Hidden Treasures

During the 25 years of Solitude’s existence, an impressive number of writers have passed through Akademie Schloss Solitude, some spending more time at this special place, some less. Some Solituders selected their favorite book from the large amount of literature that has been produced at Solitude and then left behind by fellows. Listen to them reading a few lines from their personal favorites, which they’ve dug out of the library’s bookshelves, and read about the memories and feelings influenced their choice.

Silke Pflüger reading Martin Page’s Bienenzucht nach Samuel Beckett in German.


From October 2009 to September 2010, the French author Martin Page was an integral part of the organization of work and life at Akademie Schloss Solitude. His exotic teas, erudite contributions, and evocative situational texts, which circulate through Solitude, remain unforgotten.

It was one of the best years of his life, he writes at the end of his book Bienenzucht nach Samuel Beckett, a book in which one of the most important authors of the twentieth century emerged in a new light. As the reader finds out in the book, an assistant, who remained until now relatively unknown, kept a diary on his encounters with Beckett. For several weeks, the two of them ordered the author’s archive for posterity. The narrator playfully retells a wonderful discourse about life as an artist, artist cults, and the issues of interpreting works. The book functions as a novelette full of lightness and irony as well as an homage to Beckett and a guide to reading.

Since his successful, widely translated debut novel Comment je suis devenu stupide ( English title How I Became Stupid) (Dillettante, 2000), Martin Page has written over 20 books, in which he idiosyncratically, poetically, and astutely tells the strange and even tragic little stories of his characters in a deeply comical way. He writes for adults and children alike. His children’s books are reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s stories, with their serious subject matters and brave little heroes. I have often given them as presents.

Bienenzucht nach Samuel Beckett was written during Page’s stay at Akademie Schloss Solitude. The book was first published in the German translation by Gernot Krämer in 2011 for the literature series of Edition Solitude (then merz&solitude).

(Silke Pflüger, Fellowship Coordinator at Akademie Schloss Solitude, on Bienenzucht nach Samuel Beckett ( English Title Beekeeping According to Samuel Beckett))