Why are Koreans so self-humiliated

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You spend your days somewhere in the heart of society, settle down, live an inconspicuous life on the whole, nothing unusual is noticeable from the outside. And yet in the weak moments there is something liberating, also strangely threatening, something that can catapult you out of this everyday life from one moment to the next. Stephan Wackwitz 'essays tell of this other world, in which it is not calculated and controlled, the world of daydreams and fantasies, art, a world of exertion and knowledge. It is the world next to the world as we know it, but in which the real thing happens. And that can be anywhere: in a bank and the park next to it, in a Japanese bookstore, in the adult utterly incomprehensible realm of pokemons, while drinking tea in the morning or taking a walk.

Review note on Frankfurter Rundschau, November 28, 2002

Reviewer Rudolf Walther is implacable after reading it: If the author wants to publish something again, then "he should calmly, but - please - the highly esteemed Fischer-Verlag should prevent us from reading what has been written". Stephan Wackwitz writes ten stories from his life and, according to the reviewer, he remains very banal despite or precisely because of the regular excursions into social criticism. The ten essays would be nothing but "embarrassments and platitudes", complains Walther. In the first text, a friend asks a friend if an erection hurts, which prompts the author to start a little discourse on the literature on erection. This in turn causes the reviewer to denounce the author of "bloated insignificance". In the review, quotes from the book and cynical comments from the reviewer regularly alternate: "And hardly has the father, who knows his Baudelaire and reports about the ennui breaking into the world of eight-year-old children, has halfway recovered than he is with the 'state of our modern communities and our systemically differentiated economy', with Stalin, Trotsky and Heidegger. "

Review note on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 27, 2002

"Good essays are rare because good essayists are rare," says Burkhard Scherer, who approached Stephan Wackwitz's collection of essays with some suspicion. Although he has shown for a long time that he can write good essays, nevertheless, says Scherer, that does not mean that he can also present successful collections of this genre. But the reviewer's doubts vanished in an instant that the book as a whole was "significantly more" than the sum of the ten essays compiled here, praised Scherer. These texts are also so good and "multi-faceted" that you can read them more often and - the reviewers are most pleased about this - they also go far beyond the genre and include the author's autobiographical reflections. this collection has become "a very discreet" educational novel.
Read the review at buecher.de

Review note on Neue Z├╝rcher Zeitung, August 10, 2002

In this ten-year collection of essays, Stephan Wackwitz breaks a lance for the "poets of the little one", the reviewer says happily with the abbreviation "sfr". His "lucid, well-formed and often graceful texts", enthuses "sfr", have a clear message: both author and reviewer think very little of the "erection literature", those snap shots in German literature, a sign of an "overproduction crisis" for Wackwitz. "Sfr" rather considers Wackwitz 'profound knowledge of Western intellectual history "and his precise power of observation especially of everyday life to be beneficial. Only very rarely, the reviewer notes a tiny criticism, does the author rely on" foreign words "and lose" academic weightlifting " "its" lightness ".

Review note on Die Tageszeitung, June 19, 2002

The reviewer Dirk Knipphals liked Stephan Wackwitz's essay volume very much. With a grin, he is pleased that Wackwitz knows how to tackle the "really important issues" far away from "difficult-to-think poses" such as the "mild antisociality of men" or going for a walk, with unobtrusive literacy and in pleasant "wandering associations". Here "irony and seriousness", "melancholy and sheer joke" meet, from which the reader gains both fun and insight. According to the reviewer, a book full of surprises.