What are some useless body functions

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"My mother passed out when I was born, and my guilty conscience has always been correspondingly pronounced." Anyone born like this has bad cards. As lonely as a samurai warrior and brave as Don Quixote, Jochen Schmidt explores in 32 new texts ways of becoming happy despite neuroses and ignorant fellow human beings. In this search, so many weaknesses and supposedly useless habits turn out to be important bodily functions, yes, downright essential for survival: if nothing comes of suicide at the last moment because you think that it would not be nice to be found in a trashed apartment, and swap the cyanide capsule for a cleaning rag; or if you thankfully no longer have to see ugly passers-by due to poor eyesight.

Review note on Die Zeit, July 24th, 2008

Reviewer Gabrielle Killert had mixed feelings when reading Jochen Schmidt's new volume of short stories, which she read as "Journey to the depths of his complex existence". On the one hand, she thinks that Schmidt can tell "wonderfully" and also has a weakness for the melancholy gallows humor, which from her point of view comes into play in many stories. On the other hand, she finds some things too obviously related to "the quick laugh", which is why she gives Schmidt the well-intentioned warning to be better off guarding against the abysses of cabaret in the future.

Review note on Frankfurter Rundschau, 10.10.2007

Basically, the reviewer Sabine Peters has little interest in the list of "the peculiarities of a problem child", which refers to the tradition of the literary failure. Although she finds the idea of ​​the Berlin author Jochen Schmidt very charming to create a kind of reference work for inadequacies, quirks and neuroses and she is astonished at the absurdity of the professional deformations in places, the anger over the loquacity of the first-person narrator, over predictable and worn-out punchlines prevails and about applauding pleasure.

Review note on Süddeutsche Zeitung, September 5, 2007

Christoph Bartmann emphasizes that Jochen Schmidt's texts are deeply serious in all their comedy. Although the 32 pieces gathered in this volume of prose about Schmidt's "most important bodily functions", which tell of the constant oppression of the body in favor of the spirit and which have a noticeably "sociophobic" character, are mostly aimed at a punchline as stage texts, they are usually closed long to be dismissed with a laugh, the reviewer notes. In this way they then regularly develop their "existential" reason, says Bartmann, who certifies that the author is well versed in literary and literary theory. Once you have read this unsparing "self-description" by the author, you can't help it, you just have to "love" Schmidt, the reviewer assures, entranced.
Read the review at buecher.de