Abfall für alle; Garbage for All

[This page by Michael Wood]

Abfall für alle; Garbage for All is a monumental work which details Goetz’s daily life between 4 February 1998 and 10 January 1999. The work has its genesis in a blog, kept at www.rainald-goetz.de [website is no longer online], which was subsequently published in book format in 2003, after some editing by the author himself. While readers were able to comment on the original blog, these comments have been removed for the publication of the book.

The subtitle of the book, ‘Roman eines Jahres’; Novel of a year’, demonstrates the very difficulty of determining the status of Abfall für alle; Garbage for All. Given its status as a published blog, it functions as a chronicle of the very smallest details of Goetz’s life in this period, from what time he woke up and what newspapers he read, to what books he was reading, with whom he was meeting, and transcripts of lectures given in Frankfurt. Furthermore, Goetz discusses questions relating to art, cinema, and their relationship to social praxis (informed by his reading of German sociologist Niklas Luhmann). Nonetheless, as it is styled as a novel, the question is raised: ‘how do we read it?’ Goetz therefore complicates the notion of the literary diary, as it straddles this more traditional diary form, the very contemporary form of the blog, and an untraditional rendering of the novel.

Further Reading in English

Claudia Breger, An Aesthetics of Narrative Performance: Transnational Theatre, Literature, and Film in Contemporary Germany (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2012), pp. 93-103

Elke Siegel, ‘Remains of the Day: Rainald Goetz’s Internet Diary Abfall für alle’, in Martin Jörg-Schäfer and Elke Siegel (eds.), The Germanic Review 81:3 (2006), Special Issue: The Intellectual and the Popular: Reading Rainald Goetz, 235-54

Further Reading in German

Gabriele Feulner, Mythos Künstler. Konstruktionen und Dekonstruktionen in der deutschsprachigen Prosa des 20. Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Schmidt, 2010), pp. 307-48 on Abfall für alle