23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

Patrick Roth

Patrick Roth was born in 1953 in the German city of Freiburg im Breisgau and grew up in Karlsruhe. After completing his Abitur higher education entrance examination, he studied languages in Paris, where he regularly went to the Cinémathèque de France. In 1974, he worked as a production assistant on the science fiction television series »Es gibt noch was zu retten« (1974; tr. There still remains something to be rescued) filmed in Munich. He interrupted his studies in English, German and Romance languages and literature at the University of Freiburg in 1975 to accept a scholarship at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. He studied film direction and production in the Cinema department there, and took acting classes with Daniel Mann. Roth lived in California for 37 years before returning to Germany in 2012 upon publication of his highly acclaimed novel »Sunrise. Das Buch Joseph« (tr. Sunrise. The Book of Joseph).Due to his history of living in the United States, the mythical subjects of his stories and his very cinematic style of writing give Patrick Roth a special position in contemporary German literature. At the beginning of his artistic career he produced cinematic and theatrical works. In 1978, he produced his first short film »The Boxer«, which was honored with the designation »of particular value«. He was also in charge of the script, directing and editing of the film. This was followed by documentaries about German exiles in California. Roth produced various own radio plays for the German broadcasters SFB, WDR and SDR. In 1990, he published his first literary work »Die Wachsamen. Drei Monodramen« (The vigilant. Three monodramas); the first of these »Kelly« was performed at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe under Roth’s direction. In his tale »My Journey to Chaplin« (1997/2003), Roth describes his trip to meet his idol Charles Chaplin in Switzerland in order to hand over a letter to him. In »Die amerikanische Fahrt. Stories eines Filmbesessenen« (2013; tr. The American trip. Story of a film fanatic.) he takes stock of his path from film student to author. Magical »movie moments« are presented with the aim of »preserving this key visionary moment«, which, for him, accounts for what is the true instance of creativity. Roth’s literary debut »Riverside. Christusnovelle« (1991; tr. Reiverside. A novel of Christ) is the first volume of his Christ trilogy, which dramatizes Early Christian images like baptism, awaking the dead and resurrection. Most recently, in his great novel »Sunrise. Das Buch Joseph« (2012) he examines in unorthodox fashion the unknown life of Jesus’s foster-father. At the centre of events is an examination of the confrontation between the individual and the divine, written in an archaically rhythmical language, presented in a cinematic and contemporary narrative style. During his lectures on poetics given in Frankfurt (2002) and Heidelberg (2004), Patrick Roth described his poetic method and the paramount importance of dreams for his writing. Since then, an anthology entitled »Die Wiederentdeckung der Bibel bei Patrick Roth« (tr. Patrick Roth’s Rediscovery of the Bible) has also been published. The German broadcaster WDR has described him as a »visionary and master dreamer, who chronicles his nightmares in the form of revelations«.The author has received several awards for his work including the Rauris Literature Prize, the Hugo Ball Award and the Literature Prize from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. Patrick Roth lives in Mannheim.


Riverside Christusnovelle

Suhrkamp Frankfurt a. M., 1991/2005

Meine Reise zu Chaplin Ein Encore

Suhrkamp Frankfurt a. M., 1997

Wallstein Göttingen, 2013

Zur Stadt am Meer

Heidelberger Poetikvorlesungen

Suhrkamp Frankfurt a. M., 2005

Sunrise Das Buch Joseph

Wallstein Göttingen, 2012

Die amerikanische Fahrt

Stories eines Filmbesessenen

Wallstein Göttingen, 2013