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Arne Rautenberg, Writer  

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Audioscript Arne Rautenberg

The book fair: endless expanses, books, books, nothing but books. As an author, you think you're the greatest because you've written a book. Then you walk through the book halls and everything is put into perspective. A kind of anti-ego trip, which I actually find quite salutary.  

For a while, I thought I'd take full advantage of all the book fair days and make as many appointments as possible. Today, I'm only at Frankfurter Buchmesse for one day: Thursday. And I no longer make any appointments at all. I just want to walk around, meet random people, be open, and find some time to chat. Fellow Austrian poet Franzobel understood this back in 1995. 

In my imagination, he comes up to me barefoot in a white suit in the middle of the morning during one of my first visits to the book fair. He had just won the Bachmann Prize with an experimental text, was the new hot boy of high literature, and just like that he ran into me in the aisle with a half-litre can of beer in his hand. Wow, I thought, that's how the book fair works!  

Unfortunately, my white suit is too small for me now. I can only drink beer in the evening and the Bachmann Prize remains a long way off for me. But I will stroll through Frankfurter Buchmesse again this year. On Thursday.