"Beachlife" - Exclusive interview with Stefan Maiwald
Stefan Maiwald's illustrated book „Beachlife” is a declaration of love to the beach and to the carefree attitude to life. The texts and photographs awaken longing and wanderlust for the scent of salt water and the sound of the waves. The Coffee Table Book impressively shows the beauty and diversity of the beach and captures the weightlessness of this place of longing. The reader encounters entertaining stories and beautiful shots of sand and sea, like lively beach scenery and beach people, deserted beaches, surfing, beach volleyball, stylish accessories as well as portraits of exclusive destinations and celebrities.
The author portrays dazzling personalities such as Coco Chanel or Brigitte Bardot and reveals their intimate relationship to the beach. "Beachlife" tells stories about Coco Chanel's invention of the summer tan or Thomas Mann's source of inspiration: the vastness of the ocean, where the mind can unfurl itself. "Beachlife" is thus also a homage to the fascinating relationship between man and the beach.
Italian by choice, Stefan Maiwald has lived on the island of Grado between Venice and Trieste for twenty years and writes novels, thrillers and non-fiction. He is considered one of the most versatile German authors. Maiwald spends most of his free time at the beach. His book „Beachlife” bundles this lifestyle in inspiring texts and impressive photographs for his readers.
In an exclusive interview with teNeues, the author reveals information about the inspiration for his book and also provides insights into his personal life:
You live on the beach in Italy, a dream for many of us. To what extent did your personal beach experience inspire you to write the book "Beachlife"?
The beach is a place of longing. A kind of paradise, but with its own rules and secrets. It was simply time to take a closer look and dedicate a book to this microcosm. Because I think most of us would like to be on the beach much more often. So this book takes them there.
What are the different aspects of beach life that "Beachlife" focuses on?
I cover a wide variety of beach people, from the idle to the avid surfer and beach volleyball player, from the style-conscious beachgoer with designer swimwear and statement sunglasses to the bon vivant in the beach bar. The beach is shown as a place of socialising, of seeing and being seen, as well as the beauty of deserted beaches. In addition, the book takes us on a journey to the exclusive beach clubs of this world. The beach is big enough to accommodate all lifestyles.
What is Coco Chanel's significance for the modern beach look?
We have her to thank for the desire for a tan. Because at the beginning of the 20th century, a distinguished pallor was still en vogue, even though people were already busy holidaying on the beach. But people wrapped themselves in long clothes - not only because it was demure, but because it did not darken the precious white skin. Coco Chanel, on the other hand, proudly showed off her bronzage in Paris after the summer holidays. And set a trend that continues to this day.
An unexpected liaison, and yet ... What connects Thomas Mann and Baywatch, world literature and pop culture?
Geniuses like Thomas Mann and Pablo Picasso were avid beachgoers and share this trait with geniuses of a completely different kind, such as David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. Which proves: The fascination with the beach is egalitarian and applies equally to all levels of education and income.
What makes life at the seaside so special? Why is the beach so good for us?
There are countless studies that clearly prove that people who live by the sea live longer, healthier and better lives - and that's already factoring out the wealth effect. Every extra day at the beach is a small gain, a triumph against the greyness of everyday life. The sound of the waves also has an incredibly calming effect on us and, together with the smell of the salty sea and the view into the distance, surpasses any meditation app.
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