Hans in Luck

by Isaac VanCuren

What Now? 


This performance art piece revolves around the life of Hans Fallada, who was a German novelist. Some of his better known novels include Little Man, What Now? (1932) and Every Man Dies Alone (1947). His works belong predominantly to the New Objectivity literary style, with precise details and journalistic veneration of the facts. Fallada's pseudonym derives from a combination of characters found in the Grimm's Fairy Tales: the protagonist of Hans in Luck and a horse named Falada in The Goose Girl. 


I was originally captured by the crazy, wild, and thrilling life story of Hans Fallada; through years in and out of prison and constant drug addiction his narrative was compelling. However, as you dive deeper down into Hans Fallada’s writing, you draw out his struggle to relate to “common” people. He felt so distant from those around him. He was too trapped in his mind. Too trapped in his illusions. He wanted to connect to the people around him and try to understand how they were able to fight through their everyday lives. The real struggle to him is the ability to face life. Living life is an act of courage no matter what. 

Hans always acted alone. He was able to communicate through writing. Through individuality. I wanted to mirror Hans Fallada’s selfness in doing this project most alone. I wanted to feel the pain of having to carry a heavy burden on your own.