sex if it is meaningful, especially in the fact that it is often associated with inferiority. Petra Stamm's novel is about inwardness, which is often associated with a woman. He wrote a thriller, a novel of romance, a romantic novel, and a psychodrama, BaZ Christine Richard's former literary critic said in her horror. But: "In essence, it is the existence of a person. The story of the novel is the narrative itself."
In this way, the novel will appear to be quite political at first glance. It is about the interaction of writing, understanding, remembering and life. Peter Stamm found the perfect form for it. His choice was not just because of two previous nominations or because of his reputation abroad. On the contrary. Now it is clear why Peter Stamm did not get the price before: This novel is even better.