Faserland

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Faserland
Author Christian Kracht
Original title Faserland
Country Germany, Switzerland
Language German
Genre Pop Literature
Published 1995
Pages 165
ISBN 3462024078
OCLC 33834433
Followed by 1979

Faserland ("land of fibers")[1] is the debut novel by Christian Kracht, published in 1995. It is considered to have triggered the new wave of German pop literature. It is the swan song of the generation of the 80's, whose characteristics are so carefully described in the book that it has been called the "cult novel of a generation". Critics often compare the book to those of the American author Bret Easton Ellis.

Faserland has been translated into Russian, Czech,[2] Latvian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Korean, Romanian, Swedish and Hebrew.

Plot[edit]

The picaresque novel tells the story of a journey. The unnamed narrator is in his late twenties and is the son of a wealthy family, and travels south from the northernmost tip of Germany down to the Bodensee and onwards to Zürich. He is more an involuntary observer than participant in the events that unfold. He begins in Sylt and heads through Hamburg, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Munich, Meersburg, and finally Zürich. In each of these places he has experiences with decadent excesses in the form of alcohol, drugs, and sexual encounters. These excesses are not enjoyed by the participants, but are more an expression of their hopelessness. The protagonist sees the downfall of his generation – a close friend commits suicide – and experiences his own downfall. He also reflects on unhappy memories of youth.

His odyssey, which can be interpreted as either a search for meaning or a long goodbye, ends on Lake Zürich: the references to Greek mythology (Charon, Obolus, and Hades) suggest the narrator's suicide in the middle of the lake. Another interpretation sees the crossing to the other shore as a sign of the homosexuality of the narrator. Neither has been confirmed by Kracht. The ending is left open.

References[edit]

  • Anke S. Biendarra: „Der Erzähler als ‚Popmoderner Flaneur‘ in Christian Krachts Roman Faserland“, in: German Life and Letters 55, 2002, S. 164-179.
  • Stefan Beuse: 154 schöne weiße leere Blätter. Christian Krachts "Faserland", in: Freund/ Freund (Hg.): Der deutsche Roman der Gegenwart. München, Fink 2001, pp. 150–155
  • Frank Finlay: ,„‚Dann wäre Deutschland wie das Wort Neckarauen‘: Surface, Superficiality and Globalisation in Christian Kracht’s Faserland“, in: Stuart Taberner (Hrsg.): German Literature in the Age of Globalisation. Birmingham: University of Birmingham Press, 2004, pp. 189–208.
  • Meike Krüger: Spuren des kollektiven Gedächtnisses im Roman Faserland von Christian Kracht. Växjö: Scripta Minora, 2006. pdf (0.3 MB)
  • Richard Langston: Escape from Germany: Disappearing Bodies and Postmodern Space in Christian Kracht's Prose, in: German Quarterly (Winter 2006), pp. 50–70.
  • Christian Steltz: Wie schreibt man sich in die Geschichte ein? Eine gattungspoetische Betrachtung von Christian Krachts Romandebüt "Faserland", in: Corinna Schlicht (Hrsg.): Lebensentwürfe. Literatur- und filmwissenschaftliche Anmerkungen. Oberhausen: Karl Maria Laufen, 2005 (= Autoren im Kontext, Band 7), pp. 33–48