Dimension2: Contemporary German-Language Literature

Jürgen Benvenuti, born in Bregenz in 1972, now lives in Vienna where he writes thrillers and detective stories. In her interview from Volume 4 Number 2, Ulrike Längle discusses the work of the Vorarlerber Litaraturarchiv and of how Jürgen Benvenuti began his writing career:

"On the one hand then, new publications by authors from Vorarlberg are introduced on a regular basis. On the other hand, we sponsor other events; for example, in conjunction with the writers' union, we have introduced new authors. The first event was called "Wachablöse" [Changing of the Guard], and it was quite bold. They were young, unknown authors from Vorarlbert. One of them, his name is Jürgen Benvenuti, was completely unknown at the time. He was a young man with tatoos on his head, completely bald. he stepped up to the podium holding a beer bottle in his hand and read from the manuscript of a novel. In the meantime he has published three thrillers with Deuticke publishers in Vienna and is considered by the Viennese in-group to be a sought-after and chic writer of thrillers. And that was his first reading here.
At one point he had sent some texts to me--I still remember it quite well--and I had no idea who he was. He wrote in his letter that he was writing short stories and would like to send msome of them to me and whether I could tell him if they amounted to anything. And he didn't believe that I would call him anyway, but just in case he wrote down his telephone number. The texts were like American short stories, quite amusing. And I thought if the telephone number is right there, then I'll just give him a call. As a result, he sent me more stories and then dropped by here.
During this visit he spoke about himself, for example that he hasn't univeristy entrance qualifications, has hitch-hiked about the world, would like to work as a writer--and if I couldn't do something for him. I explained to him that it would be difficult. But there is a magazine, called Kultur, which is focused on Vorarlberg. I placed him in one issue as a literary contribution. I also told him that I could do a reading, but that for a completely unknown writer, who had not yet published anythnig, perhaps ten people would show up. Then I had this thought that we could simply have several writers reading together along with a podium discussion on the position of young writers in Vorarlberg. The head of the lietarature studio from the radio station was there as well as somebody from the writers' union. On this occasion Jürgen Benvenuti was presented to the public for the first time, and he continued to write and to send me his texts. Finally, he finished his first thriller."

Schrottplatzblues (Junkyard Blues ): Vol. 4, No. 2

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