A short story is a glance into the cathedral of human being, a novel is the cathedral itself. Thus, though I wrote a number of short stories, I prefer to work on novels, as they need not only to be written, but have to be constructed. It is not only the plot that is necessary, but also a concept of time and space. I do not like novels that are nothing more than a sequence of short stories, or, much worse, a single short prose text filled up with thousands of superfluous words. Therefore, all my novels in some way connect different temporal and geographical layers or contexts. For example, my novel “Zweierlei Krieg” puts events during the┬áThirty Years’ War in relationship to the First World War.

Some people say that then the construction gets too complicated, and that the reader does not want to change the context several times during reading.

Maybe, maybe not. But most of the overwhelming novels I ever read did exactly that: They changed the context several times, avoiding being one-dimensional. “The War of the End of the World” by Mario Vargas Llosa is a great example for this, as well as “In the First Circle” by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn.

Parent page: Prose
Child page: The Days of the Caliphate