subtitled video | 39 min
Weilling, the Place and its People.
The Birth, Death, and second Death of the Author Max Maetz.
An Investigation by Claudia Gschweitl (ORF Radio Ö1, 2019)
In the early 1970ies, a naïve young farmer from Upper Austria stomped his way onto the German literary stage to the accompaniment of significant public interest.
Without period or comma but with experimental verve Max Maetz’s “Weilling, the Place and its People.
A rustic novel” describes rural life in intimate detail, using “an idiom tailored to the faux pedestrian-ness of his prose”, as the book’s cover blurb claims.
The versifying farmer from the solitude near St. Florian receives an important literary reward for his “unvarnished description of rural life”.
He is scheduled to appear at the Frankfurt Book Fair, but even before the publication of his novel, Max Maetz dies in a tragic tractor accident.
Why is this remarkable talent so little known today?
What are people keeping so dead quiet about?
In town, Max Maetz probably made few friends with his stories about hostility towards foreigners, sodomy, and all sorts of fornication.
The circumstances of his death likewise remain mysterious, many questions unanswered.
Claudia Gschweitl went to Weilling in search of answers to these questions.
Sound: Elmar Peinelt
Editors: Alfred Koch
First broadcast: 26 / 11 / 2019
Length: 39 min
Producer: ORF / Radio Ö1
Translation: Michael Hastik
Claudia Gschweitl by Video [4 min]