Campus - 24.04.2018 - 00:00 

Timmerberg reading: Values, wolves, wilderness

In the series "Das andere Buch an der Uni" ("The other book at the university"), authors who have a connection to St.Gallen give readings. Our guest this time, Helge Timmerberg, is a worldly-wise travel writer. After wild travels and several intense decades, he is now in his mid-sixties and lives in St.Gallen. He tells us how he now values comfort. But it is a go-getting wolf who takes to the pedestal in the University of St.Gallen (HSG) library. Dana Sindermann reports.

24 April 2018. The city of St.Gallen is one of travel and books. Many monks travelled from far away to copy the literary and scientific treasures of the abbey library. The founding of the city alone is attributed to travellers. Andreas Härter, Associate Professor for German Language and Literature, starts off the evening by saying that those who travel have a story to tell. For example, about the belligerent bear who was tamed. The reading by Helge Timmerberg will also be about wild animals. They are basically omnipresent from the moment the author steps onto the stage.

"I live. The end."

A brownish-grey full beard, Winnetou hair and eagle eyes. This is how he appears as he sits on the stage, prowling around at the beginning of his reading. He tells untamed jokes, glugs the bottle of white wine and carries out an elaborate microphone test. He attempts to tackle the untamed using such rituals. Rituals, he says, help you to move through the universe, which is full of black holes. Holes, such as the questions "Where do I come from?", "Where am I going?" and "What is the meaning of life?". Timmerberg meanwhile prefers to live than to reflect on these kinds of questions. "I live. The end." His slogan is: "A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do."

Adventure in exotic countries

And this is how it is in his stories about women, intoxication, adventure in exotic countries or on Mediterranean islands. The mood of the texts is warm, or rather hot; the rhythm of the reading is impulsive and snappy. Sometimes in the background, sometimes further forwards, the voices, howling and wrestling of inner wolves are always to be heard. Only in the final story is the atmosphere a little more subdued. It takes place in Lucerne and is about one visitor to the city who is fascinated by the Swiss art of watchmaking. Now he wants to buy one of these hand-made objects. After all, "a man needs real values". What more can be said?

Dana Sindermann is a research assistant at the Institute for Business Ethics.

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