Book Lovers: Mario Münster

Meet Mario Münster, the co-founder of Rosegarden (@RosegardenMag), a Berlin-based cultural journal publishing the stories about people, issues and ideas “that influence us as eagle-eyed urbanites”.

Münster and his fellow founders Maren Heltsche and Bertram Sturm started the magazine because “Pop-up culture, supper clubs, start-ups: they affect our daily lives. In turn, this is shaped by a layer of contemporary social and economic issues we want to debate – like multi-optionality, the rise of the sharing economy, the decline of the traditional family models. We want to chronicle this thrilling period.”

Rosegarden is largely published in German, but they broadcast a monthly radio show for English-speaking listeners and have started to publish stories in English, with more in the works.

CbFJjP2u_400x400The interviews in Rosegarden are always just so…cool. You’re running a series on The Wye, a creative space in Berlin, San Franciscan DJ/Producer Kevin Knapp, the novelist Ivy Pochoda, and even Sophie Auster, Siri Hustvedt and Paul Auster’s daughter. It says something about how Rosegarden wants to inhabit the world. How do you pick your interviewees? 

We are attracted by people who follow their passion. We put this once in an ad as “There is nothing more attractive then people following their passion”. I really mean it. I’m eager to discover the beauty in the things people do and how they do them.

As an editor, how do you read to find pieces for Rosegarden

The sound of storytelling is important. I am allergic to PR-driven, explain-y pieces and articles that hide the author‘s opinion. I know these things have their place, but I want to know how a topic or an encounter affects the author. I look for a smart, personal perspective. And the language must be vivid. Overly smooth, clean language doesn‘t hurt anybody, but nobody will remember it. The perfect Rosegarden article is blunt. Reading is about waking people up.

Berlin has come to be the buzzword (buzz-place?) for the possibility to pursue creative dreams in an urban, international setting. At the same time, gentrification has become a hot topic in the city. People keep telling me that they move here to  not work very much and to pursue creative endeavours. As a long-time Berliner, do you think this is still true? 

It‘s absolutely true and this attitude leads to a huge problem for the Berlin creative scene. Berlin suffers from a soufflé of creatives. Every day, people move here branding themselves as “creatives” or “artists”. But being successful as a creative means hard work and self-management. Berlin is a great place for finding distraction. But creative output doesn’t arise from late night parties and lingering in coffee shops.

jpegWhich book shaped your love of reading, and why?

Albert Camus’s notebooks made me realize that books can explain the big issues of the world through the perspective of an individual. You don‘t need abstract theories to explain the world, just the story of a person who lives in this world.

Which kinds of books do you find yourself gravitating towards now?

I read lots of books by contemporary North American authors. Maybe because of a strong personal desire for new adventures on the other side of the Atlantic… But seriously, I admire the way their stories reflect society: Chimamanda Ngozie AdichieDave EggersChad HarbachJoseph O‘Neill and Ivy Pochoda, to name a few.

What is your ideal set-up for reading? 

I have a tiny window of opportunity that unfortunately only appears once a week: Sunday morning between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. in my bed. My wife is sleeping beside me, the world outside is still and on standby, the smell of a cup of freshly brewed coffee fills the air… no calls, no emails, no conversation. Sounds cheesy but it’s perfection.

Parting Shot

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 11.08.15

This post originally appeared on the Audible UK blog on 18/09/2014.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *