Coverbild The Crying Animal von Michael Kleeberg, ISBN-978-3-423-13601-3

The Crying Animal

Lebanese Travelogue

"The Crying Animal" is not a travelogue in the conventional sense, but rather, as the author makes plain in the opening pages, a combination of "private travel chronicles, personal reflections, memories and digressions".

At the beginning of 2003 Michael Kleeberg visited Beirut as part of the writer’s exchange programme West-östlicher Diwan. His observations, experiences and impressions came to form the basis of this book.

With the help of the Lebanese poet Abbas Beydoun, who also edits the features pages of the Lebanese daily As-Safir, he gained valuable insights into life in Beirut and the Lebanon. Beydoun enables him to access Lebanese society and culture in a way that would otherwise have been denied him. He had wide-ranging discussions with local people about such diverse topics as Islam, the relationship between the Orient and the Occident, literature and cinema. Men and women talked to him quite openly about their lives during the civil war. He experienced the legendary Arabic hospitality, as well as levels of candour and brilliance rarely found in the West, but then he also encountered censorship.

Beirut, the white city with its stark contrasts of light and shade, intoxicated and confused him. This is reflected in his book, where the boundaries between reality and fiction are blurred. His dexterous narrative is interwoven with vivid images that make the smells and colours of the country come alive. By the end we have learned a lot about the country and its wonderful people. And perhaps a little about the author, too.

176 pages, ISBN 978-3-423-13601-3

Rights sold: Arab language
About the author

Michael Kleeberg

Michael Kleeberg, grew up in Böblingen and Hamburg. He lived in Rome and Amsterdam, and, from 1986 to 1994 was co-owner of an advertising agency in Paris. Today, he lives in Berlin, writing and translating from French and English.
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