Klartext. Fragen an meine Eltern


Peter Liechti

Year: 2014
Format: Publication; 192 pages, 20.9 × 13.5 cm, hardcover, dust jacket, 2 ribbon bookmarks, edge-colouring
Text: Peter Liechti, Flap text: Ruth Schweikert
Language: German
Design: TGG Hafen, Senn Stieger
ISBN: 978-3-909090-59-4
Price: CHF 34.00

Klartext (Plain Text) is a linguistic monument, the moving record of an exploratory journey that filmmaker Peter Liechti undertakes to explore the terra incognita of a love. It is a love that seems to him as enigmatic as it is oppressive, as unfathomable as it is obstinate, as fascinating as it is precious: it is the love of his parents, their life as a married couple for more than sixty years.
The son, himself on the threshold of old age, asks his mother and father separately – about everyday things and basic things, about their favourite food, moments of happiness, insights, formative experiences. He doesn’t do this in a neutral manner, but as an eminent participant, as a rememberer, who is less interested in the purely factual than in the language in which it is told. And so, he casts his net and pulls language ashore, not letting up until that which his father keeps at bay, what obviously still troubles him today – his dealings with refugees as a border guard – manifests itself linguistically. In the same manner, he wrests from his mother the realisation that she is partly responsible for the damage to her own life.
In Klartext, Peter Liechti not only subjects the love of his parents, but also his own view of life, his childhood and youth, to a re-reading, a re-vision, with palpable sympathy for all involved and a newfound respect for the life achievements of a generation confronted with tremendous political and social upheavals.
Klartext is the Rosetta Stone of a story of love, family and time, told in three different languages: three times the same story, three times a different perception; a linguistic monument, the deciphering of which becomes a personal adventure for all of us.

Ruth Schweikert