I can’t say I’m thankful about being German because I sometimes experience it as a huge burden. But it is an integral part of me and I wouldn’t want to escape it. I have accepted it.
As an author, you hope for a director and a cast that will make something wonderful out of your book.
As an author, you can’t expect a movie to be an illustration of the book. If that’s what you hope for, you shouldn’t sell the rights.
I certainly know German colleagues in the U.S. who try to be Americans, try to melt into Americanism, even before they get married and become American citizens. But I’ve never tried that.
As a citizen and someone who was a judge on the constitutional law court for 18 years, I feel whenever I can raise my voice with the hope of being heard I need to do it, but I wouldn’t assign a special wisdom and responsibility to writers.
What I really like about law is that it’s not an endless discourse like history or philosophy. In law, there comes a point where problems have to be solved, and cases decided.
There’s this old saying that, if you aren’t particularly gifted in natural sciences, if you don’t want to become a teacher or pastor or doctor, and don’t know what else to do, then you become a lawyer. But I’ve never regretted it.
I love writing, and I am never as happy as when I have a week, a month – three months – with nothing to do but write.