Two donkeys zockeln over the terrain, duck quacks, young dogs gives chase under the Avocado and lemon trees, and sometimes scurrying snakes through the trees – all quite normal for a Fruit plantation in Malibu. Only dragon has any. Cornelia Funke is a plastic nestled among the cactus and reveals, that on this palm-stocked property on California’s Pacific coast, a woman with a penchant for mythical creatures is at home: Germany’s most successful young adult book author.
Mrs. spark, your new novel is set in the Spanish civil war by fascists, mythical creatures, partisans, and a Princess from the underworld. Cinema fans will be familiar to “the Labyrinth of The Faun”.
they Say it’s quiet, it’s practically the book to the Film, something I’ve never done before. But I couldn’t refuse, as Director Guillermo del Toro asked me to transform his masterpiece into a novel: “pan’s Labyrinth” is my absolute favorite movie. I used to even hang the Poster on my wall: Since you want to go, I said to myself.
To the Horror Genre?
no, the Film is Fantasy in its best form: The story is a political and magical, dark, and poetic. Guillermo is Mexican. In the Latin American culture there is an understanding for the Fantastic that we Germans moved to us since the Grimm’schen fairy tale but today this is frowned upon almost.
you May refer to it as a children’s book author?
I’m a story-teller. In the case of children’s books most people think of the age data, readable only from eight to twelve, and very naive, simple worlds, in which the Wolf sleeps next to the lamb. We know that he does not certainly.
Knew del Toro your fantastic worlds?
a few years Ago, I had sent him the Spanish edition of “ink-heart” for his children. As a thank you, so to speak, for his wonderful films.
How did he react?
for the First time not at all. But a year later, an email reached me. Guillermo wrote: I love your books! And then Shall we dance stood there:?
He wanted to get started.
I was overwhelmed. He invited me to his house in Los Angeles, which is practically a fantasy Museum, with hundreds of props and film art objects. We have hit it off well. Us the same care that connects with what we created, the same love for the Weaker, the same abhorrence of cruelty.
From him the screenplay for “pan’s Labyrinth”. They had a free Hand in terms of the novel?
I didn’t want to! Your movie is sacred to me, I said to him, I change not a word! But he just smiled and said: Cornelia, you play it! Since I decided to make his Story ten of his own short stories. He invited me to a Japanese Restaurant. I wanted to know if my Interpretation of his film was correct. What is the fascist thinking of the scene in which the razor is in front of the mirror to the throat – flirting with death? Guillermo smiled and I knew: We see the world the same way. This has made me calm, and happy. The scissors of the crab, I still have today.
As you pack in the last autumn, three times the suitcase and in front of the forest fires and mudslides had to flee – they would not give up the dream of America is there?
I was on the verge of. It was hard. Malibu wasn’t even really my home. We built the fences to the fire again, as my ass Esperanza young got. I was looking forward so much to the foal, but it died a few hours after the birth – we had it wrapped in Blankets and his life in a fight. Since I had this Moment. I stood up, looked at this beautiful little creature and thought: Now I am beaten. It was not something Existential, because I saw the sense of why the animal must die now, where I had just built the house back? I wanted to give up. And I’ve never quit.
What changed your mind?
I have been in my life in worse places. The death of my husband 13 years ago has prepared me for situations like this. This is not a bad thing, I said to myself – but not so bad. And besides that, two wonderful artists were able to play music in front of my door…
a store recently, the artist, the writing on your property, paint,. On the one hand, the great happiness have to be your guests in Malibu – on the other hand, your very first funding programme last autumn began with a conceivable case of bad Timing.
I guess you Can say. I had been invited, among other things, an herbalist from Colorado, I have a book wants to make about plants. I called them and said I’m sorry I have to cancel, for me, half of it is burned. But since I’m just right back was undaunted – we now need to heal with plants! I found this response very touching. Extreme experiences give us the Chance to learn something about ourselves.
What have you learned?
We buried the donkey over there at the bridge – my first two writer-fellows from Mexico, were with me at the grave, my gardener Alfonso, my sister was visiting, my brother-in-law. La Cubana, my assistant and best friend. There popped into my head: I would create the. But with my main I’ll get it.
friends the new family?
It was always my dream, to be with friends to live together. I love to sit in the evening with many people around the table and talk about God and the world. I felt with each person who arrived here, my roots deeper went. And after the Fire, the breathtaking spring came, of course, the Malibu has ever seen. My stream has not flowed since I 2017 moved in to stream began and was to the river. Flowers shot out of the black earth, my burned trees from the beat, and on the beach, gray whales passed by. We were all overwhelmed.
It was said that they wanted to move to the fire in a house in Cornwall?
I wanted a safe place for my pictures and books. But I’m not looking for more. I have the feeling that here, I live exactly the life I want to live and should also. Here I can best fulfill my task.
And what would that be?
it is well-founded in my name: spark! I throw sparks in the fire of the other. This is my character, my nature. I want to inspire.
do you Believe that everyone has a purpose in life?
Absolutely. I always say to children: you need to find out which tool in the tool bag you are. If you think you’re a Hammer, and in truth is that you are a screwdriver – oh, this is bad! Since you will make all wrong things! If you know what you are, then you’re happy. What we are, we do well.
What kind of tool are you?
The word fishing. I search the words for, no words. I’m not a Narrator, telling your Inner takes and the world something about yourself. Instead, I’m going to my antennas and to catch the sensations and experiences of other people. The stories always come from the outside, I work with you only with my heart – with my personality, with everything I know now about life. My narratives are interpretations of human existence. So, like any artist, a musician, a painter does it. In this respect, art is something very Sacred. Because it expresses the feelings of the other.
Let the love speak.
Since the death of my husband I fell in love twice, very seriously. For the first Time in a married man. I felt a very deep love, and he knew it and shared it also. But we have both said, because he was married – no. It remained in the friendship. And after this love was not a romantic relationship, I have enjoyed it, to be on my own.
That was new to you?
I was with my husband since I was 20. 27 years! I had to discover properly – sitting the girl that finds it chic, alone in the Café. The enjoy, with a lot of men out. I’m not someone who has a quick affair. Unfortunately, it would be much easier! But I’m picky.
And then you met the Right one?
three years Ago: an American from Ohio and married again. For two years we were inseparable. I have taken him by the way, once to Germany. I thought, o boy, when the journalists catch on to the pounce on to him. But no one has noticed anything. Brown sat during my reading journey, always in the first row, was at dinner always at my side. But none of them came up with the idea that Cornelia Funke is with a new man on the go! He divorced me for me and fell in love with new.
What, in a different?!
He wanted to start fresh, with me, but you then often of all that belongs to the old life. I was surprised – and yet it was very painful. Wherein: Such pain we want to, right? Sometimes it has to be the great Drama: The heart must bleed properly! And before that, it must be in love really!
Because I was under this wave now by am. But I’ve decided not to see him for the first time. To make love in friendship – it’s not always possible.
did you Feel guilty?
no. His wife knew, that we see ourselves. No lies, no secrets. But even if they say you don’t cheat, you just do it in some ways but – even though she knew it, even though the marriage was already at the end. Add to this, the other woman still pain, and as it happened to me, I thought: Well, you earned it, Cornelia! Now you’ll get what you’re dealt.
do you Like being Single again?
I wish to find a companion. Like my husband, this was extreme: a 24-hour Companion, with whom I have shared everything. I had a very good marriage. But you can’t expect such luck a second Time in life happens.
It doesn’t have to be 27 years.
I would have nothing against having an affair. I hope that I have a passion for happens. I love the slight madness. One of my friends said this by the way: We need these crazy Love in the life. This Love, for we have to try a different side of us, almost, someone else will! The way I see it: We all have in us the house of our soul, and every friend, every love, every child opens a different door. Me doing the suffering, not allow, not to be trusted.
you once said that when her husband was in the hospital, they would have sat on his bed and wrote. Work is a distraction for you? Comfort?
Absolutely. Not that I am processing something – I write now, not a love story. But I find myself so strong in my work. We need, in pain, when we lose a love, when our life is threatened. Then we want to find our identity again. Therefore, it is not for a lot of women, if you are working so difficult to find. When I write, I’m just me. I see and feel in this life that I’ve built in 60 years.
Now you have a job that fulfills you.
I know that this is my privilege, my luck, even that I find myself in the Writing, in the Work. Sometimes I scare how many do not even try to find this fulfillment. You pull your working day you get bored of, surround yourself with colleagues you don’t like, and hope that you can make at least a nice evening. There is a wonderful quote from the movie “One Night Stand” by Mike Figgis, where Robert Downey Jr. dies of Aids, and says to his friend: This is the performance. This is not a rehearsal. And many people live as if their existence would be merely a rehearsal!
Perhaps they hope for something Better.
May be that after the death of the next life that we all live several times. But: Every single life counts for. I’m glad that I’ve learned anzuschubsen. Another quote that has touched me always, comes from “a room with a view”. Since the main actress is playing the piano in this hostel in Florence, and a priest to hear, without you notice it. He says to her: I look forward to the day when you live the way you play the piano. I think I will live now to how I write.
What are you writing next?
I would like to finish a “dragon rider”novel, my “ink heart”continuation, then the fourth and fifth “Reckless”-book.
your 60. Birthday called the German literary critic Denis Scheck, a “changing literary superlative”. Feel you met?
think of it this way: A journalist has begged me time, I should give her an Interview on the topic of success – you will find hardly any women who can say what. I am very proud that I am one of the success of women. I’ve always earned my own money, I founded my own publishing and 26 million books sold. That’s pretty good.
America loves a success. What do you like about America?
the friendliness of The Mpeople charmed me. And the Vastness of the country, the many cultures. Also, my two children live in the USA, my daughter is working as a conservator in Charleston, my son has a music Studio in Venice Beach. I can’t imagine, here again to leave. But life has surprised me many times.
you May actually choose in the USA?
not Yet. This summer I’m going to let me join: I would never forgive myself, at the next election my vote will not be given. Unfortunately, the picture of the wrong President then hangs still on the wall.
The Interview with Cornelia Funke appeared on 4. July in the star.
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