Jochen Distelmeyer

A Musician is far from being a Writer - Criticism to Jochen Distelmeyer`s Debut Novel "Otis"

He shaped an entire generation with his band "Blumfeld". He proved that pop music might also be politically. Last year he published his first novel "Otis". The story is told quickly: Tristan Funke in the mid-thirties is abandoned by his wife. He quits his job, moves from Hamburg to Berlin and tries to be a writer.

The expectations concerning the singer were great. Critics search in vain for literary texts, as it was the case at “Blumfeld”. Based on the epic “Odyssey”, instead of a long odyssey and adventure, there is only a wandering in between Spandau and Neukölln. Finally, Berlin is exciting. His character Tristan tells the story of the drug-addicted programmer Otis. The name comes from the Greek and means "nobody". A nobody lost in Berlin, who experiences his private odyssey including encounters with messenger of the gods, nymphs and sorceress. At a party for a mate Ole, who immigrates to the United States, it comes to a clash for Otis pertaining to the past and his future. In addition, the ex of course appears as well – how she could not.

Distelmeyer dabbled with references to the present in "Otis". This is around three years ago: The origination process of the Holocaust Memorial, the history of the Friedrichsfelde Zoo and the political fiasco of Christan Wulff. The critics mockingly refer to "inactuality" and feel justified in it: A songwriter is far from being a writer.

The writer-existence was probably the next logical step for Jochen Distelmeyer. He is at the end of 40, the dissolution of his band Blumfeld lays many years back and he was only moderately successful as a solo artist. Thus for him probably nothing was closer than to write a book, the same way than many musicians did so before him.

Many critics have missed the lightness of the musician in Jochen Distelmeyer´s debut novel. Too much politics, told in a much too scientific way and each of his characters must give her or his two cents. A novel is not just a pop song. In one of his songs, it says: "Rock 'n' Roll has given my life a new meaning" - maybe it also works well with the writing.