(Vienna, 1954) is a philosopher and writer. He considers himself a born storyteller, and the philosophical aspect in his work is clearly present. From an early age he became fascinated with Hegel, although he radically turned Hegel's most important philosophyon its head: mankind does not develop towards a peak, on the contrary, it removes itself from it. According to Menasse, birth is the peak and what follows is merely a slow death. Robert Menasse studied literature and philosophy, after that he taught literature at the university of Saõ Paulo for seven years. Since 1988 Menasse is a fulltime writer. He writes novels, essays and, together with his wife and daughter, children's books. He is also a translator of Portugese into German. Menasse's books, translated into Dutch are De verdrijving uit de hel (Driven out of hell) and the trilogy Bar Hopeloos; Zalige tijden, breekbare wereld en Kentering (Very hopeless wonderfull times, Fragile world and A turning of the tide). In the book Das Land ohne Eigenschaften (The land without characteristics) from 1992, he analysed, in a razor sharp and controversial way, the mental climate of Austria.
Archive available for: Robert Menasse
With: Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Antjie Krog, Chirikure Chirikure, Denise Jannah, Lasana M. Sekou, Michaël Zeeman, Nelleke Noordervliet, Putu Wijaya, Robert Menasse, Syahrial & Grup, Tessa Leuwsha, Tom Gilling, Zakes Mda
Before Winternachten starts with its major programme, the journalist and literary critic Michaël Zeeman gives his view on the theme of this year's festival: future and ideals. After this, writer Nelleke Noordervliet presents a varied programme with writers, poets and music. Foreign authors present themselves with a short reading, as a preview on their performance in the coming weekend. With writers from Suriname, Saint Martin, South-Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, Austria, the USA and Indonesia, and music by the Sumatran group Syahrial & Grup and jazz singer Denise Jannah.
Writer Robert Menasse (Vienna) described the 19th century Austrian movement of 'perditionists'. Tonight he reads his oracle on the future of Europa. Moderated by Michaël Zeeman. English spoken.