Jurek Becker»on the beachat Bochum there’sa lot going on«PostcardsEdited byChristine Becker(Original German Title : »Am Strand von Bochum ist allerhand los«. Postkarten)Publication date : 26 March 2018 Suhrkamp Verlag Berlin 2018English sample translation by Alexander BoothSuhrkamp

Abb. S. 321 : Larry Towell, The Sydenham River, Ontario, Canada 1975, Larry Towell  /  Magnum Photos  /AgenturFocus. Abb. S. 358 : George Brassaï, Kiki und ihr Akkordeonspielerim »Cabaret des Fleurs«, 1932, bpk  /  RMN – Grand Palais  /  Estate Brassaï. Abb. S. 370 : JoanMiró, Le sourire des ailes flamboyantes, 1953, Successió Miró  /  VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018.Erste Auflage 2018 Suhrkamp Verlag Berlin 2018Alle Rechte vorbehalten, insbesonderedas der Übersetzung, des öffentlichen Vortragssowie der Übertragung durch Rundfunkund Fernsehen, auch einzelner Teile.Kein Teil des Werkes darf in irgendeiner Form(durch Fotografie, Mikrofilm oder andere Verfahren)ohne schriftliche Genehmigung des Verlages reproduziertoder unter Verwendung elektronischer Systemeverarbeitet, vervielfältigt oder verbreitet werden.Druck : CPI – Ebner & Spiegel, UlmPrinted in GermanyISBN 978 - 3 - 518 - 42816 - 0

»on the beach at Bochum there’s a lot going on«

To : Christine Becker, Berlin [West]9. 12. 1986 [Berlin]My Little Pantofle,you’re afraid of thoseanimals1? When Iimagine how cute it’s becomeunder our bathtub,it makes mesad that all the hustle andbustle is over.Now you’re all I have left.Your hero1 In the flat in Kreuzberg rats had madea nest in the bathroom. With variousgrating, the problem was solved.7

To : Christine Becker, Berlin16. 7. 1990 [Berlin]You old Soft Pretzel You,What did I tell you –you’re going to have a kid, andnow you have one1. To be honest,it took a little whileto get this onegoing, but you can’tdeny that our manyattempts also had their ratherpleasant sides.Either way, my friends andI shall sing you a serenade andtogether shout: Well done, youold fried herring! We all send youa kiss, me in particular.   Jurek81 Jonathan was born in June 1990.

To : Christine Becker, Berlin18. 4. 1991 [Berlin]You old Velcro Strap You,that’s more or less how I imagineFrance to be1 , naturally nottogether with a blond kid, butwith you, and not behind mebut in front of me, and not lyingon top of me, but sitting infront of me, across from me, at atable, in a swanky(if you like expensive) restaurant,you in a black blazer,I know, forbidden dreams. And yetsome dreams come true,who’d know that more thanYour Jurek1 This refers to a planned summer holidayin France.9

To : Christine Becker, Berlin18. 7. 1991 [Sieseby]You Old Sugar Bead You,do you remember how we’d laid downon that promenade orat least somewhere close by? And howthe whole time you said: saynine-thirty? And how I didn’t understandwhat you meant until it became clearthat that was the key to your heart?The fact that you change the key so oftenis a considerable problem for,having just found one, in no timeat all you need a new one.But I won’t give up, you can counton that, I’m as tough as a GDR Schnitzel.In L., Your HeartkeysmithJurek10

To : Christine Becker, Berlin21. 9. 1992 [Bochum]You old Organic Carrot You,here on the beach at Bochum there’sa lot going on. One always imaginesthat beaches in the Ruhrgebiet aregritty and the waterdirty – nonsense. No waves,hardly any wind, the beach isn’t overrun,every few metres a freebeach umbrella. The only thing is thatthere’re a lot of jellyfish, but I don’t wantto start complaining:you could find fault even with seasideresorts like Berlin, Acapulcoor Honolulu.Kisses J.11

To : Johnny Becker, Berlin28. 10. 1992 [Regensburg]You old Beanie,did you already know that Babarcan also play the trumpet?In any event, the sound’s not all thatgreat. I asked him if he mightlearn to play better. ButBabar answered that he wasn’tinterested, elephants that couldplay trumpet would bepretty stupid indeed. What do you think –is he on to something?Your Popycockpapa12

To : Christine Becker, Becker28. 10. 1992 [Regensburg]You old Secondary Agreement You,here in Regensburg, where I amunhappily residing, I don’t likemy hotel room – nocable TV. I talked withStrohmaier1 about it, butno other room was to be had.I asked for some kindof compensation, and heoffered to go to the zoowith Johnny before too long.I accepted.Your Skilled NegotiatorJ.1 Between 1962 and 2016 Fred Strohmaierwas the owner of the Atlantis Bookshop in Regensburg.13

To : Christine Becker, Berlin9. 11. 1992 [Saarbrücken]Du alte Inflationsrate,dies ist zur Abwechslung eine sehrernste Karte. Genaugenommen ist eskeine Karte, sondern eine Art Gutschein :Hiermit verpflichte ich mich, für dienächsten 30 Jahre jede Art von Jammern von Dir entgegenzunehmen,und zwar ohne ein Zeichen vonUngeduld und mit ÄUSSERSTEMVerständnis. Die Verpflichtungerlischt erst an dem Tag, an demmir ein Amtsarzt Depressionenbescheinigt, vermutlich also nie.Deine FrohnaturJ.14

To : Christine Becker, Berlin12. 11. 1992 [Stuttgart]You old Double Whopper You,Stuttgart, nothing elseto say. I’m sitting in the caféand see I’m no longer on the SternBestseller list. Can you imagine – simplygone! How canpeople do something like that toothers? Isn’t that somethingfor AI1 ? By all means I’m going totalk about it tonight atmy reading, and that only.We shell overcome!J.1 The human rights organisation Amnesty International.15

To : Christine Becker, Berlin16. 11. 1992 [Heidelberg]You old Rent Index You,Heidelberg’s an odd place. At firstI couldn’t find it, thenI couldn’t find my hotel.Then they sent me to acar park which I couldn’tfind and then out of revenge Ilost my hotel key. Maybethe people at the readingare expecting Günter Grass, butit doesn’t matter – I’ll justgrit my teeth andread Homo Faber1.Your Late HomecomerJ.161 Novel by Max Frisch.

To : Christine Becker, Berlin8. 9. 1993 [Göteborg1]You old Relationship You,that among the 16 cable channelsthere wasn’t a single one on which I couldwatch the US-Open2, I’ve already told you,and this is the most important thing,what there is to say about Göteborg. As Idon’t have a single book with me either,1I take this opportunity tolisten deeply within myself. Andwhat bottomless pits sound,my God, what bottomless pits!Your Idolizinginnerone2JurekInvited by the Ausstellungs- und Messe-GmbHof the German Publishers and Booksellers Association J. B. travelled to the Bok & Bibliotekbook fair in Göteborg. The occasion was theSwedish translation of Heartless Amanda.The Goethe-Institut was also involved.United States Open Tennis Championship,The United States Open Tennis Champion ship,the complete title of the Tennis championship.17

»Jurek Becker’s singular sense of humour was present every where:in his literary works as in his private correspondence. But that sense of humour and levity which arise from his communicationwere for Becker no less a job than the works with which he madehis living – as a writer his day never ended, not even when he wasonly writing a postcard to his son.«Letters Move the World

Jurek Postkarten SUHRKAMP Jurek Becker Am Strand von Bochum ist allerhand los Jurek Becker verfasste Drehbücher, veröffentlichte Erzählungen und Essays. Auf den ersten Roman, Jakob der Lü