Literature – three times
the banana problem Olivia Wenzel has written a novel about a black East German woman, the white of their privileges.Felix Stephan0 comment Olivia Wenzel was born in 1985 in Weimar, Germany, she now lives in Berlin-Schöneberg. Juliane Werner/S. Fischer Verlag

The everyday life of the Narrator in Olivia Wenceslas novel “1000 switchbacks fear” is dominated by micro-aggressions, the bales-among other things-whenever you eat in Public with a banana. In the book, this experimental arrangement is called “three times is a Problem with the banana”: As a black Person, the banana associations for the monkeys to Wake, as the Ossi to the traditional East German consumption inferiority and as a woman to have oral sex. During a trip to New York, but the Narrator is experiencing this here: “In New York, I go to the Fifth Avenue, and eat at ease a banana. And then I realize: That was just a small Moment, the other freedom call.”

The book of the 1985-born author is kept, for the most part, in dialogue Form, but still not sokratisch. One of the two voices übergriffige questions, the other answers carefully. That you never know who is participating in this conversation at all part, is part of the design principle. It could be a conversation between the I and the I, between the author and the protagonist, between analyst and patient, between the Narrator and her demons.

Black and conservative

The questions are often of the kind, how do you get them from Facebook asked: Where are you right now? How are you? What are you doing? At one point, but the voice hits a sore point, as she asks the fateful question: “You flirt like with capitalism, is it?” The whole truth is also that the Narrator does not want to do without, as a German citizen on the benefits of capitalism too.

she takes trips to New York, Morocco, Vietnam, makes for interesting experiences with other cultures, try different therapists, and takes the role as the Damned of the earth, not even himself. And it is precisely this relationship that makes “1000 switchbacks fear” a remarkable book: The Narrator struggles with the fact that at the same time drückerin and suppressed.

Olivia Wenceslas Narrator is conscious of the role played by racist and sexist Stereotypes in your life, is emancipated but at the same time, in turn, stifling minority identity. The freedom that you gained so, is, ultimately, that you to your history in relationship, without letting her dominate you. This step is significant because it decouples identity political and the left Think. You can be black, conservative and German at the same time.Olivia Wenzel: 1000 Switchbacks Fear. Roman. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt 2020. 352 p., 30 Fr.

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