up2date. Das Onlinemagazin der Universtiät Bremen

Book Corner: Yvonne Voigt

In this series, we will be introducing people on campus and their favorite books

University & Society

Yvonne Voigt works at the State and University Library Bremen. She has a small, handy version of her favorite book Let Me Tell You a Story by the Argentinian author and psychiatrist Jorge Bucay with her.

In the book, the first-person narrator, Demian, a scared, unhappy student going through an identity crisis, speaks of his sessions with a therapist. The therapist in turn is the author Bucay, who is called “the Fat Man” in the book. It sounds confusing at first. What’s going on? “I like the relaxed mix, the fascinating, entangled perspectives,” laughs Yvonne Voigt. Just a few days ago, the 31-year-old had the surname Bartels. She recently married her dream man and Voigt is now her new name. She is smiling because things in life change. Just like in the book.

Literary Snack on Train Journeys

Something along the lines of “We tell stories to children so that they fall asleep – and to adults so they wake up” is written on the cover. And our reader is of the opinion that it could not be summarized more perfectly. She likes to have the book with her on train journeys and enjoys opening it randomly. It is her long-time literary companion. Why is that? In short, gripping chapters, the psychotherapist tells his patient stories, jokes, anecdotes, parables. They are all something to think about and are constructed in such a manner that at least a small grain of personal truth can be found for and by the readers.

Why Doesn’t the Elephant Simply Escape?

“It is a form of remembering,” says Yvonne Voigt. “We often forget in our daily lives as adults what we learnt as children.” And vice versa. The first story – and the book cover design – mesmerized the graduate librarian. The story is about a circus elephant who weighs tons and allows himself to be pegged to the ground after the show. He could, in fact, pull the tiny bit of wood and the iron chain out of the ground in one swift move. Why doesn’t he do it? The powerful animal who can rip trees out of the ground? “It says in the story that he was pegged to the ground like that as a small, infant elephant,” says Yvonne Voigt. He tried but failed back then to release himself. He was unsuccessful. “Now he believes that he cannot do it.” In this case it would have in fact been better to forget what he learnt as a child.

Yvonne Voigt likes to have her handy copy of her favorite book in her bag. The book makes long train journeys a little shorter.
© Matej Meza / Universität Bremen

Third Observer in the Room

Jorge Bucay wrote the book, which is a combination of a novel with psychotherapeutic session minutes, “pleasantly,” in the librarian’s opinion. “It is lively storytelling and I permanently have the feeling that I am the third observer in the room,” is how she explains her impression of the book. “Everyone can get on board where they want to.” Her second favorite story: The circle of 99. A grumpy king has a butler who is always happy and he wants to find out what his secret is. What a bag of 99 gold coins then does to the happy-go-lucky guy is what curious people can find out themselves.

I Like to Be Surrounded by People

You want to know how Yvonne Voigt discovered this book? “I had an identity crisis and it was a well-intentioned wink from a friend,” she explains openly. It is hard to imagine an identity crisis when you look at the lively, attentive woman. She has found her professional fulfilment in the SuUB. Alongside the work at the information desk, she also puts together “semester collections.” “I am responsible for language sciences and the humanities,” states the young woman in reference to her work. University teaching staff give her seminar lists with up to 30 titles that she then arranges as non-loanable books. “All students should have the chance to take a look,” she explains and grins, “I like to be surrounded by people.” Photography is her hobby, which is why she immediately asks our up2date. photographer Matej Meza: “Canon or Nikon?” And then they both have a great deal to talk about.

Do you have a book recommendation that you want to share with other enthusiastic readers? Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, just send an email to the up2date. editors up2date@uni-bremen.de and we’ll come to you for an interview.

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