Joachim Zelter
untertan / subject

220 pages
Tübingen: Klöpfer & Meyer, 2012


Here it is, Heinrich Mann’s 20th century classic, The Loyal Subject, narrated anew, transposed from the world of Prussian militarism and monarchy to the realm of contemporary democracies and free-market economies. With great sensitivity and insight Zelter sets off to recount what has long been overdue: the genesis of the modern version of a Prussian subject, portrayed from early childhood to maturity, from the seventies to the present. The novel is a psychological study, a portrayal of individual as well as collective adjustment – and human estrangement. With irresistible force Zelter explores the coming of a new era, no longer authoritarian, but thoroughly economic, a world of utilisation, exploitation and futility. In the end, the novel does portray a process of profound transformation, no less than the compelling process of how we have progressively become what we are to today.





“Comedy and wit, profundity and pure entertainment … are no longer opposites in German literature.”
Die Welt


“A pleasure to read and at the same time a work which makes one think – what more can one desire.”


“Timeless and ageless in a frightening way.”
Neue Zürcher Zeitung


„Highly tragical and at the same time exceedingly comic.“
ARD. German Television.


„Combining a satirical account of our present time with the everlasting tragedy of mankind.“
Frankfurter Rundschau



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