Sunday Aug. 28, 2022
2:30pm - 3:30pm

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“The Mann with the Compound Eyes”
German book premiere

With Wu Ming-Yi/ Taiwan, Johannes Fiederling/ Deutschland/ Taiwan

Moderation: Alice Grünfelder/ Switzerland/ Germany

The panel will be interpreted from Chinese into English and German

With Wu Ming-Yi comes a new style in global writing between dystopia and ecotopia, between eco-story, nature writing, and climate fiction, hope- and eco-punk.

A special aspect of his novel is the confrontation of indigenous myths and insular forms of knowledge with the spectacle of modernity: a second-born from an aboriginal island society is cast out to sea in line with tradition, lands on a huge plastic whirlpool, and recycles this environment with its strange artifacts into a makeshift life, while in a parallel story a world-weary academic drifts restlessly and helplessly.

And so, a literary tsunami rises, deeply rooted in universal ecological concerns and contemporary issues of indigenous identity. Visionary fantasy in climate collapse and subjective alienation, hard ecorealism between individual grief and ecocritical attack.

Alice Grünfelder speaks with Wu Ming-Yi about writing on the edge of the abyss under the particular conditions of an insular climate and crisis experience.

On the Podium

Wu Ming-yi, Taiwanese author specializing in nature writing and climate fiction. Environmental activist, photographer, and professor of Chinese literature. He is known in the Chinese-speaking world for his non-fiction books about butterflies. “The Man with the Compound Eyes” is a striking eco-parable in which archaic lifeworlds meet apocalyptic modernity, and waste and myths are combined into a literary tsunami.

• 2011 The Man with the Compound Eyes (German Edition 2022)