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The Rope

In a remote village, enclosed by vast forests, a couple of farmers and their families lead a content and simple life, barely touched by the ongoings in the world. One day, a seemingly insignificant occurrence turns the small world of the villagers upside down: a piece of rope is found on one of the meadows close to the forest, leading into the woods, and it seems that there is no end to it.

After a quick first foray into the woods, almost all the able-bodied men of the village decide to follow the rope until the very end. A kafka-esque trip ensues…

While the women and children wait for the travellers to return, the men are increasingly drawn into the spell of the rope. Two of them are killed, the rest are being persecuted by wolves, they plunder a deserted village and are eventually willing to risk their entire existence for the sake of the rope.

  • This small novella describes the invasion of the unfathomable and chaotic into a narrow, well-ordered world. It is a gleamingly written parable on the power of the irrational and on the destructive powers of obsession.

Press reviews:

"This tale of a seemingly innocent quest expands into a fascinating yet horrifying picture of a bucolic world which comes apart at the seams and whose inhabitants demonstrate most savagely the erroneous ways mankind can be led to in its delusion of not being able to let go. At last we see an author who goes against all trends with a literary style which allows no compromises." Berliner Zeitung

"‚The Rope‘ is an immensely thrilling and literally captivating book. (…) a real find for us readers." Bayerischer Rundfunk

"And thus this novel and its language mix the uncanny with the homely and let us dream about a campfire in the dusk, somewhere between the edge of the village and the woods, where an intelligent and effective narrator tells us the disconcerting tale about the rope, actually about all the ropes." Süddeutsche Zeitung

"Magical and removed from history." Deutschlandradion Kultur


dtv Literatur
Originalausgabe, 180 pages, ISBN 978-3-423-24920-1
Juni 2012
Rights sold: Italy, France
Rights available again: Korea