Thou Shalt

»As always, Kermani artfully opens up new perspectives on the world for his readership.«
Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung

»Kermani describes his scenes masterfully, shows his love for language and for sensibility at the same time.«
Nürnberger Zeitung

Navid Kermani, Du sollst (Thou shalt), 160 pages, Ammann Verlag, Zürich 2005.

Don’t tell me that you love me.

Do we have to respect any rules when stepping into and living in the landscape of intimacy between Man and Woman?

Sure, there are the laws of that man who walked down Mount Sinai with two plates of commandments in his arms to give his people the rules by telling them the imperative »Thou shalt not…«.

Navid Kermani enters this landscape and what he tells us from his wanderings through the deep valleys and high mountains of this topography is nothing less than an erotic itinerarium, an index of stations of the conflicting coexistence of Man and Woman.

His imperative Thou shalt does not devaluate the Biblical laws – on the contrary, it reinforces their legal force by looking at the behaviour, the fears and the Fall of two lovers of today – and of two who once have loved each other.

At once explicit and full of poetry, Kermani’s language remembers the Holy Scriptures of mankind, especially where it does not fear the dirty passages.

And the reader will not be able to escape from the clutches of these hefty stories, even though they provoke contradiction in their almost prophetic consequence.