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Philipp Weiss

Philipp Weiss

Fellow in the project „Epochal Life Worlds: Man, Nature and Technology in Narratives of Crisis and Change“

Short Biography

Philipp Weiss, born in 1982 in Vienna, is a novelist and playwright. Until 2009 he studied German Literature and Philosophy. His critically acclaimed debut novel At the Edge of the World Man Sits and Laughs, was published by Suhrkamp Verlag in 2018. It was honored as the best German-language debut of 2018 with the Jürgen Ponto Foundation Literature Prize, the Klaus-Michael Kühne Prize, and the 2019 Rauriser Literature Prize, and it was number one on the ORF bestseller list for over two months. Katja Gasser called the novel in the Austrian evening news ZIB1 a “literary gem of tremendous intellectual, poetic and formal power.” The French translation (2021) was nominated for the Prix Femina. The novel will be published in Chinese translation this year and in Japanese translation in 2026.


Literary Worldmaking - Thinking and Narrating the Global

I am currently working on a new novel project that I call a "world novel" (“Die Unruhe der Planetenhaut”/”The Disquiet of the Planet’s Skin”, Suhrkamp Verlag 2026). In this new book, I am following flows of people, information, capital, raw materials, products, energy, and ecological interconnections around the planet, linking dozens of places, stories, people an other-than-human beings within a narrative network, an interplay of subjective first-person perspectives. Each one can be considered an act of worldmaking, namely the creation of a context of meaning through language. I have now been working on literary representations of the global for over ten years. It is my belief that we can only change what we can imagine and therefore tell. During my stay in Heidelberg I would like to present my literary and poetological positions and put them up for discussion. In addition, I aim to engage in conversations and exchanges with students, fellows and faculty members developing the Chinese characters of my novel and their distinctive and complex perspectives on the world.