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Despair and hatred turned into a good book

With a height of 2.02 meters, Thomas Raab from Graz claims to be the largest living author in the world. The crossover between literature and science studied natural sciences, worked with Oswald Wiener and was called "cognitive researcher". Unsurprisingly, his books, such as the novel "Behavior" (2004), are not conventional narrative works, but satirical discussions of literary conventions and reader expectations. Most recently, Raab emerged as editor of the "New Anthology of Black Humor", which updated that of the surrealist André Breton.

The Ritter-Verlag has now published a new volume of what is far too little perceived by the literary business. In the afterword, Raab names what fueled the work on the consistently short texts: hatred and despair. They were created over a long period of time as a private battle; publication was not initially planned. It's good that things turned out differently, because the reading is both intellectually stimulating and a mischievous pleasure.

"Bobophon" follows city dwellers on their way and contrasts them - hence the subtitle "Lehrfabeln" - with the behavior of animals. In the opening text "single-celled as a designer, understood" Raab introduces the milieu. Organic baker, fashion designer, network designer or stock manager - they all have one thing in common: only those who constantly reinvent themselves can remain competitive.

You know these types and sometimes recognize yourself. However, Raab's descriptions are not just apt and full of bad humor, they are deeply melancholy. About the network designer, who has just landed a lucrative project, it is said: "He will have to go to bed this morning in order to tackle his big undertaking tomorrow, the remuneration of which will ensure his survival for six months."

Despite all the sadness, only one thing helps: carry on! This imperative also applies to Thomas Raab.