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Doron Rabinovici

Anyway - Novel

(German title: Ohnehin)
ca. 256 pages
Clothbound
2004
Doron Rabinovici
Foto: Doron Rabinovici
© Susanne Schleyer

Doron Rabinovici, writer, essayist, historian, born in 1961 in Tel Aviv. He lives in Vienna since 1964 and has been awarded numerous literature prizes, most recently the Clemens-Brentano-Prize and the Jean-Améry-Prize, both in 2002.

»Rabinovici’s prose strikes a rare balance: it is entertaining, elegant and light, but at the same time full of artistry, genius and nuance.« Tages-Anzeiger

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Bulgaria (Maga Welding)

About

Naschmarkt, heart of Vienna. In this colourful and lively melting-pot of foods and languages, a group of young people from immigrant families revolves around the protagonist Stefan Sandtner, a young neurologist who is certain about nothing, not about his professional vocation, not about his fluctuating relationship to his colleague Sonja, not about his or her friends origins and convictions.

Stefan eludes certainty as soon as it arises, and he is sure about only one thing to commit to - his new love Flora, a Serbian video artist and refugee.
Stefan takes a sabbatical from his work at the clinic to assist his youth friends, Hans and Bärbel Kerber, with the care of their father whose sudden and bewildering illness of the mind causes his memory to fail and sets him back in the year 1945.
Herbert Kerber, now stuck in the selection of his past as an SS officer, represents a first hand study case for Stefan, but an extremely upsetting personal challenge to his daughter Bärbel, who desperately and relentlessly tries to squeeze the monstrosity´s remorse out of her Nazi father´s alienation, which is at the same time permissive and prohibitive.
She urges for a confession -but of what - of guilt? Of rememberance? Of the persistence of the past, or it's omission through silence?
Of letting go or not letting go? How can be sure about who and what we are if we don´t ask the right questions?

Doron Rabinovici´s fluid and vivid language states an urban landscape of the so called comtemporary culture mix which settings at first seem typically Viennese, but in a broader sense affect us all: The novel´s appearant lightness contrasts with the fundamental issues dealt with: hidden and present past, remembering and forgetting, lost expectations, the contradiction between the legacy of traditions and a certain concept of modernity, the assumptions we make about the other, cultural and human-wise, our attitude to the foreigner: the stranger, and how the responsibility we endorse or not reflects and conditions our orientation towards ourself - which are no less than the questionings that constitute our identity.

Other publications

Andernorts/Elsewhere (2010)

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English world rights (Haus Publishing), Italy (La Giuntina), Czech Republic (Archa), Bulgaria (Elias Canetti Society)

Suche nach M/The Search for M (1997)

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English world rights (Ariadne), France (Denoel), Italy (La Giuntina), Bulgaria (Elias Canetti Society), Israel (Zmora Bitan)

Papirnik/Papirn­ik (1994)

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Italy (Il Saggiatore), Poland (Atut)