Jens Walther’s Abstieg vom Zauberberg (1997): A Literary Reflection on the World of Publishing in the Postmodern World

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Abstract

The world of book publishing is currently undergoing a major paradigm shift, but this was already fully under way in the 1990s. In the German novel Abstieg vom Zauberberg, published in 1997 by an anonymous author under the pseudonym Jens Walther, we are given an excellent insider view of the concrete situation within literary publishing houses and how they operate behind the scene and in public to secure the best possible titles and to fend off manuscripts that appear to be trivial literature. The author proves to be highly educated in the history of German and western literature at large and also demonstrates great expertise regarding book fairs, book reviews, and book prizes, framing all this by a somewhat twisted love story involving a young author, Anna Becker, and two men, first the young Johannes Rieger, then his father Helmut Rieger, both representing the fictional publishing house Engsfeld.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-42
Number of pages11
JournalPublishing Research Quarterly
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Keywords

  • Book fairs
  • Book market
  • Book publishing
  • Book reviewers
  • Canonical literature
  • Contemporary literature
  • Journalists
  • Modern theater
  • Prizes for literature
  • TV and literature
  • The internet and literature
  • Trivial literature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Communication
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Marketing
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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