English Biography

I am a person of balance. I instinctively lean to the left,
when the barge threatens to capsize on the right – and vice versa.
– THOMAS MANN, 1934, in a letter to Karl Kerényi

Natural philosophy and biology, Andy Warhol and Stanley Kubrick, cargo cult and the utopian ideas of the 3rd Reich, – they form the intellectual background of  Thor Kunkel, an exceptional writer among the representatives of the new „rebellious“ German counterculture, which is hidden by the mainstream media and which refuses to agree on an ideologically manipulated world view.
Until 2004, Volker Weidermann, head of the Feuilleton section of the FAS, considered Kunkel a beacon of hope for contemporary German literature.
Straight from the start Kunkel knew exactly what he was doing: “For me – as Gustav Meyrink wrote – a good novel is something of a mental work of art, without inherent consciousness, – a work of art that is created like a crystal, that is, according to a law that always remains the same grows out of the formless. ”(HR3, March 21, 2000)
The Ernst Willner award winner (Ingeborg-Bachmann-Context, Klagenfurt) was courted for years by the media and sponsored by the literary industry with scholarships. German critics acknowledged the virtuosity of his prose. All of this turned into an illeberal mallice after a call-murder-campaign  launched by a single SPIEGEL-muckracker, who accused the author of „revisionism“. What followed was one of the most violent literary scandals today. Never before has an author been so hunted and insulted by the media as “hard, relentless, if not to say merciless” (full text, 9/08).
The cultural reservation (against Kunkels writings) formulated by the media in 2004 was followed by the intellectual expatriation of the writer, who moved to Switzerland. His novels are demonstratively ignored by the Colums, which see themselves as an extended arm of political correctness, or are only partially reviewed – in hope that Kunkel’s outstanding narrative work is gradually forgotten. As in Stalinism, the artist should be destroyed by deliberate concealment, but Kunkel ist still writing at the top in the field of contemporary german writers. Even better, the german public regards him as a „cult-figure“, who hasn’t sold out to mainstream, but  continues to keep the originality­ of his thinking at the center of things.
If you take a closer look at Kunkel’s bibliography, you can see that the topic “3rd Reich “is only one of many : Even utopian-technical novels (“ Foam Sister ”), passionately written noir thrillers (“ Kuhls Kosm ”) and a biting social criticism such as“ Subs ”(filmed in 2018 as Oskar Roehler’s HERRliche Zeiten) prove the range of this author, whom some critics consider to be among the best writers of the German present.

In addition to his writing, Thor Kunkel works as creative director of a Swiss advertising agency – an „industrial activity“, in his own words. Steps of his career were leading agencies such as Young & Rubicam, GGK London, Team BBDO, Scholz & Friends, Wunderman Cato Johnson and McCann-Erickson Amsterdam, where he designed several award-winning campaigns. Kunkel has always been involved in humanitarian aid organizations such as Mensen in Nood, the „S.A.N.E. – A National Emergency“-foundation and the Dutch S.I.R.E. – Stichting Ideele Reclame.
With „Das Wörterbuch der Lügenpresse“ (Kopp Verlag, 2020), the exceptional Mr. Kunkel presents his first non-fiction book.
Here he analyzes the new interpretations of a „codified press language“ that has triggered a veritable mass madness among germans.

The book, which is based on an extensive clipping collection, exposes the linguistic trick of the media with its cohort of journalistic sentiments and „event keepers“ – and refers to measures on how to save the language and get the responsible „perpetrators“ to the point of departure.

Text: (e / D)