#TexasText/Jamal Tuschick – Jamal Tuschick – Geheimnisse der Jauchegrube

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Sieg der Verlierer:innen

In a late moment of the 18th century, Russian troops storm a citadel in northern Italy. They experience the fleetingness of victory, which only the victims take note of. The discrepancy between the bloody turmoil and the political impact causes discomfort in the theme park of embarrassment. The ineffectual commotion is repulsive. Heinrich von Kleist speculates on the effect by presenting the military uproar in great detail in relation to the further events of the novella (see „The Marquise of O…“).

„What is a novella but an unheard-of event?“

So auf den Punkt brachte Goethe die Novelle in einer von Eckermann 1827 festgehaltenen Bemerkung. Die Novelle ist eine Form der Neuzeit ohne antikes Vorbild. Sie verlangt das Ereignis von schicksalhafter Bedeutung als Neuigkeit.


A film director could not make the shooting more sensational than an establishment shot. We are talking about an episode without historical sustainability. The restoration powers of Russia, Austria, Great Britain, and Naples form an alliance in the Second Coalition War (1798 – 1801) against revolutionary France. Napoleon Bonaparte seems to be abandoned by the fortune of war. The appearance is deceiving. At the time of the creation of the „Marquise,“ the future King of Italy is back on top. He crowns himself with the thousand-year-old Lombard Iron Crown in the Milan Cathedral.

In 1800, Napoleon restored his Italian dominance. Why is Kleist concerned with a victory of the losers, who only faced the calamities of retreats?


Navin ponders this on a lazy afternoon in the magical summer of 1999. Almost naked, he stands in the full bloom of his youthful beauty in front of a half-blind, towering mirror from the endless family collection. Nothing is thrown away. The interior legacy of a dozen different relatives piles up, decaying and molding in chambers, cellars, and attics. Three buildings stand on the estate. Only Anton and Navin are aware of everything. They are the only authorized inventory keepers, as it is best to keep even family members unaware of the stock. In the end, one of them will be taken advantage of, and then there will be trouble. Only the patriarch and his heir prince know all the junk spots on the property. Almost like brothers, they share the secrets of the cesspool. In the company of his favorite offspring, Anton regresses to the level of the dime novels of his childhood. He is not bothered by Navin’s semi-autistic narcissism. The boy constantly has to do push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups, and carry heavy things to become even stronger. Navin would have no moment to himself if he were to entertain all the offers. Unfazed, he collects love letters. Most confessions are harmless, but occasionally one slips from an infatuated person that will embarrass them in the near future.

The high school student has long known that he cannot talk to his grandfather about the deep motives in Kleist. The self-made millionaire Anton Steinbrecher proudly points out to his grandson that he only had a primary school education of barely five years. Not that Anton flaunts his deficiencies. One does not willingly expose oneself. Navin’s great-grandmother, a born Bednarzek, was illiterate. The Bednarzeks come from the lost eastern territories. In West Prussia, a free farmer was referred to as an „insassen.“ That was the status of the maternal ancestors from the time of Frederick the Great until the time of the founders. Animals still lived with humans, and geese were brooded in the kitchens. There were valid reasons for such household communities, as chicks had to be protected from martens. The children could be afraid of roosters. With the diligence of bee colonies, one could save on education.
Antons Mutter erlebte den Einmarsch polnischer Kavallerie. Deren Einquartierung in dem deutschen Nest ging glimpflich ab. Als Siebzehnjährige kam sie zu Verwandten nach Dortmund. Dort wurde Anton im ersten Jahr des Ersten Weltkriegs geboren.