Dimension2: Contemporary German-Language Literature

WIDMER, Urs
Urs Widmer, born in Basel in 1938, now lives in Zurich. As usual, his most recent books, Liebesbrief für Mary and Im Kongo , have been published with Diogenes in Switzerland. Liebesbrief für Mary , however, is unusual, but, then, he always writes unusual stories. There is a touch of magic present in the narration with the "songlines" that establish invisible connections between places and people. What is even more unusual about this book is the simple fact that the love letter itself is written in English, embedded in a German text that consists of the brief narrative frame and the "author's" comments that interrupt the love letter on several occasions.
Widmer has emerged ojver the years as one of the major Swiss prose writers. His work is characterized by the use of irony and often explores the outer limits of reality, bordering on the surreal; the latter quality can be seen, for example, in the novel Im Kongo.
Critics have also observed Widmer's interest in adventure stories; the one from Im Kongo takes its protagonist and narrator from coming to terms with his father at home to an adventure in the Congo.

Liebesbrief für Mary (Love Letter for Mary ): Vol. 1, No. 1

Im Kongo (In the Congo ): Vol. 4, No. 1

Monolog über die Trägheit (Monologue on Lethargy) from Vor uns die Sintflut (Zurich: Diogenes Verlag, 1998): Vol. 6, No. 1

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