Gunther Geltinger

Moor - Novel

(German title: Moor)
ca. 440 pages
Gunther Geltinger
Foto: Gunther Geltinger
© Jürgen Bauer

Gunther Geltinger was born in 1974 in Erlenbach, and currently lives in Cologne. He studied script-writing and drama at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.
His critically-acclaimed debut Mensch Engel was published in 2008, followed by his second novel Moor in 2013; Fuel is his third novel

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»The stork delivers all little babes – all except Dion, whom the moor made.«

A novel about what we do to escape loneliness: about all the demands we make of love, even as we hurt those around us in a misguided attempt to bear our own suffering. It is linguistically powerful, visually evocative, bold – and it boasts a narrative voice learned from forces of nature, a voice literally extracted from the ground beneath the reader’s feet.

He’s thirteen and growing up without a father. He stutters, and has a name like no other child in the village or the school: Dion. Dion Katthusen, ostracized by his peers, only child, dragonfly collector in a moorland full of myths and legends. At the end of his childhood he tells his story, of a deep desire for faultless speech and of his relationship to his mother, an unsuccessful painter who has compensated for her failure in art and life with her boundary-less relationship with her son. But like the swampy earth surrounding the north German village where he’s grown up, Dion’s speech is full of fissures and holes. Incapacitated, he’s not able to bring narrative order to the chaos in him and around him, and so he lends his voice to a counterpart, which seems to him to be everything else: his childhood landscape. The moor speaks for him.

»The letter K has always been a great enemy, four zags with a sharp sound, and in its wake stands the D, which comes in so fat and round and still sticks in your throat: Dion Katthusen, a massacre.«


»Geltinger risks everything and wins.« KulturSpiegel

»With great feeling, Gunther Geltinger describes the difficult, all but irresolvable conflict that dominates the separation of Marga from her son Dion and blocks both of them from gaining autonomy. […] This powerful, radical book is a triumph.« 3sat Kulturzeit

»With an ear perfectly tuned to registering emotional shade and recognizing the involuntary episodes of self-deception within our emotional and psychological landscapes, Geltinger manages to tell a tale that would not have itself be told. That is something that only great literature can do.« Die Zeit

»For the novel Moor is also a song of praise to nature, to the body. Within the sensitive, poetic descriptions of dragonflies and owls, of weather and light, of the secrets of our ever metamorphosing body, there is a delicate beauty.« Deutschlandfunk

»The fury of images and metaphors, the frenetic chains of associations, the intoxication into which the reader unexpectedly falls – here we are dealing with one who has cast off everything that once inhibited him. One who no longer recognizes any boundaries at all. And that is rather incredible.« Frankfurter Rundschau

»A novel that has the power of a Greek tragedy.« Stuttgarter Nachrichten


Trailer for Gunther Geltinger's new novel Moor:

Other publications

Benzin/Fuel (2019)

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