September 23, 2021

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Asal Dardan book "Reflections of a barbarian"

Asal Dardan book “Reflections of a barbarian”

asal Dardan was nominated for a German Realist Award for his “Barbarian Reflections”. The publisher, in turn, advertises the volume in the “Novels and Stories” category. There are good reasons for both classifications, because the author demonstrates in ten stylistically different chapters what Heinrich von Kleist tried to explain with his essay On the Progressive Production of Ideas During Speech. She carefully circled her texture. Sometimes she settles when an idea seems useful to her, and then again allows others to speak who have already reached the point that she still represents as a hunch. You write from a first-person perspective, suggest essay notes, and then return to literature.

She once recalls the prints of Karl Spitzweg, who adorned the walls of the high-rise apartment in Cologne where she grew up: “Beautiful, earthy backgrounds in which polite people have moved exactly where they belong, but are still a part of the present seem to have escaped.” This leads us to the most important question in Dardan’s book: How do you determine your place in time and in the world?

Global without a fixed location

At that time, the pupil was not yet aware that Spitzweg’s bourgeois sense of humor was itself bourgeois. On the other hand, the forty-three-year-old culturologist sees this paradox immediately. However, it does not serve the reader with complete insights, but rather provides preliminary results. She writes about her parents, who fled Iran to start a new life in Germany, about the problem of finding a stable identity, about the sense of continuing cultural traditions in their new homeland, about NSU and this gender.

Dardan honey:


Asal Dardan: “Reflections of Burberry”.
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Photo: Hoffmann and Camp Verlag

These topics are dealt with against the background of their CV. Dardan, who turns out to be cosmopolitan without a fixed location but with a “clear sense of exile,” summarizes the stages of her life and shows that for her Iran is a story, not an experience because she can’t remember it. At the same time, she reviews the debates in Germany. She is trying to see the individual in the other and the foreigner in herself. Thus it is said of the German communist Olga Pinario Priestes, who was killed by the National Socialists: “I can look for parallels, but they only confirm how good I am and how different I am.”

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