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    I am from germany and a big fan of Jonathan Coes books. I must say, i read them all in english and Coe is so far the only writer i read completly in english. He is by far not as popular in germany as he is in other countrys or in the uk. Maybe the translations are ok, but one has to say, the german titles of his books are absolutly lousy (just a hint). But thats not my subject.
    I would like to ask if the character of Alison is somehow inspired by a german song?
    One of my favourite singer/ songwriter here in germany, Funny van Dannen (he is funny as well), wrote a song about "Lesbische Schwarze Behinderte" (Lesbian Black Disabled) sometimes in the nineties. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnH1Cfin9TY
    Is it possible that Jonathan Coes Alison is inspired by Funny van Dannen?
    I have to admit, the "Toten Hosen", then a german punkband, did a coverversion of this song a few years later (as i red right now).
    What should i say, it´s akind of magic, that two of my favourite writers inspired each other or created the same pretty unique figure (or subject) in their work without knowing each other.


    Hi Radobyl

    Thanks for this message – it’s the first on this board for about six months …

    I haven’t heard of Funny van Dannen, but I will check out the YouTube link that you sent. It’s a coincidence that we were both inspired by the same thing – the idea of a black disabled lesbian being the beneficiary of a politically-correct welfare state has been a cliché of the right-wing press here in the UK for some decades.

    It’s true that my books have never found a big audience in Germany. I don’t know why this is. Last month I did a small reading tour of German-speaking countries and met some of my readers, who were so warm and enthusiastic. But there weren’t very many of them.


    Hi Jonathan,
    in your books, you repeatedly treat class antagonisms, describe the world of the super-rich and contrast them with the lives of ordinary people who are suffering the consequences of neoliberal money accumulation at the top end of the income scale.
    Just like Ken Loach does in his films (whatever you think of him).
    These topics are fundamentally "difficult to sell" in Germany.
    The common German middle class Arthouse moviegoers, for instance, prefers French fare, in which one watches the Bourgoisie having fun. Sorry ;-).
    To mention the very existence of classes is a challenge for some.
    Nevertheless, there is at least good cabaret here in Germany (you made your thoughts about it) that enjoys a considerable popularity Stand up comedy here is more non political compared to good old political cabaret (dont know if you know this in britain at all) but things are changing slowly.
    Funny van Dannen is one of them, but for me he is above all an ingenious poet, who knows how to tell absurd stories in his partly melancholic, partly funny songs.

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