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Daniel Wisser: Wir bleiben noch.

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We Plan to Stay.
Munich: Luchterhand, 2021.
480 pages; Euro 22,70 [A].
ISBN: 978-3-630-87644-3.

Daniel Wisser


In his new novel, Daniel Wisser describes the collapse of community in the twenty-first century. 
Most modern-era phenomena hold little attraction for Victor Jarno. His family’s history, on the other hand, fascinates him, even more so since the sudden appearance of his good-looking cousin, Karoline. His marriage with Iris falls apart in the novel’s first pages, and a romance between Victor and Karoline is not long in coming. It is hardly surprising that the family is less than happy about Karoline and Victor’s relationship, but it could not have been guessed that their love would transform the family’s cohesion into real enmity.
After his family history, the second topic that truly holds Victor’s interest is politics. In his circles, he is known as “the last Social Democrat.” Political leanings are shifting to the right, a trend also found within his own family.
Daniel Wisser exposes society’s double standards. Karoline and Victor’s unconventional relationship is the manifestation of a quasi-revolutionary act against the political and social conditions, and finds its apex in their marriage. In the end, they can be together, but they will not lead fulfilled lives. The ultimate revolutionary act, the birth of an heir, is denied them. Victor will become extinct, like the white rhino (p. 50).
In his new novel, Daniel Wisser has again taken on a societal taboo. His descriptions are empathic, humorous, and in the beginning somewhat over-exuberant. This is a story the reader needs to digest. Even more off-putting than the idea of first cousins being lovers are the saccharine descriptions of the relationship. But the first pages should not stop anyone from reading further, for they are the foundation for a story about tolerance, a story for our times.
Once again, Daniel Wisser has written a work that is sure to stay for quite a while.

Abridged version of the review by Christina Vettorazzi, March 22, 2021. Translation by Laura Radosh.

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