Swiss Literature Award 2022
In The Imposition, Ariane Koch depicts an encounter with the strange and unexpected in ordinary and familiar surroundings. In language as clever as it is humorous, the narrator consistently tweaks the description of her guest, ensuring that our sense of him remains ambiguous. The guest is a phantasm, a rumour; but he is also a body with needs and a person with demands. Similarly, the narrator obscures the contours of her own identity, her intentions and beliefs with each fresh attempt to portray her guest in words. The author condenses the vignette-like episodes in this novel into an ingenious web that explores a highly relevant issue with playful curiosity and undogmatic observation. In the balance between reification and the indissolubility of ideas, she opens up linguistic spaces in which the relationship between the characters as well as the relationship between language and object is continually renegotiated.
Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin
Translation rights: Nora Mercurio, email@example.com
Photos: BAK / Julien Chavaillaz