Quotes by Wolfgang Hilbig

"Even I was increasingly unclear about where I'd been, and which time I'd been in: so I had to explain myself to myself! It was for myself that I needed a justification ... but these would no longer have been stories describing the life of The People I lived among ... they were no longer legal stories. They were stories of the refuse, the refusal of this People! They were cast-aside stories, found only in the troubling places outside town."

"Oh, how I've envied the lives of those who could spend life sitting down. A place to sit, a place to sit! I'd lament, circling my empty chair."

"And I suddenly sensed the nature of the terrain on which I walked: it was hardly solid ground... and perhaps what I walked on couldn't even be called earth, this matter that buckled beneath my steps and sometimes seemed to sigh from its depths with a hollow reverberation. Hadn't the term 'earth' arisen solely on the basis of an embarrassed convention, wasn't it a noun that passed in silence over matter's true nature...? Wasn't the use of substantive nouns nearly always a silence about the true substances of things—and wasn't that silence so essential to us that it became the basic material of our thinking? What were we really passing over: over silenced things, over vanished things, over the basic substance of ourselves, over the silence in our thoughts? Passing silently over our silence?"

"Normality was normal because it had lost its stories ... only when the mask of normality was torn off did reasons for stories exist once again."

"Lacking actual stories, as often as I could I've let this plight stand in for the missing material. Now the whole thing has so exhausted me that in all seriousness I'd need a new biography in order to wriggle out from the rough drafts of my non-authorship. For these drafts have become the only ground on which I can still move."

Books by Wolfgang Hilbig

  • Ich
  • 65 ratings
  • 2008 by Süddeutsche Zeitung

    (first published 1993)

  • The Females
  • 49 ratings
  • November 13th 2018 by Two Lines Press

    (first published 1987)

Wolfgang Hilbig
  • Wolfgang Hilbig