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Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin in Marzahn

Mendel Adenauer, already known to Möring readers from his debut novel "Mendel", is a psychiatrist faced with the mysterious case of a man found wandering. Drawing an arc from the Middle Ages to the present, Marcel Möring - "one of the most important European storytellers of his generation" [Die Welt] - takes up the motif of the Wandering Jew as well as the legend of the Book of Raziel, which Adam is said to have received after the expulsion from paradise.

Marcel Möring
Marcel Möring © Keke Keukelaar

Translation: Helga van Beuningen

Biography Marcel Möring [Netherlands]

Marcel Möring was born in Enschede in 1957. He made his debut in 1990 with the novel "Mendels erfenis" (Engl. "Mendel," 2003), for which he was awarded the Geertjan Lubberhuizenprijs, the most important debut prize in the Netherlands. Protagonist Mendel Adenauer, who shares the author's birth year and Jewish origins, has heard his family's stories from an early age: fully assimilated, they lived as respected citizens in a small Dutch town until they were deported to Eastern Europe during the Nazi era. Mendel's mother and grandparents survived the Holocaust and then returned to the Netherlands. Mendel suffers from feelings of guilt not atypical of the Holocaust-survivor generation, and when his grandparents and mother die in quick succession, he falls into a deep psychological crisis. Other titles from Marcel Möring's extensive oeuvre, whose main themes are the past and remembering, responsibility and guilt, have also appeared in German translation, including the novel "DIS" (2006; Engl. "Der nächtige Ort," 2009), which was awarded the F. Bordewijk-prijs for the best Dutch novel of the year. Set in the 1980s in the small Dutch town of Assen, Holocaust survivor Jakob Noach takes stock of his life on a warm summer night. After the war, he has achieved prosperity and recognition as an entrepreneur. But the way he appears to the outside world does not resonate within him. With its multiple perspectives, the novel also tells the story of the Jewish intellectual Marcus Kolpa, who was once in love with Jacob's daughter. In 2022, Marcel Möring's two most recent novels, "Eden" (2016) and "Amen" (2019), appeared in German translation. "Amen" tells the story of Samuel Hagenau, an archaeologist at the former Nazi transit camp Westerbork who has recently been abandoned by his wife. While walking in the woods, he discovers a burned-out car including a body. It turns out that the man is a former member of the RAF - in whose terror the protagonist sees a reaction to the repressed guilt of the Nazi perpetrator generation. "Loss of love, guilt, rage - individual, political and historical. Marcel Möring turns a big wheel and connects a whole series of complex questions in his slim, risk-taking novel," found WDR. "Eden" provides readers with a reunion with Mendel Adenauer. Now working as a psychiatrist, he is confronted with the mysterious case of a man who is found wandering in the forest and disappears again. By linking two storylines, Marcel Möring creates an arc from the Middle Ages to the present day, taking up the motif of the Wandering Jew as well as the legend of the Book of Raziel, which Adam is said to have received from the hands of an angel after his expulsion from paradise. Marcel Möring lives in Rotterdam.

  • Mendel (Luchterhand Literaturverlag, Munich, 2003, tr: Helga van Beuningen)
  • The Nocturnal Place (Luchterhand Literaturverlag, Munich, 2009, tr: Helga van Beuningen)
  • Eden (Luchterhand Literaturverlag, Munich, 2022, t: Helga van Beuningen)
  • Amen (Luchterhand Literaturverlag, Munich, 2022, t: Helga van Beuningen)
Additional information
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Bezirkszentralbibliothek "Mark Twain"