Reading series «Das andere Buch an der Uni»
- Monique Schwitter reads from «Wenns schneit beim Krokodil»
- Library of the University of St. Gallen, under the cupola
- Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 7.30 pm
- Free entry. Reading in German
About the book
The Library of the University of St.Gallen has invited Monique Schwitter to read from her first work “Wenn’s schneit beim Krokodil”. The book is an anthology with strong female characters, wonderful snapshots and lively and sassy texts. Fun is at the forefront of Monique Schwitter’s short stories, very seriously and at a high level. Her people know that they are playing – even if they are deadly serious about it. They cannot do anything else. The as-if aspect has become necessity for them, regardless of whether we are talking about sexual desire or anything else, regardless of whether they see through their own irony or not. Monique Schwitter intelligently makes these serious and sometimes intense simulations transparent and reading the book is a pleasure.
The stories are written with a keen eye for situations where the outcome is uncertain, but where everything is possible and with an acute sense of the type of conversation people openly exchange with one another. Two young women on a park bench, a bottle of red wine and between them a Swiss army knife opened out. They think up Indian names for each other and the question as to how much experience they actually have with women seems to hang in the air. Or another story deals with a woman returning from a Christmas holiday to her home town. This time she receives an anonymous letter at a meeting in the zoo, “wenn’s schneit beim Krokodil, sonst beim Kamel.” (“When it’s snowing near the crocodiles, otherwise near the camel’s pen”). She reflects on all the people who might have sent her the letter - and as a result, everything that stands for home. A kaleidoscope of memories from childhood, her teenage bedroom her teacher and men. Or another story is about a car journey with a strange man in a strange country. She photographs the road full of animals that have been run over through the smeared window, “all those cats, frogs, foxes, martens, birds”.
About the author
Monique Schwitter, born and brought up in Zurich, studied Acting and Directing from 1993 to 1997 at the “Mozarteum” in Salzburg. Or to be more precise she was an actress. At the tender age of 11 years, this management consultant’s daughter wanted to be a tragic actress. She began her career on home territory at the Theatre in Zurich. Then she was on tour in Frankfurt and Graz and at present the 33-year-old is playing at the Theatre in Hamburg.
Last autumn, she began her career as an author with 15 short stories “Wenn’s schneit beim Krokodil” (published by Droschl), for which she was awarded the Robert Walser Prize in 2006. She will also soon be reading at the Solothurn literature festival. Monique Schwitter is described as being “Swiss, Catholic, superstitious, a vegetarian, a dog owner, car driver" and has also having had "a rebellious youth”. But she is also labelled more boldly as being “prone to violence and in need of affection, moody but uncomplicated” and has having “a scar next to the right temple and tattoos etc.”