Christian Much was born in Luxembourg in 1953. Socialized as a European cosmopolitan, he spent his school years in Luxembourg and Brussels. After studying law and ethnology in Germany, he worked in 14 countries between 1980 and 2016, mainly in Central America, in various Arab states and at the United Nations.
What drives you, Christian?
I have found every change of location to be enriching, my profession to be an inspiring way of lifelong learning. What drives me is definitely curiosity and open-mindedness about other countries and people – and the desire that this may be contagious and that I can contribute something to the reduction of fear of foreigners and strangers. This worldly richness now feeds into his novels.
A differentiated experience of the world
Christian Much was a diplomat in the service of the Federal Republic of Germany. In contrast to the clichéd understanding of diplomatic immunity as a life in the international jet set with a certain glamorous grandeur of elitist attitudes, diplomats of Western democracies usually have a high work ethic and profound knowledge in understanding their own culture in relation to the different cultures in which they live for a certain period of time. At their best, they are generalists, knowledgeable networkers, and discreet facilitators who quickly recognize which issues are actually relevant and what causes and effects they have for the people.
Creatively active diplomats
This approach to life develops through personal observation. Sometimes it also emerges through an independent, differentiated experience of the world beyond the daily official business. Publications by diplomats draw pictures of an individual perception of the world beyond globalized consumer culture and the supposedly cosmopolitan luxury goods industry. With an artistic-empathetic, an always benevolent eye, creatively active ambassadors document the diversity of global cultural interaction. The descriptions of Harry Graf Kessler or George F. Kennan in their respective diaries intended for publication, the photographs of Alfons Mumm von Schwarzenstein and the art collection of Uli Sigg, among others, bear witness.
At home in the mountains
Christian Much now lives in Italy, in the Dolomites of South Tyrol. The eternal character of the stone giants, constantly changing in the light of day and seasons, inspires him to write about the diversity of life. In this way, he literarily interweaves his experience of the world with the high mountain landscape in the heart of Europe, rich in history and stories, to create realistic utopias: These are also the leitmotifs of my two novels: Der Andere Ast (The Other Branch, 2021) is about the coexistence of South Tyrolean language groups, and Michl’s Last Journey (to be published in the fall of 2021) is about the exploration of the present by a man suffering from dementia and his Nigerian nurse.