The podcast Zeitfragen of Deutschlandfunk Kultur tells in this episode how British authors process the fact that their country is hit by a double blow that would not have made it into any script because it was simply too unrealistic. First the Brexit and then the virus. Anyone who had fantasized about such a scenario in the spring of 2016 might have turned it into a science fiction novel. But it would certainly not have been a sales success.
Now the UK is grappling with this absurd dystopia that has come true. What do the writers do with it? How do you process the conflicts – the underlying and the resulting ones – in your works? And how do they speak up as intellectuals?
In the podcast, some authors speak directly, for example AL Kennedy and Jonathan Coe, others through their work, for example Laurie Penny. What they have in common is more European than British: They criticize those who brought about the Brexit decision and those who implement it. And how they do that reveals a lot about the pain this country has been inflicted by the Brexit dispute and the fears triggered by the double blow.
The play provides a different, deeper perspective on the British condition than many political contributions and analyzes could.