Evenings with harry rowohlt are like meeting an old buddy again after a few years: we've grown older, sure, we're not quite as fit as we used to be, the days of all-nighters are over, but all in all we wear our gray hair with grace. Of course, we have not changed fundamentally, we also repeat ourselves and tell the stories of the past over and over again, but that is the right of us old people; perhaps the new generation has not heard it yet?
In the bamberg theater, which was sold out to the last seat on sunday evening, there were quite a few newcomers. Facebook (which rowohlt is guaranteed to hate) "lindenstraben"-fame, parental recommendation? One does not know. Everyone, from teenagers to grandmothers, gurgled and laughed.
Yet the 68-year-old translator (182 books), author, reciter, actor (bum in the "lindenstrabe") is anything but a gaudy lad, or even a "comedian". He is a humourist, sure, but one who can shimmer all facets of the comic art from the vulgar to the highly humorous with aplomb. The newcomer to rowohlt may think he's looking at an honorably graying addictive philip. Made: in terms of linguistic accuracy, correct pronunciation, translation, the man is a pedant. And stock conservative!
Springer boycott since 1967
Progressive conservative, in the sense that he adheres to the springer boycott announced in 1967 and is a contributor to a "modern news magazine" as "focus-half-monkey dubbed. But harry rowohlt is on the left, still and despite all that. Naturgemab not dogged, always with a touch of self-irony. He flashes it when he reports on his appearance at a rally for mumia abu-jamal, an icon of the radical left. But his commitment to the FC st. Pauli comes from the deepest heart.
Of course, after the fourth or fifth time, one is familiar with the rowohlt standards, such as the "slime phase" or the coquetry with the nom de guerre "paganini of digression". Which he undoubtedly is. The recital of a poem by shel silverstein or a passage from the ingenious children's book "you're a bad man, mr gum" by andy stanton can drag on for a quarter of an hour, because rowohlt intersperses anecdotes from his life as a traveling entertainer or translator, jokes, biographical snippets, linguistic digressions. Who don't seem to be smart-alecky, but are funny. Why didn't you have such a teacher in school??
Of course harry rowohlt is aging too. The "schausaufen he has had to give up because of polyneuropathy, which he admits disarmingly openly right at the beginning. He wouldn't be rowohlt if he didn't turn it into a gag right away. He no longer extemporizes about irish whiskey, but talks a lot about his hometown hamburg ("the brackets are the mud sluices in my lyrics"), including hamburg anthems after the break. Also an old rowohlt hat, but don't you always have to listen to your favorite record?? If one also all "pooh's-corner"-columns half by heart, one laughs nevertheless at the soundsovielt lecture, again and again.
Not only preserved
It is by no means the case that rowohlt only preserves auarmt. You could follow his literary tips without checking – if you didn't already appreciate someone like frank schulz for years yourself. The irean flann o'brien is only so well known in germany thanks to rowohlt, and had one published andy stanton's shragen children's books, if not bold "german by harry rowohlt" on the cover hour?
Even without mental potion, the marathon man among the lecture artists tells and reads for almost four hours, at the end jan neumann's grotesque "knolls katzen". Once again, rowohlt was in such great form that one forgave and forgave many an insecurity, many a slip of the tongue before the intermission. Another successful meeting with an old buddy. Until the next time!