Raw material (Rohstoff), life, reality. Jörg Fauser was forty years old when his autobiographical novel "Rohstoff" was published. Three years later he was dead. It's a good thing that he wrote it down beforehand, this great book about his alter ego, Harry Gelb. Morphine addiction in Istanbul, anarchism in Berlin, return to Frankfurt. Raw material, unadulterated, real. Life is experience. Life is writing. When before and when after, has a writer taken up a similarly euphoric position in reality, a similarly existential position in writing?
"Through hard research and precise observation, he lent his books something that does not happen very often in this country: authenticity and realism. As a reader, one is by no means only curious about the outcome of the plot, but becomes interested in details, in everyday life and its processes, in the underground and its laws. Then someone knew what he was writing about. And he wrote it concisely and sparse, fast and fluid, as realistically as hard-boiled fiction allows." (Volker Weidemann).
Fauser imagines Harry Gelb. A rare Human. In Rohstoff (raw material) he makes him a present to us. Generous and delightful. Fauser is letting Gelb, at page 13, grow up „in Frankfurt/M 50“. There, in the age of eighteen, he lets it become clear to him „that the profession of the writer was the only one, in which I could live out my Apathy and maybe nevertheless could make something out of my life.“ 277 pages later, with stopovers in Istanbul, Göttingen, München and Berlin Harry Gelb lies, at the last page and right there, in the Frankfurt main station district, outside. „This then was the pavement.“ And under the pavement with Fausers Gelb lies nothing, not even the strand. Until there and then Harry Gelb transports what Fauser experienced in his own body. „We took everything we could get… raw Opium… Nembutal … all kinds of Uppers… . Ede painted, I wrote.“ Narrated is the resumé of Life towards personality. From myth to novel. Truth knowing itself, between 1968 and 80/81. Just history. All the rest is error, turpidity, opinion, striving, arbitrariness and transcience. Absolutely rousing.