Simeli Mountain

A Kafkaesque parable from the backwoods in sparse, sharp-edged, sculpted language.

An old man is brought before the Social Welfare Board. He is suspected of murdering his wife. Furthermore, he has a storeroom full of weapons, a box full of gold and a head full of mad ideas. Seven young men will become his victims. He's already abducted the young people of the village, to transport them to Mars. And right in the middle of all this is the Chairman of the Council, Griese, who means no harm to anyone and just wants to get on with his job.

The story of a local council leader, who innocently becomes guilty, unfolds inexorably in the telegrammatic text. Terse sentences, totally shorn of punctuation, laid out like song-lyrics, evoke eerily powerful images, images of a Switzerland that Fehr has wiped clean of its idyllic features. Black, white and grey are its dominant colours; secrets, mistrust and madness its driving forces. (Pro Helvetia)

The Grimm's fairytale of 'Simeliberg' is a German 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves variation', Michael Fehr translated this old story about greed and money into our times.

Original Language

German, Der gesunde Menschenversand

Available Material

German pdf


on behalf of No Exit Press
World excl. German, Italian, Korean

Rights Sold

  • Uitgeverij Koppernik

© Affolter/Savolainen

Michael Fehr

born in 1982, grew up in Muri near Bern (Switzerland). He studied at the Swiss Literature Institute and at Bern University of the Arts where he got his Master degree in Contemporary Arts Practice. He is the Swiss project manager of 'Babelsprech' for the promotion of young German speaking poetry. In 2014 Fehr won the Kelag Prize and the Prize of the Automatische Literaturkritik in Klagenfurt, with an excerpt from SIMELIBERG, convincing the jury with his ┬╗extreme modernity┬ź.Michael Fehr is severely visually impaired and dictates his work, hence creating a unique oeuvre of incomparable poetical and musical qualities.