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Gender ratio: bestselling author Jan Weiler and the overstrain of men

2019-10-02T07:04:20.774Z

TIME ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates



Munich (dpa) - It is the great social debates that interest Jan Weiler: migration, repressed past, social gap. Now the bestselling author ("Maria, he does not like it") takes up the fight of the sexes.

In his new book "Kühn ist Hunger" he lets his main character despair not only of his diet and a brutal murder - but also of his own masculinity. The big question: When is the man a man?

In an interview with the German Press Agency in Munich, Weiler (51) talks about male overburdening, his new book - and how it feels when readers understand their stories quite differently than he meant them.

Question: Mr. Weiler, how are you when a new book comes out of the market?

Editors: It's probably similar to an architect or contractor. If you build a house, then you are in the meantime insanely involved and you look at every outlet and every faucet, if this is all right. And when the thing is done and people live in it, then you have to let go. When people buy the book, they move into my house and then I have to do it.

Question: Do you find it difficult to let people do that and maybe even hang ugly curtains?

Answer: You have to live with that. That was the first book, "Maria, he does not like it". For me it was a book about migration and the fear of the stranger. But the people moved in and found it funny. One loses the sovereignty over the book.

The "Kühn" books then said that they were thrillers, although in my view they are social novels. Yes, there is a victim, there is a culprit, and there is a police officer and an investigation. But that's why it's not a crime for me. It's about this main character and it's about his life. He could have been glazier or tiler. But I wanted him to have a socially important mission. But I can not complain. After all, people buy that and that's important.

Question: If "Maria, he does not like it" was a book about fear of the stranger, "Bold is hungry" is the white man's fear of losing his place in society.

Answer: Yes, it is about this insanely difficult relationship between men and women, which is getting more and more complicated. This question is in everyday life for many men - at least in urban areas - a great burden. I do not judge that, but I take that as a foil for my story. I find that interesting because it permeates our lives at the moment.

Last week I saw a snippet of an old episode "TV Total" with Stefan Raab on Facebook. There is a world champion in the Kickern guest and Raab asks her if they drink Prosecco at every turn. That was already a stupid joke back then. But if you did that today, you'd expect to be kicked right.

This has changed incredibly, and it is very difficult for people who are in their 40s or 50s. By the way, not at all for my children. They would not make such jokes. My son shrugs at such jokes and does not understand them anymore. But in my generation that's different. Since you have grown up with very strange role models that were not seriously questioned - not even by the mothers. My mother once said: "I'm the last adolescent generation of women.

Question: Was there a trigger, a moment when you knew you wanted to make this the topic of your new book?

Answer: I always look for a meta topic for my books. In the first "Kühn" book it was the repressed past, which is a huge topic for us Germans, in the second it was about the incredible social differences in a big city like Munich, and the third is now the coexistence of men and women, the change in the society you have to face. It was also because I moved to the city. This totally changes the view of social things.

Here you can see on the sidewalk sometimes ticking time bombs: Men who do not meet any woman at all and spend an awful lot of time on the Internet with a controlled by porn consumption wishful thinking of something. These people experience daily that their dreams are not compatible with reality. There are a few - a few - frustrated guys who can explode anytime. There are real women haters. And they are also constantly confirmed from the outside. Just look at Donald Trump. The man is over 70 and does not manage to talk respectfully about women.

Question: Is this the opposite trend to movements like #MeToo? The beating back of the white, old man?

Answer: I do not know that. What I notice is that there is a backlash to movement and also to neo-feminism. There are simply men who feel insulted, attacked, subjugated, humiliated, and who, of course, can not respond adequately. That is something very human. The men are the ones who have something to lose.

Question: Gender roles are traditionally a very emotionally debated topic. Are you looking forward to such discussions?

Answer: Yes, I am always looking forward to talking to other people about these topics. However, with the book, it could be that there are people I do not want to talk to. But you have to go through that. I think the book is totally feminist. Although it also promotes understanding for this Martin, but actually it is a book for women.

ABOUT PERSON: Jan Weiler was born in Dusseldorf, now lives in Munich and has since exchanged his main job as a journalist (including as editor-in-chief of the SZ magazine) against that of the bestselling author. He had his breakthrough with his first book "Maria, he does not like it". It followed, among other things, "The puberty", "Kühn has to do" and "Kühn has trouble". His new book "Kühn is hungry" is the third in the series to Detective Inspector Martin Kühn.

Jan Weiler, Kühn is hungry, Piper Munich, 416 pages, EAN 978-3-492-05876-6

Website Jan Weiler

Verlag page

Source: zeit

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