Verbatim: A Novel

Notes on an unconventional book

And now, Germersheim

It’s a sleepy little town of 30,000, with a bustling university. The hotel had a “quaint” feeling to it, to quote someone, and I felt very good there. Here’s the hotel key:

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So much for a thin card. Easy tell germany is a have-country (small joke for canadian readers). As in other hotels there, on returning from adventures elsewhere I’d find the window open, airing the place out nicely. The weather was very good when there, especially the day I read (22 October), and while sitting outdoors at a café post-performance, unexpected company took over the other chair:

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Neither the waitress’ approach nor the occupation of the next table by three college girls disturbed this drowsy visitor.

Now, to the reading. Thanks go to Dr. Florian Freitag of the University of mainz (germersheim campus) and the head of his department, Dr. Jutta Ernst, for their invitation, hospitality and dinner conversation. Here’s Florian with his copy of my book:

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And here’s part of Jutta’s class who I addressed:

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A student participated along with Florian and Jutta. (I regret not getting a photo of the three of them.) The audience numbered about 70. Facing people in tiered seating was new for me, but they were a warm crowd who laughed in the right places.  As in munich, there were lots of good questions, and hopefully the italian student who considers canada a “dreamland” didn’t have his impression ruined by the reading. Also, thanks to the unnamed student who came up after to shake my hand and said a few kind words.

If there are any canadian writers out there who can get to germany, I recommend it. Friendly audiences, fine hosts, and good food. And it’s an easy place to get around.

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