Ilija Trojanow, born in Bulgaria in 1965 and brought up in East Africa, established his name as an international writer with the novel Der Weltensammler or The Collector of Worlds (2006), about the cross-cultural Victorian adventurer Sir Richard Francis Burton. Since the mid-1990s Trojanow has been prolific in a number of genres, including travel, ethnography and science fiction. He has also become a major public intellectual in Austria and Germany with provocative interventions on topics such as Islam and the West, civil rights in the age of cybersurveillance and climate change. His imaginative writing sits at the centre of a number of defining contemporary concerns, in particular the relationship between identity, language and culture.
This volume contains an interview with Trojanow, a previously unpublished essay by him on Lessing’s Enlightenment parable of inter-religious tolerance, Nathan der Weise (Nathan the Wise), and essays by European and North American scholars on central aspects of his growing œuvre. The contributors explore why Trojanow is one of today’s leading writers of German while challenging a number of myths that have grown up around him and his magnum opus, Der Weltensammler.
About the Author
Julian Preece is Professor of German Studies at Swansea University and Director of its Centre for Contemporary German Culture. He is the author of Nine Lives: Ethnic Conflict in the Polish-Ukrainian Borderlands (1999; with Waldemar Lotnik), The Life and Work of Günter Grass: Literature, History, Politics (2001), Out of the Shadows of a Husband: The Rediscovered Writings of Veza Canetti (2007) and Baader-Meinhof and the Novel: Narratives of the Nation/Fantasies of the Revolution, 1970-2010 (2012).
Table of Contents
Contents: Julian Preece: Preface – Ilija Trojanow/Julian Preece: Interview – Ilija Trojanow: Weltbürgertum heute: Rede zu einer kosmopolitischen Kultur/What Being a Citizen of the World Means Today: On Cosmopolitan Culture (translated by Seiriol Dafydd) – Cornelius Partsch: Autopol, Prison Privatisation and the Dystopian Turn in Contemporary Sci-Fi – Caitríona Ní Dhúill: The Hero as Language Learner: Biography and Metabiography in Der Weltensammler/The Collector of Worlds – Ernest Schonfield: On the Road to Mecca with Trojanow and Burton – Eva M. Knopp: Letting the Subaltern Laugh: How Humour Works in Die Welt ist groß und Rettung lauert überall/The World Is Large and Salvation Lurks Around Every Corner and Der Weltensammler/The Collector of Worlds – Julian Preece: Mr Iceberger Runs Amok: The Aporias of Commitment in EisTau/Melting Ice – Christina Kraenzle: Rewriting Colonial Travelogues: Cosmopolitan Visions and Colonial Legacies in Nomade auf vier Kontinenten/Nomad on Four Continents – Ben Morgan: Two Models of Spiritual Life and Narrative Sovereignty: Trojanow and Religion – Julian Preece: From Kisch to Kapuściński: Trojanow and the European Tradition of Reportage.