WWhen was the last time you read a novel that included maps? It has been a long time since we read “The Lord of the Rings” or “Treasure Island.” Since then, such geographical orientation devices have rarely been found reading, especially in contemporary German literature. It often occurs in environments, whether urban or rural, that seem vaguely familiar to us anyway, and if they have adventurous things to say, they are usually about other relational affairs or adventures that occur in everyday life.
Things are different with Matthias Politeki. After contemporary novels set in Cuba, Uzbekistan or Kilimanjaro, for example, his current book takes us once again into a world that is deliberately depicted as unknown and out of reach, a world of outsiders, mysteriously alluring, fascinating and dangerous. We read “Daisy”, “Mursi”, “Syrian”, “Omo”, “Karo” or “Hamar” on the map on the inside covers of the books. While we still wonder if we have ever heard of it, we are already in the midst of the mixture of travel descriptions, stories of fate, ethnic stories, fantasies of departure and colonial clichés that the novel takes us to: an old-school, risk-filled adventure piece about a journey inland narrated by a tour guide and translator. And a driver.
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