In the past however, it was expected that a member of the writing guild would have an own opinion and be a thinker. In fact, controversial statements were once part of a literary author’s job description. But in recent times, independent thinking has become a shortcoming, even among professional thinkers. At least if the thinker comes to a “wrong” conclusion because it is undesirable.
For this very reason, a commitment to read at the Lingnerschloss in Dresden, where Tellkamp wanted to read from his as yet unpublished new novel, was withdrawn on Thursday. The local sponsorship association suddenly remembered its political principle of “neutrality”.
Above all, those responsible have probably remembered that the star writer has a reputation for being a conservative.
The “neutral” hosts have forgotten that the book from which Tellkamp was supposed to read, was not a political manifesto, but his new novel. They were probably afraid that political messages might be hidden in them, worrying that they would not be able to recognize them intellectually.
Uwe Tellkamp is one of the most important German authors of contemporary literature. He has been awarded many prizes, and his books have been absolute favorites for many years, both with the public as well as with critics and the culturally chic readers.
The writer is still extremely popular with the public. The Federal Republic of German culture no longer likes him. The reason for this is that Tellkamp is not interested in the leftist narrative. As reported by the Sächsische Zeitung among others , Uwe Tellkamp warned at the Dresden Palace of Culture against a “dictatorship of the will” and complained that freedom of expression was being undermined in Germany.
In 2017 he was one of the first signatories of the “Charter 2017“, an online petition by the Dresden bookseller Susanne Dagen, which was directed against the exclusion of right-wing and conservative publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
In 2018 Tellkamp noted: “Most [migrants] are not trying to escape war and prosecution but come [to Germany] to migrate into the social support system, more than 95 percent.”
The following year he went even further by making speeches critical of immigration and criticizing the lack of genuine freedom of expression since the migrant crisis in 2015 . In Germany there is a “corridor of attitudes between desired and tolerated opinion”. His opinion was “tolerated, it is not wanted,” Tellkamp explained at the time.
In the wake of his statement, the left-liberal media public told the dissenters how wrong he was with his theses on the supposedly restricted freedom of expression. Publisher Suhrkamp Verlag publicly distanced itself from its successful author on Twitter and a veritable anti-Tellkamp fire broke out in the German media.
Preceding the Leipziger Buchmesse 2018 Tellkamp said: “Most [refugees] are not trying to escape war and prosecution but come [to Germany] to migrate into the social support system, more than 95%.
The author continued, largely unimpressed, to work on what was once considered a literary and intellectual task. He allowed himself to have his own ideas and to give society new food for thought.
Together with Henryk M. Broder, Matthias Matussek, Thilo Sarrazin, Jörg Friedrich and Uwe Steimle, he was one of the first to sign the “Joint Declaration 2018”, which reads, among other things: “With growing disconcertment, we are watching how Germany is being damaged by illegal mass immigration . We feel solidarity with those who demonstrate peacefully that the rule of law will be restored at the borders of our country.”
From this point onward, the Dresden author became one of “those” outcasts, part of the “New Right”, the conservative, reactionary scene, a right-wing populist, an agitator and arsonist.
The Association of German Writers condemned the statement and let the apostate thinkers know by means of a banal statement that they “do not solve any of the problems” by “scapegoating the weakest”.