Hendrik Otremba: “Benito”
An event of “Literatur zur Zeit
Moderation: Wolfgang Frömberg
In 1995, eleven-year-old Cherubim takes his Boy Scout troop on a three-week canoe trip down a West German river. They all have resonant ride names like butt, mouse, and fly killer. Their leader, a few years older than them, they call chief. The further the river carries them, the more Cherubim feels connected to the others, the more he forgets his home. There, only his newly separated parents are waiting for him anyway, the mother overwhelmed, the father depressed. He develops an increasingly obsessive interest in the blind Benito, with whom he shares one of the boats.
In haunting language, Hendrik Otremba explores what drives us beyond our own limits. Adventure narrative and artist novel in one designs
in a dense alternation between two temporal and narrative levels, a kaleidoscope of anger and intellect, action and reflection, terror and art.
“An epic about boy scouts, a blind man running amok, and the ghosts of the Federal Republic. In this existential journey through time, Hendrik Otremba tells a multi-layered story against the darkness and exhausts all the possibilities of literature.” (Arno Frank)
Hendrik Otremba, born in 1984 in Recklinghausen, is a writer, visual artist and singer with the group Messer. He also works as a lecturer in creative writing and occasionally as a curator. As a freelance journalist, he writes sporadically about music. His paintings are published and exhibited as record covers and in various magazines. In 2017, his debut novel Über uns der Schaum (Verbrecher Verlag) was published, followed by his second novel Kachelbad’s Erbe (Hoffmann und Campe) in August 2019. With Messer, he has released five albums to date, most recently No Future Dubs in 2021. He lives in Berlin.