Reading and talk
12 Dec 2022 · 6.00 pm

Always Near I: “Die Realität kommt”

Venue: Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, Aufgang B, 3. Et., Trajekte-Tagungsraum
Organized by Hanna Hamel, Alexandra Heimes, Eva Stubenrauch (all ZfL), Natalie Moser (University of Potsdam)

“Die Realität kommt” (Reality is Coming)
Reading and talk with Rudi Nuss and Alexandra Heimes

Rudi Nuss reads from his debut novel Die Realität kommt (2022). This will be followed by a discussion with literary scholar Alexandra Heimes (ZfL) about copied spaces and folded landscapes, space sitcoms, and futuristic retro-romanticism as well as the challenge of finding a form of presentation for realities which are yet to emerge.




Always Near. The near future in contemporary literature

Every present has its own future. The genre of science fiction is known for explicitly reflecting the transformation of literary imaginations and designing principles of the future. Whereas classical science fiction prefers to tell stories of far-away worlds and times to speculatively explore the unknown future (and the status quo of their own present), contemporary literature is increasingly interested in such fictions that confront their readers not with the radical strangeness of faraway worlds, but instead with conceptions of the future that closely resemble our current reality.

But how, precisely, do contemporary literature’s speculative futures look like? What forms of representation and styles of writing are being employed? How are authors modelling events, turning points, and temporal structures? And to what extent are established differentiations—between utopia and dystopia, between realism and speculation—being put to the test or even subverted?

The event series “Always Near” is a cooperation between the project Neighborhood in Contemporary Berlin Literature at the ZfL and the University of Potsdam starting in fall of 2022. The different formats (readings and talks, podium discussions, and the closing conference) explore the question of what kind of future the most recent works of contemporary literature present us with. They will take place across different locations in Berlin.


Fig. above: Julien Girard: Mars, 2099?, 2012, © ESO/J. Girard, License: CC BY 4.0.
Portrait Rudi Nuss: © private.