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Kehlmann, Daniel

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 24/07/2006

Call for solidarity with Maxim Biller

Three years ago Maxim Biller's novel "Esra" was prohibited shortly after its release. His former girlfriend had obtained a court order against the novel because she claimed to see herself reflected too accurately in the main character of the book. Now she plans to sue Biller for 100,000 euros in damages. 100 prominent cultural figures have signed an appeal in protest, including author Daniel Kehlmann, who comment. "The saddest thing about this case is that anything you say about it becomes a platitude even as you say it: that all writers, no matter how great their powers of imagination, use life as a basis for their work; that had such standards applied in the past, some of the greatest books ever written – 'The Sorrows of young Werther', 'Vanity Fair', 'A la recherche du temps perdu', 'Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family' – would never have been published; that it should not be up to a court to decide the value of a book and to forbid Biller something that Proust and Mann were allowed to do; that it's not acceptable that we introduce a censorship based on personal injury and hurt feelings in a country which, in the not-too-distant past, witnessed so many types of political censorship."

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