Reading & Talk

One Day with … Frank Witzel

Frank Witzel

Frank Witzel

© Gianni Plescia

Past Dates

“The invention of the Red Army Faction by a Manic Depressive Teenager in the Summer of 1969” is a unique piece of literature, and not just because it received the German Book Prize 2015 for “Best novel”. Critics praised the book unanimously, as a “novel with a long-term effect” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), as “An imposition. A monster. An adventure. An audacity. A conundrum. But above all, a brilliant piece of literature“ (Deutschlandfunk). The “„taz”-newspaper called it a “West German book of unrest”, “ZEIT-online” praised the text for “continually oscillating between seriousness, tragedy and humour”.

In his novel, which was created over a period of 15 years of writing, Frank Witzel explores the collective unconscious of the Federal Republic of Germany, which simmered for years, fired by unacknowledged guilt, pop escapism, hippiedom, violent fantasies and religion. And even today, long suppressed memories still rise into view.

As a reflection of the multitude of forms in “The Invention …”, the events of “One day with …” will try to take various approaches to Frank Witzel’s monumental book, through conversations, confessions, readings, scenes from a lunatic asylum, musical interludes, exorcisms and short lectures.


16:00: Part 1 (Main Stage)

  • Peter Fricke reads from chapter 5 (“Befragung”)
  • Hubert Winkels: Clearasil und Beichte, Pubertät und Religion in der BRD der fünfziger und sechziger Jahre. Talk with Frank Witzel
  • Peter Fricke reads chapter 71 (“Befragung”)

17:30: Part 2 (Main Stage)

  • Ingo Schulze: Revolution und Heimarbeit, Was vor der Erfindung der Roten Armee Fraktion geschah. WIth read excerpts from the novels “Bluemoon Baby”, “Revolution und Heimarbeit” and “Vondenloh” (by Ingo Schulze and Frank Witzel)
  • Music

19:30: Part 3 (Main Stage)

  • Julia Riedler reads chapter 88 section 1 (“Claudia”)
  • Carolin Emcke: Nachdenken über die Frau die schießt, Frauenbilder der RAF. Talk with Frank Witzel
  • Julia Riedler reads chapter 88 section 2 (“Claudia”)

20:30: Part 4 (Upper Foyer)

  • Philipp Felsch: BRD Noir. Latenz und Verbrechen. Talk with Frank Witzel with film clips

21:30: Part 5 (Upper Foyer)

Reading play: Chapter 68
Title and stage directions: Thomas Böhm
Clinic manager and Mr Kröhnmann: Peter Fricke
Cashier: Julia Riedler
Adult Teenager: Frank Witzel
Thought monk: Ingo Schulze
Artaud: Philipp Felsch
Mrs. Geschwärzt and Mother: Meike Rötzer
Twin Couple: Carolin Emcke, Twin 1, Elisabeth Ruge, Twin 2
Man behind Adult Teenager and Father: Hubert Winkels

“One Day with …” is a series of events of the Berliner Festspiele, conceived together with ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. Several times a year, one artist and his or her cosmos will be presented in a one-day homage at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. The most recent events of the series focused on Ian McEwan, Karl-Ove Knausgård and Tankred Dorst.

One Day with … Frank Witzel. Documentation

© Greenpocket Bewegtbild / Berliner Festspiele

A Berliner Festspiele event in cooperation with the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius and Deutscher Buchpreis
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