18 September 2013

Authors shine while Harbour Front 'Festival' and Spiegel flop: German Book Prize reading with Mirko Bonné and Monika Zeiner

I want to admire Mirko Bonné for the way he does what he does. It's evident that he's not really enjoying the event, but he gets on with it professionally, dealing with Claudia Voigt (Der Spiegel) and her questions patiently, courteously even. Doing events like these are a necessary evil for Bonné if he wants to hold on to the working conditions that he's earned for himself, through which he can live as a full-time writer in the year 2013. Yet apart from giving a small number of writers an income out of which they can write, it's hard to see who the event last Saturday and other similar readings are meant to serve; and why we as an audience should contribute to serving these people.