Hans-Ulrich Treichel, “More beautiful than ever” (Gallimard)

Hans-Ulrich Treichel, “More beautiful than ever” (Gallimard)
Hans-Ulrich Treichel, “More beautiful than ever” (Gallimard)

In admiration. It’s a ghost. Andreas Reiss, professor of romance at a teacher training center in West Berlin. Divorce. No children. Not really any friends either. The only passion (even if in his case, the expression is a little excessive) identified was French cinema, and in particular that of the New Wave. A man who walks alongside his life, without qualities, without making noise. A small character blended into the tumult of the times and the city. What he has most precious, a secret that only interests him, is his relationship since high school, woven with admiration and envy, with his friend Erik, who has become a renowned production designer in the world of cinema. . Interest which is hardly reciprocated… Andreas also harbors a fascination, which he wants to convince himself is in no way that of a fan, for a Franco-German actress, Hélène Grossman. One night, in the apartment that Erik left at Andreas’ disposal during a stay in the United States, the phone rings. An unmistakable voice. It’s Helen…

This is the argument, woven with mystery and ambiguity, of More beautiful than everthe new novel by Hans-Ulrich Treichel, the author of Disappeared (Hachette Littératures, 1999). The writer displays an accomplished art of understatement. His Andreas Reiss is a brother in literature to the hieratic heroes of Emmanuel Bove. The humor here is subdued and willingly cruel, the reverie bittersweet. The passage of time is merciless.

Hans-Ulrich Treichel
More beautiful than ever
Gallimard
Translated from German by Barbara Fontaine
Edition: 2,300 copies.
Price: €21; 192 pp.
ISBN: 9782072982026

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