Daniel Kehlmann „Me and Kaminski“

Sebastian Zöllner, a mediocre art critic, is searching for breakthrough. His career hasn’t been very successful. His personal life has turned out to be a failure as well.

But he’s ambitious and self-confident enough to come up with the idea to write a biography of an old blind painter Manuel Kaminski, who had once been a well-known and promising artist, but now lives quite reclusively in a village in the Alps. In the public eye he’s almost forgotten.

In order to gain fame and grow rich Sebastian Zöllner quite officiously pokes his nose into the life of Manuel Kaminski. On their common journey to painter’s foregone sweetheart Therese Lessing, who has long been considered dead, Sebastian gradually starts to realize that he’s not equal to that eccentric old man. Although their journey in a way opens his eyes, he’s still unable to notice that Kaminski actually manipulates him all the time. Art critic’s all efforts come to nothing. The book ends with a scene by the sea.

„Me and Kaminski“ seems to be a Bildungsroman. Every reader can decide on its own, whether the story is sad, funny, ridiculous or something else. It definitely gives food for thought. I guess it was meant to be that things turned out the way they did.


Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2008

Kadi Eslon
Department of Literature in Foreign Languages

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