How do you become a hyper-intellectual

Multimedia literature : Seriousness is our real joy

Vocabulary like from another time: criticism. Resistance. The image of a total industry. Writing a different order. And in the end, the revolutionary promise: “One day we will draw all the consequences”.

What Konstantin Schönfelder and Holm-Uwe Burgemann, the founders of "Pre | Position" (www.praeposition.com), with their “extra-analog space” in mind, which could also be described as a web magazine with multimedia offers, sounds suspiciously little like the present at first.

Maurice Blanchot, the poet thinker of de-subjectified, self-extinguishing speech, haunts here. The post-structuralist Roland Barthes appears as a godfather. And the awkward name goes back to “The silk, the space, the language, the heart”, an essay by the Danish poet Inger Christensen.

"All prepositions," it says, "are most likely to be invisible. They preserve the language in the same way that space supports the planets." Three honorable heads from the ancestral cemetery, but actually nobody who is on the podium in their mid-twenties would lift.

But perhaps this is exactly an expectation that is least cared about by that part of a generation that has barely outgrown the university and that has found a forum here. It sounds like traditional left-wing cultural pessimism when it goes “against the late ironic and pseudo-plebiscitary versions of a present of the simple and shallow”. But it is a seriousness that has to be achieved over and over again.

Regardless of this, the whole thing is not immune to the pretentious. It starts with the rubric titles. The reviews run under “Sentimenthek”, Clara Neubert's podcasts - with the writers Joshua Gross and Senthuran Varatharajah, among others - are called “Gegenwärts”, and a series of primary texts that is still in the making is called “Textures”.

The pound with which this “preposition” proliferates, however, are the conversations: in-depth, sometimes over days, written dialogues and (in extracts) moving images between people who actually want to know something about each other.

Carefully staged encounters, from which neither dreary one-to-one transcripts emerge nor from deliberately casual interviews. The length of up to 70,000 characters alone, which would sometimes be enough for a small book, gives an excellent idea of ​​the respective thinking style of the respondents.

The philosopher Peter Trawny on Berlin's Teufelsberg. The writer Marlene Streeruwitz in the cemetery in Frankfurt. The publisher Sebastian Guggolz in front of his shop on the Rote Insel in Schöneberg.

The theorist Juliane Rebentisch on the entrance steps to the Offenbach University of Design. Or the literary critic Insa Wilke on the train: while speaking, they create portraits of themselves that are deeply personal, even in the refusal to provide personal details.

The Berlin literary and cultural scientist Joseph Vogl has probably never admitted his strangeness to the sensual qualities of literature as openly as in this exposition of his “hypermobile thinking”. He designs himself as a counter-figure to his best friend, the deceased cosmopolitan Roger Willemsen: "Traveling and good travel means joy in expectation, and with me I would speak of reluctance to expect."

But there are also helpful things to understand the narrator and poet Kerstin Preiwuss, who comes from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. With the volume of poetry "Taupunkt" (Berlin Verlag) she has just presented a new example of her brittle art. “When do you start writing,” she asks.

“When I think about it to myself, it comes from childhood. I walk alone through the landscape, through the undergrowth and discover and perceive spaces. I try to make up songs before I learn to read. For me, the writing comes from the clay. The sound was before the books and before reading. Before the terms. It's the tone, the melody. "

Combining this singing, sometimes almost fairy-tale-like with an unusual sensitivity for everything physical with a high capacity for abstraction succeeds convincingly here. However, “Prä | Position” also shines with its airy, spacious design: print virtues and digital possibilities in a seldom intimate unity.

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