Home News Clemens J. Setz’s “Bot. Conversation Without an Author” (Bot. Gespräch ohne Autor)

Clemens J. Setz’s “Bot. Conversation Without an Author” (Bot. Gespräch ohne Autor)


“Imagine, you are a well-known writer and asked for a detailed interview.

You should give the interviewer, information about your interests and intellectual preferences, about the requirements and background, about motives and topics of your extensive work.

Imagine nothing comes to mind, no matter how hard you try. Then someone else has to tell about you.

But who should that be?

Who knows enough about you and your books?

In the case of the writer Clemens J. Setz, there was an alternative.

But no natural person is here answering questions, but a kind of artificial intelligence, his millions of characters comprehensive electronic diary – the outsourced soul of the author, in short: a Clemens-Setz-Bot.

And what the interviewee himself would not verbalize in an oral conversation, the work alone, completely detached from its author, is doing in astounding openness.”

The Austrian author Clemens J. Setz has developed with Angelika Klammer (Suhrkamp Press) a computer program capable of exploiting the data of his computer and answering in his place for interviews. As fascinating as it is confusing.

Clemens J. Setz, born on the 15th November 1982 in Graz (Austria), is an Austrian writer and translator. He debuted in 2007 with the novel “Söhne und Planeten”(Sons and Planets).

His second novel, “Die Frequenzen” (The Frequencies), was shortlisted for the German Book Prize.

He won the 2011 Leipzig Book Fair Prize with the short story collection “Die Liebe zur Zeit des Mahlstädter Kindes”(The Love on the Time of the Mahlstädter’s Child).

In 2012 he was again shortlisted for the German Book Prize for the novel “Indigo”, and in 2015 he received the Wilhelm Raabe Literature Prize for “Die Stunde zwischen Frau und Gitarre” (The Hour between Woman and Guitar).

Indigo”, his first novel to be published in English, is set in Austria in 2007 in the midst of a sinister epidemic.

Children are the carriers Indigo Syndrome, a condition that causes those who come into contact with them to experience severe headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Infected children are sent to an institute in the far North of the country to prevent the spread of the disease to the wider population.

Clemens Setz, a teacher at the institute, becomes suspicious when he witnesses children being taken away in strange masks and failing to return. When he tries to find out what is going on he swiftly loses his job, however, he remains determined to find out truth about where the Indigo children are going. Part detective-story, part post-modern puzzle, Indigo is a gripping read from a talented author who has already established a cult following in Europe.

List of works:
“Söhne und Planeten” (Sons and Planets), novel, 2007.
“Die Frequenzen” (The Frequencies), novel, 2009.
“Die Liebe zur Zeit des Mahlstädter Kindes” (The Love on the Time of the Mahlstädter’s Child), short stories, 2011.
“Zeitfrauen”. (Schöner Lesen Nr. 112.)” (Women’s Time), 2012.
“Indigo”, novel, 2012. Published in English language in 2014.
“Die Vogelstraußtrompete” (The Bird’s Bouquet Trumpet), poems, 2014.
“Glücklich wie Blei im Getreide” (Happy as Lead in Corn). Retellings, 2015.
“Die Stunde zwischen Frau und Gitarre” (The Hour between Woman and Guitar), novel, 2015.



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