Extract from Michael Mitchell's translation

Uwe Tellkamp's The Tower

Philipp shrugged his shoulders, started walking to and fro again. Marisa came in, made herself comfortable on the sofa beside Eschschloraque, lit one of Philipp's cigarillos.

‘Tell me instead what the evening was like, with the people from Frankfurt.’

‘A pretty mixed-capitalist soirée. They look on us with both pity and envy. Pity because we are so terribly naive and refuse to give up our belief that the written word can change the world. Envy because, at least in this part of the Fatherland, we are absolutely right. There's also an element of fury. They don't like it when we catch them slackening off. Their manufacturing conditions are not determined by the state. The fact that they keep going on about our generally mediocre paper confirms your thesis that under free-market conditions the spirit it like a cow grazing on superficialities. How are things at the Institute, anyway?’ Philipp worked as a lecturer at a Leipzig branch of the Institute for Social Sciences.