Tyll : My Thoughts

Aritra Dasgupta
4 min readNov 10, 2020

By Daniel Kehlmann, Translated By Benjamin Ross

I am amazed, I am in awe and I am sad all of this is over. I feel terribly sad after reading this and I don’t really know why. I kind of kept putting this off because I just didn’t want this to end. It was too enjoyable and smart and witty. But I have finished it and now I feel sad.

Maybe it’s because the book is filled with suffering.As it trudges through a war torn landscape, across multiple stages, flitting through time left and right, there are only two constants, people suffering and Tyll.
Tyll is like the voice of freedom, of chaos as he constantly reminds us how puny, unimportant and
self obsessed man is. I don’t know.

As a fucking hypocrite, I start with I don’t know and then write this too fucking big stream of thoughts bullshit which I would recommend not reading, it’s just weird.

I don’t know. I don’t know what to say really.

Here is this author at the height of his narrative power, he never fucking hesitates, or falters, it’s all so fucking perfect. I told someone or I have been thinking this to myself constantly but you know how words and sentences and everything is really a bridge from one plot point to another? Kehlmann is so sure and precise in his words, most of my enjoyment was just from reading it, I didn’t need a future clause to keep reading. I never wanted plot twists, character development, it all felt so secondary and useless because the writing itself felt brilliant. And I don’t know why. I have my theories but I haven’t able to pin it down.

David Fincher has these personal rules, like no handheld and some other fucking shit, which when you look at it objectively, is meant to reduce you, the audience’s enjoyment but instead it enhances his craft and hey Fincher is motherfucking Fincher. Kehlmann is similar. He chooses historical fiction, which god tbh I FUCKING HATE. I have tried to read Wolf Hall so many times and it is just so BORING. Why are so many English authors just so fucking boring?

Kehlmann on the other hand, takes these real life characters and, I don’t know how he does this, makes you feel as if these guys could never exist right but also think of them as just so extremely human. I just, it’s amazing because his historical fiction is witty and bleak and he just conjures up this unique world of his own and it has all these magical elements but it’s so realistic. Kehlmann is one of the reasons I know I will never become a great writer, because I can’t even imagine to begin to piece all of this together like this.

Kehlmann’s world building is amazing and it’s all so dark and we constantly see people hungry, sick, dying but yet it’s filled with humor and amazement and wow religion. Religion is shown as this fucking stupid piece of hope people cling on to which sometimes magically works? Kehlmann treats religion so weirdly like it all seems at the same time scientific and completely implausible.

Also Kehlmann’s characters keep appearing in different time periods and I never expected the characters to appear when they did and each time feels so different but it’s still the same character.
His different accounts are filled with conflicting details, like you could say cheaply like Pulp Fiction, I’m cringing mentioning this but it do be like that.

He takes an anthology approach to this and we’re constantly flitting across time periods, wars, politics, the rich, the poor, the soldiers dying on the battlefield to the trial of a warlock and well what I can say? All of them are amazing and important and you could reach each one separately and love them but also like any great book they become more than the sum of their parts but showing wildly different interpretations of the same incidents and characters and it’s BEAUTIFUL. It is a real fucking trip. It just mixes literary style to cheap thrills and tricks and it is just pure dark magic.

I love this book. I do. It is one of the greatest books I have ever read. I had insanely hyped this up in my mind, I paid actual fucking money to read this and it was amazing and it blew my mind. And it also made me sad.

Dude, just no spoilers but IDK okay I’m just thinking about the character arcs and man I feel depressed as shit.

Everyone dies, only stories remain? yes and also Tyll. Tyll motherfucking remains.

Tyll is like this fucking bright symbol of what I don’t know rn but he’s so cool and

I don’t know man I wrote a lot but I still don’t know how the author did this magic trick of a book and why I am so sad.

I am amazed, I am in awe and I am sad all of this is over.



Aritra Dasgupta

Chill Irregular Blog I’ll Put Way Too Much Effort Into