The Great Longing
Marcel Möring’s opinions on political and social developments are frequently sought. Both inside and outside his literary work he displays an aversion to permissive, ironic literature. An engaging writer, he enjoys tackling real and serious matters while maintaining his sense of humour at all times.
In his novels this attitude shows through in his use of terms such as ‘the great longing’, an almost provocatively high-flown title that we are nevertheless meant to take seriously. Here the search for identity, for a past, has been detached from a specifically Jewish context, in contrast to his first novel Mendel’s Inheritance. More prominent this time is Möring’s idea of life as an Exodus (banishment from a protected youth is symbolised by the parents’ fatal car accident) followed by an Odyssey, a journey that draws a person inexorably towards the place he is destined to occupy in the world.
It is a minor miracle that Möring manages to handle these themes without moralizing or sounding woolly. The images and dialogues are vivid and true to life, proof of a passionate and authentic writing talent.