In the beginning there is always a child. The child has experiences and becomes the man or woman who remembers and, perhaps, the artist who imagines, reimagines and creates.
There are rare writers who inform and enthral, even terrify. The gifted German enigma Wolfgang Koeppen (1906-1990) is one such witness: candid and strange, allusive, unsettling. Time and again in his five singular novels Koeppen stage-manages an unforgettable scene.
There’s nothing surprising in this: Koeppen worked in theatre and also film. He was always writing, even when nothing spilled on to the waiting pages. He wrote, or at least contemplated writing, in a dimly lit apartment in which three typewriters, each primed with a blank sheet, were ready for the words that teemed through his thoughts, if not actually into print.