“Wer hets gjättut?”
Leuk & Leukerbad haben Schulhausromane geschrieben
Book vernissage & listening session:
Friday, June 25, 5 p.m.
Contact: Richard Reich (Board Palais Valais), firstname.lastname@example.org
With the support of Kulturfunken/Dienststelle of the Canton of Wallis and Lotérie Romande.
The idea had been floating around in our heads for years – during the Corona pandemic, it was put into practice: The schoolhouse novel has arrived at the Leukerbad Literature Festival! During several months of writing, young people of the upper school in Leuk have written a thriller with the Leuk (or Berlin) writer Christine Pfammatter under the wonderful title Karma is a bitch or: Wer hets gjättut? But beware, the Leukerbad competition is not sleeping: young authors from the upper school in Leukerbad have written the adventure novel Love is a gamble, supervised by the Sustner (or Biel) poet Rolf Hermann.
Rolf, tell us what the Leukerbad schoolhouse novel is about!
Rolf Hermann: “‘One knew that a little green man has always haunted the ridge’. This is how the legend of the Green Man begins, which is set in and around Leukerbad. Based on this, we have written a story that takes place in the present day. In Love is a gamble, the Green Man mutates into a casino owner who invests millions in the renovation of the Torrent Hotel. To plan the opening of his GREEN CASINO, he has moved to Leukerbad with his daughter Shanti. Shanti is not very enthusiastic about the new surroundings, but soon she meets Remo, the son of a Leukerbad farmer who is addicted to alcohol and gambling. The teenagers fall in love, walk to Albinen, go skiing on the Torrentalp – and finally, gather the courage to stand by their loved ones – no matter what the cost.”
Christine, what was it like for you to return to your old school home?
Christine Pfammatter: “I knew the classroom. I also sat here once. And enjoyed the view of the Rhone Valley. But now it looks very different. The teacher has furnished the classroom with green plants, there is a flipchart, the technology works. The students sit individually with masks at their desks, order and discipline are present. But it seems to me that this generation is more open to experimentation than we were back then. The young people are open to writing, although I myself didn't know exactly what a schoolhouse novel should look like and whether we could do it in such a short time. Creativity is a risk, and it can also fail to materialize. All the greater the joy when a few lines succeed! The fun comes with your own draft: characters, settings, plot – there are no restrictions here. The students from Leuk wanted to write a crime novel, and a crime novel in particular – when you suddenly have a dead body – creates a lot of specifications. But immersion in a fictional world leaves the doors of thought and feeling open. Or as Robert Walser wrote, ‘Everything dreamed because it lived, and everything lived because it was allowed to dream.’”
Schulhausroman is an international project with locations in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France. Part of the project involves printing the novels and presenting them publicly at the end at a cultural venue – now finally at the Leukerbad Literary Festival!