Marcel Beyer

Publisher: Suhrkamp


Flying foxes are bat-like fluttering animals with heads like dogs. For Hermann Karnau they have been an emblem since childhood of a world, which is protected from the grasp of foreign voices. In 1940 he conceived the plan of systematically investigating the human voice. The one narrative voice belongs to the acoustician Karnau, whose name is given to a security guard in the Berlin bunker under the Reich Chancellery. The other narrative voice belongs to Helga, the eight year old daughter of the propaganda minister. The two meet each other again and again, lastly in 1945, when Karnau is in Berlin to record the voice of the Führer. In 1992 Karnau rediscovers the conversations of Helga and her brothers and sisters during their last days and nights, in his disc library. He had also listened to the childrens’ voices – until their last breath.

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