Matinee: Der Weg nach Oobliadooh von Fritz Rudolf Fries. Mit Helmut Böttiger, Günter Baby Sommer, Simon Lucaciu

Su 24.10.2021

Betriebswerk Heidelberg

Presale: 14,10 €plus fees

Box office: 16,00 €

Begin: 12:00

Entrance: 11:30


Event series: Enjoy Jazz 2021

Country: Deutschland

Günter »Baby« Sommer: dr
Simon Lucaciu: p
Helmut Böttiger: Lesung und Gespräch

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper once wrote that it is difficult to understand why censorship was at all enforced in the GDR considering all the potential books that have not even been published to date. The case is different for “The Road to Oobliadooh” by Fritz Rudolf Fries (1935-2014), which elucidates the reasons why none were published. While GDR mainstream literature had chosen to tread the socialist realism path with “Bitterfelder Weg”, Fries, born 1935 in Bilbao, chose to wander the subversive side-lines of speculative literature and Bohemian picaresque novels. “Suhrkamp” published “The Road to Oobliadooh” in the West in 1966 upon recommendation of Uwe Johnson. On the other side of the wall it was the “the longest serving non-published book of the GDR” (Wilfried F. Schoeller). It was only published in an abridged version in 1989. One reason for this could be that the “The Road to Oobliadooh” is prose, full rhythm, non-conformational and megalomaniac, in short: jazz. Even the title references a piece by Dizzy Gillespie: “In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee”. The two protagonists Arlecq and Paasch are Leipzig bohemians and jazz fans, crazy about music by Dizzy, Charlie, Thelonious and Bud, and about bebop, which was deemed decadent, snobbish and dangerous for youth in the GDR at the time. That was in 1957/58. Arlecq and Paasch believed they could get away from the banal everyday life with jazz, alcohol and wittiness, but were taught the better after stopovers in psychiatric units and conventional marriages. But it did make seem attractive. Fries’ prose has been compared to Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” and Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” and, in film, with “Berlin – Ecke Schönhauser”. Fritz Rudolf Fries seemed to have created a nice cultural niche in the GDR, until at some point it became known that he had become involved with State Security in 1976 and “The Road to Oobliadooh” was subsequently forgotten. However, it was not entirely forgotten: In 2012, literature critic and “Oobliadooh” fan Helmut Böttiger published in a new edition by “Die Andere Bibliothek”. So this musical reading draws several circles to a close, which should be remembered because they are certainly worth exploring.