THE SNAKE IN WOLF’S CLOTHING
- A seducer of language and style unlike any other: Michael Maar draws on the sum of his reading life in his main work.
- "I really have no idea what style is. Knowledge of rules, awareness of structure, idiosyncrasies and pleasure in flourishing – there are so many things to factor in. Michael Maar has extensively addressed these questions and therefore knows what he is talking about." - Max Goldt
- "Michael Maar’s book showcases what it is about: the thousand and one possibilities of the German language." - Gustav Seibt
A language and style charmer like no other – in this major work, Michael Maar draws on the sum of his reading experience. What is style, what is jargon, and what traps does almost everyone fall into? How do the elementary particles need to interact for the perfect prose sentence? Maar shows who can do dialogue and who can’t, why Hölderlin is overrated and Rahel Varnhagen underrated, why Kafka is an alien and why Heimito von Doderer is the only one who can hold a candle to Thomas Mann. In fifty portraits, from Kleist to Kronauer, he delicately unfurls a small history of German literature.
After exploring the treasure-house of modern poetry he leads the reader onto the fertile ground of Eros in poetry, exemplifies why Bambi is pornography and how an anonymous writer reveals himself through a stylistic fingerprint. Anyone who finishes Maar’s book, which is academic but an enjoyable read, will be a different reader from now on – and a better writer. Main rule: "There are no rules, at least you can break them all. But you have to be able to."