The German logician Gerhard Gentzen was one of the most brilliant in his field. But who remembers him? In this astonishing, stirring novel, Dietmar Dath sets out with Laura and Jan to find someone they no longer remember. The reader enters a thinking space in which not only Gerhard Gentzen appears, but also quite different characters: Dietmar, who has been writing a novel about a famous logician for ten years, but also Frank Schirrmacher, who is racking his brains about the Internet, Jeff Bezos, Ruth Garrett Millikan, a crooked aunt, and a mysterious being who will put life on earth in considerable danger. The entire staff of this great novel puts itself at the service of the search for the basis of our life in the present: the seemingly infinite computing power of computers. It makes possible the flight bookings, the distribution of vaccines or relief supplies, the control of nuclear arsenals, or the detailed mappings of a life through likes and comments on social media that would not exist if programs could not check how programs work. The fact that they can has to do, again, with Gerhard Gentzen. Artful and fast-paced, humorous and always surprising, these many narrative strands themselves write a program - If Then GoTo - that lets us experience the chances and possibilities of present-day computing technology and spits out unexpected results: science fiction, that's what.
Nominated for the German Book Prize 2021
Dietmar Dath was born in 1970 and is a journalist, writer and translator.