by Peter Stamm

Vordergründig erzählt er eine wunderbare Liebesgeschichte zwischen einer amerikanischen Physikstudentin und einem jungen Journalisten, der Nachforschungen zu seinem Buch über Eisenbahnen betreibt.

Doch glückliche Liebesgeschichten sind nicht interessant, "denn Glück macht keine guten Geschichten" meint Agnes, und so ermuntert sie ihren Freund, eine Erzählung über sie und ihre Liebe zu erfinden.

Peter Stamm hat in seinem ersten Roman Agnes das gar nicht so leichte Kunststück fertiggebracht, einen gehaltvollen Inhalt durchsichtig schillernd und schwebend leicht wie eine Seifenblase zu verpacken -- sehr zur Freude seiner Leser.

  • Language: German
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.19
  • Pages: 152
  • Publish Date: August 1st 1998 by Arche Verlag
  • Isbn10: 3716022454
  • Isbn13: 9783716022450

Read the Book "Agnes" Online

The idea sounded wonderful: A nameless writer and a student called Agnes, fall in love and one day, Agnes asks her lover to write a portrait about her, which soon turns into a story about their relationship. Great, I thought, a story about a writer, a piece of fiction about fiction becoming one with reality, and an unreliable narrator. The sentences are flat and they all sound the same, and instead of having created a moving tale of love, fiction and reality, Stamm has created a 150-page novel that felt like a 1500-page novel, that's how boring the book is. There are three interacting characters in this book - the nameless narrator, Agnes and Louise. That was probably because the writer is unable to write distinguishable characters, and probably because the book only had 150 pages.

'But happiness doesn't make for interesting stories. Someone once said that happiness writes white. They go to the Art Institute of Chicago for this smoke and mirrors of happy people. Agnes says she's the girl in the white dress. She says that you have to write happiness like Seurat, happiness in dots and and unhappiness in stripes, and it is only happiness to you when you step back. Agnes clings to him, he doesn't know why. I guess the first person style and "I already know what happens and this is how it happened" is too much like bad voice over anyway. Out of the blues Agnes decides that he must, must, must write a story about her. This is more like two people who have a relationship of talking about a relationship. He writes some of the story (that becomes a novel because they can't shut up about themselves) and she looks at it to go "How can you see me this way?!", or as fodder for sexy times. It's not even a thread so much as a it would have been more interesting if this HAD been the story that Agnes wanted his story to be a safe mental image in her head to retreat to. It couldn't have killed her that he writes of her alone in a forest without leaves or a way out, warmed by too cold. I'm thankful I didn't read 'Agnes' first or I probably wouldn't have read and liked so much his other books) and I had loved it. I wanted to know a Agnes outside of his story. The part I hate the most is that I know they told fifteen other people already and will tell a lot more besides, in search of the warm walls of what they want to hear. He didn't even need to be a whiney douche about not writing stories anymore because he found a way to make everything in life not live up to his out of the black and white dreams. He writes stories with Agnes about what their baby would have been like if it had lived (he guesses a girl but he never asked Agnes if it was true). If you want a baby for any other reason than finding out what kind of person they'll be, risking something.... If I never read another story about people who think that they have ended their life and all possibilities because of a romantic relationship it will be too soon. I guess that was this dude's problem because he likes so much to keep Agnes on the possibility shelf.

I read it the first time 6 years ago during a turnpoint of my life.

After living for a time in New York, Paris, and Scandinavia he settled down in 1990 as a writer and freelance journalist in Zurich.