Having a great time at the Hearing Voices café, 22-10-14




Coming into the café, bright letters outside, hoping to finally read my Philip K Dick Exegesis, I find two men sitting at the Hearing Voices café table, joyously eating cake and drinking big foamy coffees. Herr Dr. Robert Dorner and a friend. I give them our new printed insert #2 (thanks Alex Gifreu) in the Hearing Voices Café paper, one side with the opening speech of Dr. Marius Romme at the 2014 Intervoice Congress in Thesaloniki, with the title “How to solve the schizophrenia problem”, and on the other side, Heike Hinze’s mirror artwork.

Beautiful, they say.


Heike Hinze comes. She is so happy to see her mirror printed. Normally, each newspaper should have all the inserts printed so far, this is, now there should be two inserts in the newspaper, but by mistake there is a couple with only the new insert #2. Heike takes them home. She smiles and says she only really cares about her insert.

Herr doctor leaves. But new people arrive: Anton Fischer, the Robert Walser scholar; A lady I had not yet the pleasure to know the name; and Christian Rüthing, musician and Paul Celan aficionado.


It seems to me that they find the title of the new insert, “How to solve the schizophrenia problem”, too heavy and really uninteresting- there is some eye-rolling. That problem clearly does not belong to them. Before we know it, a passionate conversation develops among the present voice hearers. My limited German lets me understand just about 40% of it. But I know they speak of voices, friends, guilt, how to kill a voice (by will power!), reincarnation, life after death, God, God’s voice, drugs, drugs and voices. There are as well apparently unrelated stories about family, deserts, Palestina, and reuniting with all your ancestors after death… and should that happen in a very small room, then it is not really something we are looking forward to.

Two hours later we leave, me once more with my unopened Exegesis of Philip K Dick, 1200 pages still waiting for me.