Robert Menasse

Everyone can say I - Stories from the End of the Post-War Order

(German title: Ich kann jeder sagen)
ca. 185 pages
Robert Menasse
Foto: Robert Menasse
© Rafaela Proell

Robert Menasse was born in 1954 in Vienna, where he also grew up. He studied German, Philosophy and Political Science in Vienna, Salzburg and Messina, and received his doctorate in 1980 with a thesis on the character of the outsider in literature. Menasse then spent six years at the University of São Paulo, first as a lecturer for Austrian literature, then as a guest lecturer at the Institute for Literary Theory. There he held lectures on philosophical and aesthetic theories, including on Hegel, Lukács, Benjamin and Adorno. Since his return from Brazil in 1988, Robert Menasse has been a writer and essayist based mainly in Vienna.

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History repeats itself. Memories as well. When did the post-war order come to an end? When did the wall fell? A young pair who spent their wedding night watching TV will remember November 9th, 1989 their entire lives. They experience German history in the making that night. By coincidence.

Because they were really only looking to get married as quickly as possible. The next available appointment at the city registry office was November 9th. Until that day, November 9th had always been associated with the anniversary of the Kristallnacht for the father of groom. »Bah, history,« his son says.

Everyone can say »I«
. 13 first-person narrators recall the experiences and events that shaped their lives. Memories of the day when John F. Kennedy was shot, when the RAF abducted Palmer in Vienna, when Greece won the European Cup in soccer. Memory breeds history. The master story-teller Robert Menasse writes what we have experienced so that we can remember, identify ourselves and be understood one day by whom lives after us.


»Robert Menasse’s new volume of stories poses the question: where was I when something momentous happened? And one must not lose sight of the fact that there are few writers who can mould philosophical and intrinsically valuable working prose in such entertaining ways.« Die Zeit

»The scope of these small narratives yields a complete book, in which the most striking aspect is the distinctive thoroughness with which the narratives are composed. Indeed everyone can say ‘I’, but none can manage it as eclectically as Menasse.« Die Presse

Other publications

Die Hauptstadt/The Capital (2017)

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UK & Commonwealth (MacLehose Press), USA & Canada (W.W.Norton/Liveright), Spanish world rights (Seix Barral), Chinese simplex rights (People's Literature Publishing House), Chinese complex rights (Linking), Russia (Text), Portuguese rights (Dom Quixote), Arabic world rights (AFAQ), France (Verdier), Italy (Sellerio), Netherlands (Arbeiderspers), Denmark (Vandkunsten) Sweden (Weyler), Poland (Noir sur Blanc), Czech Republic (Plus), Hungary (Geopen), Bulgaria (Lege Artis), Lithuania (Tyto Alba), Croatia (Fraktura), Serbia (Arhipelag), Slovenia (Cankarjeva založba), Turkey (Everest), Greece (Patakis), Georgia (Intelekti), Armenia (Antares), India/Hindi (Saar Sansaar)

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Don Juan de La Mancha oder Die Erziehung der Lust/Don Juan de la Mancha or an Education in Pleasure (2007)

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English world rights (Alma Books/Calder Publications), Spanish world rights (Alianza), France (Verdier), Italy (Scritturapura), Netherlands (Arbeiderspers), Czech Republic (Pre-Media), Slovakia (Kalligram), Hungary (Kalligram), Bulgaria (Lege Artis), Latvia (AGB), Lithuania (Pasvires Pasaulis), Hindi (Vani)

Die Vertreibung aus der Hölle/Expulsion from Hell (2001)

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Spanish World Rights (Alianza), Russia (Text), Portugal (Ulisseia), France (Verdier), Netherlands (Arbeiderspers), Norway (Aschehoug), Czech Republic (Academia), Hungary (Ulpius Haz), Bulgaria (Lege Artis), Greece (Polis)