Beisl tour as a graphic novel: “Nachtgestalten”


Apparently two have found each other. You wander through a night city, from bar to bar and philosophize about life and love, town and country, world history and space. At the very end, in the author biographies, the two “night figures” are drawn a little more detailed than on their previous Beisl tour. And one recognizes the draftsman Nicolas Mahler in the long thin figure and the author Jaroslav Rudis in the smaller corpulent one.

 The  Austrian draftsman, who has just submitted his “Incorrect Biography” by Thomas Bernhard, and the Czech writer, screenwriter and playwright, whose novel “Winterbergs letzte Reise” was nominated for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in 2019, are friends. For their first joint project, Rudis first enriched an older short story about two friends drifting through Prague at night with new stories – only to have Mahler shorten them again.

 The  result is a long, laconic dialogue in black, white and a dull shade of blue, from which the full moon and the light of the last open bars shine brightly. Again and again the two friends end up in a pub for a last beer, are complimented out at curfew, watch the shutters come down, move on – and still find an open bar, restaurant or at least a kiosk where they can open their beer the counter is slammed.

As is usually the case in such hours of complete freedom of time and thought, it is all or nothing. ©

 The y are accompanied by a wisent (“©

 The  happiest animals on earth … ©

 The y know how life goes.”), Remember a Mont Blanc tour in “Sommerlatschen” (“I have had the rescue helicopter for five years.” have to pay off. “), discuss the battle of Austerlitz and the fight against aliens by eating cake. ©

 The  nocturnal outlines of the city of Prague are always present, the shadows of the Nazi era continue to have an effect and the good soldier Schwejk also leaves his mark. “Nachtgestalten” actually seems as if Jaroslav Hasek and Samuel Beckett are moving through the night together.

So one takes at least two things from this weird, enjoyable book: One last beer is still okay. And even if that should be over, if nothing matters, at least one last saying remains: “©

 The  owls pee on it.”

(SERVICE – Jaroslav Rudiš and Nicolas Mahler: “Nachtgestalten”, Luchterhand, 144 pages, 18.50 euros; online book premiere on March 15 at 7.30 p.m. in the Literaturhaus Stuttgart, moderation: Andreas Platthaus, https: //www.literaturhaus-

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Beisl tour graphic Nachtgestalten


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