Tom McCarthy: Stiff with Refuse and the Dust of Stars


Gropius Bau, Cinema - GoogleMaps

In German and English
Venue: Gropius Bau, Cinema
Free admission

Readings from the novels of Tom McCarthy, read by the author Tom McCarthy and the actor Paul Herwig, followed by discussion between Tom McCarthy and Stephanie Rosenthal, Director of Gropius Bau, on landscape as metaphor in art and literature.

Like Lee Bul’s work, Tom McCarthy’s fictions chart the intersection of landscape, bodies and technology. His first novel Remainder won the 2008 Believer Book Award and was adapted for cinema by Omer Fast. It features a hero who – wounded by a mysterious object falling from the sky – obsessively re-enacts historical events inside synthetic environments. His third title, C, a 2010 Booker Prize finalist, sees a morphine-addicted World War I radio operator growing increasingly prosthetic as he surveils scarred terrain from an aeroplane. His most recent book, Satin Island, also a Booker Prize finalist in 2015, pictures, against a dream of a giant mound containing all the world’s detritus, the collapse of the grand réçit (grand narrative) of modernity itself.

Tom McCarthy is an author whose work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Alongside his novels, he has also written the study Tintin and the Secret of Literature and the collection of essays Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish. He contributes regularly to publications such as The New York Times, The London Review of Books, Harper’s and Artforum. In 2013 he was awarded the inaugural Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction by Yale University. Tom McCarthy is a 2019 guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin programme.

Paul Herwig is an actor and was part of the ensemble at the Residenztheater in Munich from 1995 to 2001. He subsequently joined the company of the Münchner Kammerspiele where he acted until 2007. He has performed in guest productions at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, at the Schauspielhaus Bochum and the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz. For his role as Johannes Pinneberg in Luk Perceval’s production of Hans Fallada’s Little Man, What Now?, he won the Der Faust, the German theatre prize in 2010, as well as the Alfred Kerr Acting Prize and the 3sat Prize. He was voted actor of the year in 2010 by the jury of the journal Theater heute. He is currently an actor at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, appearing in the productions The Physicists, Inn of the Wandering Nose and The Who and the What.