Winfried Völlger: Nothing I regret

In the GDR, Winfried Völlger was a much-read writer. The fall of the wall ended his existence as an author. He became a street musician.

Winfried Völlger:   Nothing I regret
  • Page 1 — "Nothing I Regret"
  • Page 2 — "The audience is my drug"
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    Winfried Völlger looks to left and to right, n he puts saxophone on his lips. Clear, high notes rise to Leipzig evening sky. Völlger plays jazz. The passers-by make a small bow around him. No one is looking at him; It is as if everyone would have to get used to this sudden offer unobtrusively. A girl slows down, peeps into Völlgers empty hat lying on curb. She's going on. A young man rushes past, throws a coin in hat. Völlger nods politely to him. Now an older couple is standing, man if it bounces up and down, woman rummages in her purse. Völlger plays until dusk comes. Then he moves on, will make music in a pub, later in a cultural center, as so often.

    It is not music that made him known.

    Winfried Völlger, 70 years old, white beard, bald skull, was a much-read writer in GDR. He is an idiosyncratic man with melancholy eyes and many talents. And now he's just a street musician. A very good one, he has studied musicology again as a retiree, a solid Saxofonausbildung enjoyed. Once or twice a year, people ask him, "are y? The writer? " Völlger nods and rejoices that he is not forgotten. That his old life still counts. Although, to a large extent, it is over.

    2015 has appeared his last book, novel Wind Rooster syndrome. Once again, it has to be said, because book was published for first time in summer of 1983, six years before fall of wall, 10,000 copies of first edition were immediately out of print. Until 1989 book was sold 40,000 times – not only according to GDR standards, Völlger was a success author who had reached height of his fame with Wind faucet syndrome. He was already known as author of children's books, wrote essays, wrote pieces for radio and puppet Theatre, and was still what he calls an "unadapted GDR author". Völlger was uncomfortable because he had a sharp look for absurdities of GDR and also called it. Within Writers ' Association of his hometown Halle, whose members were over a third in State security, Völlger developed, as he later formulated himself, "a loner, he keeps himself covered and writes".

    This article comes from time No. 30/2018. Here you can read entire output.

    And he actually wrote texts that were provocative: wind-Rooster syndrome tells story of linguist Claudia, who has apparently infected herself with an unknown disease during a research trip in Himalayas. Back in GDR, she continually bursts into fierce laughter: whenever she meets absurdities of GDR's everyday life. Völlger describes how brutally school and state deal with young people who do not submit to ir demands; Quite frankly, Stasi, who seized film of an amateur filmmaker, appears. For GDR readers, se pages must have almost cracked 1983. These scenes are embedded in history of a youthful bohemian, in which GDR appears colourful, not bland, but very vivid. Inhabited by real people with real worries like one to get allotted an apartment – also an absurdity of GDR everyday.

    After turnaround, he was still a writer. But one without readers

    Today Völlger lives in a very tidy Leipzig one-room apartment, on wall re are chalk pastels, which he has drawn himself. If you visit him, you will notice: How much he likes to tell about this time, n. How could his novel in GDR appear like this? "My goal was a triple mix: one third of concessions, one third of successful defenses, one third thinking, maybe improvement," he says. The "approval process" in GDR was multi-level: Reviewers, censors, Stasi readers. The novel would almost have fallen through re, but Völlger was able to convince deputy GDR culture Minister Klaus Höpcke personally: He gave permission, book appeared 1983. From now on, Völlger lived in Höpckes shadows, as he says. He still joined Civic movement in 1989. Still in October 1989 he landed in "Red Ox", prison of Halle. All se years Stasi had prepared a procedure for anti-state wind valve syndrome against Völlger. She would have liked to finish it.

    Date Of Update: 23 July 2018, 12:02

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