Germany | 2004
Marcus Braun was born in 1971 in Bullay/Mosel. He has published the novels Delhi (1999) and Nadiana (2000) as well as several plays. His most recent novel is Wedding Preparations. In 1997, he was awarded the Joseph-Breitbach-Preis. He resides in Berlin.
A stay at the Santa Maddalena Foundation may only be called a windfall for any author. In the presence of olive trees, oak trees and species of snakes not to be found in the Britannica, Tuscany offered even more. On the window sill of my belfry window beautiful emerald lizards gobbled some hornets while I had my first coffee of the day. Here in the sun and surrounded by beautiful things of the past, I felt immediately motivated to start working.
Sitting at my desk for 200 hours in October, resulted in nearly 100 pages of a novel version of which 20 pages were completely new thus representing my personal record; it may seem a little foolish to even mention this, after all – should one count pages where literature is concerned. However, all I want is to express my feelings about the ideal conditions I encountered. In addition to being able to stay in absolute solitude in the country of nostalgia and dreams ( Italy has always been that for German people) , one was excellently looked after and did not have to worry about anything. Roasted quail practically flew into my mouth and my glass stayed never empty so that not only my script but also my body became heavier.
I myself come from a winegrowing countryside located in the former Transalpine Roman settlements, where the soil is studded with shale deposits. This affinity made me feel immediately at home and kind people went out of their way to make me feel even more comfortable.
And not only the people. How could I forget the four animal representatives of the Maddalena Foundation of which Grisha’s amiable tomcat became my special friend. While we did not share the table, we at least shared the bed (which, I’m afraid, is of much more importance to human beings than it is to cats).
I shall never forget either pyramid or tower and will stay forever indebted to Beatrice who managed to create a unique hideaway in Europe where one felt moved to another era in an ideal case of a Rezzorian wrinkle in time.