Friday, July 1, 2016

IT IS NOT COLD -- Ilija Trojanows cli-fi novel "Eistau" -- THE LAMENTATIONS OF ZENO in the 2016 translatiion of the novel by Philip Boehm -- in a 2011 German language review by Laura Hamdorf

Laura Hamdorf wrote in 2011 in Der Speigel Online:
A cruise ship journey through the Antarctic, on board an illustrious company and a clown.
 Ilija Trojanows cli-fi novel "Eistau" -- THE LAMENTATIONS OF ZERNO in the 2016 translatiion of the novel by Philip Boehm --
is the portrait of a desperate ''Climate Saver.''

Zeno hates the tourists on board. You are sparkling wine at the rail schlurfend, see the icebergs rather on the display of your camcorder as in natura, listen to his lectures on the glacier and drive still die car, as well as energy saving lamps is still uncomfortable. The expedition leader Zeno hate this society, which with the ticket of the Antarctic expedition in his opinion only one wants to buy: a better conscience.


Ilija Trojanow, 50, has the climate change on the subject in his new novel "Eistau". A topic that is easily integrated into the work of the author who was born in Bulgaria, scheduled to be in the course of his career with refugees, Islam and the protection of privacy has addressed. His books are protest actions in the form of prose, always relates to topics with current and global relevance.

"Eistau" is not a simple fight font, but the artful plea of a poet. Trojanow leaves his first-person narrator Zeno to the author of a note book, he makes it is scolding, hope and despair - in the most beautiful metaphors, cynical and suffisant.

Zeno has every reason to cynicism, because he has experienced terrible: As a passionate glacier researchers he had his object of research, an alpine glacier, at death watch. He capitulated - before the global warming and before the ignorance of the world population - and gave his profession. "There is no worse nightmare than can no longer be able to save to the staying awake", is the first sentence of the book. Zeno prohibits it from the continued existence of the blue glacier to dream that he is the black and become a painter. His new work is called "expedition leader" on the cruise ship MS HANSEN. There he hopes that his longing for original nature to breast-feed. But the life on board the ship disappointed him: instead to live in harmony with nature, he is to care for the Wealthy tourists responsible in his eyes with the stamp "environmental activist" intend to decorate. Inquisitive listen to his theoretical lectures - before you to dance, to Piano Concerto and the luxury restaurant. See in them Zeno sensationalist ignorant and not succumb to the temptation of rare, during his powerpoint presentations on the history of the Antarctic, callous wutsalven let go - his nickname on board is therefore "mr. Iceberger".

Words like icebergs
Trojanow makes Zeno to radical supermen every despised, of the seriousness of global warming do not see. He even goes so far that he every human desire for pleasure is condemned. Only the crew member Paulina saved him before, is completely in its aggressiveness withdraw: With her for three years he leads an uncomplicated an-bord relationship with each country gear as a matter of course ends. Reluctantly he goes this relationship because the confidence to Paulina is like a concession to the mener crew he hides his world view no, also the status of a special feature:"It is strange if under passionate as passionate,", he writes in his notebook.
Zenos notes to follow, is in some places like a guessing game, because his thoughts seem much further down to many as the marked lines - like an iceberg, of which only the smallest part of water is to be seen. As this is the great art Trojanows: it creates a text interface with an unknown depth, and he leaves the reader swimming - in a large room for interpretation. tricks life. And that is exactly what he despises - because people are for him only capable to destructiveness. "I am tired to be human", writes Zeno.

In addition to much pathos to insignificance of the people and for the interpretation of the significance of the ice remains a on the route: the disaster. It will be announced early, at the end of the novel but only casually mentioned - as was Trojanow themselves from any sensationalism want to dissociate the melting ice priority.
The disaster stems from zenos biggest disappointment: he himself is not better than the antarctic tourist, as he is a passive - apart from the fact that his geological knowledge in his lectures chew the cud. His notebook, it to his conscience chains. Through the documentation of his experiences, he wants to act force. He does at the end also and pulls the only consequence of its extreme views seems appropriate.
The reader must decide where the border runs between zenos commitment for the glaciers and his obsession. And what level of radicalism of the theme of climate change is appropriate.

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