Appearing in the 23rd Leukerbad
International Literary Festival:
Lukas Bärfuss, Switzerland
Emmanuelle Bayamack-Tam, France
Vanni Bianconi, Switzerland
Karl Heinz Bohrer, Germany
Gianna Olinda Cadonau, Switzerland
Arno Camenisch, Switzerland
Roberta Dapunt, Italy
Oswald Egger, Austria
Aslı Erdoğan, Turkey
Brigitta Falkner, Austria
Filip Florian, Romania*
Nora Gomringer, Switzerland
Jürg Halter, Switzerland
Felicitas Hoppe, Germany
Esther Kinsky, Germany
Thilo Krause, Switzerland/Germany
Murathan Mungan, Turkey*
Péter Nádas, Hungary
Melinda Nadj Abonji, Switzerland
Christine Pfammatter, Switzerland
Ilma Rakusa, Switzerland
Josef H. Reichholf, Germany
Cord Riechelmann, Germany
Sasha Marianna Salzmann, Germany
Judith Schalansky, Germany
Peter Schneider, Germany
Monique Schwitter, Switzerland
Marina Skalova, Switzerland
Ece Temelkuran, Turkey
Wolfgang Ullrich, Germany
Raphael Urweider, Switzerland
Christina Viragh, Switzerland/Hungary
Karin Wieland, Germany
Fanny Wobmann, Switzerland
* In cooperation with the DAAD Berlin
Born in Thun in 1971, Lukas Bärfuss is a playwright, novelist, and essayist. His plays have been performed throughout the world and his novels have been translated into almost twenty languages.
Hardly any other Swiss author has elicited a more resonant response beyond our borders. He has made himself a name as a critical thinker, a brilliant speaker, and an uncompromising commentator on current political and social conditions.
His new essay collection, KRIEG UND LIEBE (War and Love) covers a wide variety of topics: populism, tax evasion, xenophobia, language itself. Bärfuss writes about religion and faith, morality in journalism, and the life of an appliance descaler salesman. His essays show that there are no small or large questions, instead he always invokes a topic’s larger context and ethical dimensions, and makes them manifest. His essays on language have won particular praise. The critic Martin Ebel wrote of them in the “Tages-Anzeiger”: “Language, terms, and the way they are applied and the way they change is the essayist Bärfuss’s actual field... Bärfuss is also impressive when he insists on literature’s ability to offer alternatives to bad states of affairs: ‘All that is, could be different. After all, we can imagine this difference.’”
KRIEG UND LIEBE. Essays. Wallstein Verlag 2108
HAGARD. Novel. Wallstein Verlag 2017
STIL UND MORAL. Essays. Wallstein Verlag 2015
KOALA. Novel. Wallstein Verlag 2014
Available in English:
ONE HUNDRED DAYS. Novel. Translated by Tess Lewis. Granta Books 2013
THE SEXUAL NEUROSES OF OUR PARENTS. Play. Translated by Neil Blackadder. Nick Hern Books 2008
Novelist and playwright Emanuelle Bayamack-Tam was born in Marseille in 1966. Author of ten works of fiction, she lives in Paris and teaches in a suburban secondary school.
ICH KOMME (I’m Coming), her most recent novel to be translated into German, was praised on the literary talk-show “Literaturclub” as “highly recommended reading.”
Three long stories form the novel’s inner structure: a daughter, her mother, and her grandmother offer three versions of an uncomfortable reality. Nelly, the oldest, takes stock of her life and finds only regret; Gladys, the mother, wanting to justify the mess she has made of her life, launches into an enraged rhetorical scorched earth campaign; and finally Charonne, abandoned first by her biological parents and then by her adoptive parents, is considered Black because of the color of her skin and on top of that is overweight. She is the loneliest of these outcasts and yet she is the one who radiates inexhaustible energy.
In this acutely observed social portrait, Emanuelle Bayamack-Tam makes this daughter a heroine who has the power to fashion a world to which life returns. In the “Spiegel”, Julia Amalia Heyer writes: “Anyone who reads Bayamack-Tam is quickly overcome with enthusiasm: on the one hand you have the poetic yet very precise language, which, she says, she prioritizes over her characters, and on the other you have her characters, primarily women, but occasionally men, too, all of whom come from environments that are horrifying in one way or another.”
ICH KOMME. Novel. Translated from French by Christian Ruzicska. Secession Verlag 2017
WENN MIT MEINER UNSCHULD NICHT ALLES VOR DIE HUNDE GING. Novel. Translated from French by Christian Ruzicska and Paul Sourzac. Secession Verlag 2014
DIE PRINZESSIN VON. Novel. Translated from French by Christian Ruzicska with assistance from Flamm Vidal. Secession Verlag 2011
Vanni Bianconi was born in Locarno in 1977 and studied in Milan und London. He has translated W.H. Auden and W. Somerset Maugham, among others, into Italian. He is the founder and artistic director of Babel, the festival of literature and translation in Bellinzona. He lives in London and Locarno.
His poems have been translated into eight languages and have appeared in international journals and anthologies. He has been awarded several prizes for his poems and his translations.
It is abundantly clear from Vanni Bianconi’s writing that he is at home in several languages. He will switch—sometimes within a single poem—from Italian to Spanish then to English and back again: “Quasi vent’anni senza rima cuore e amore. / Poi corazón-tienes razón, ora siamo a heart – / I’m doing my part. Am I? Sono a Trinidad da solo...” (“...Almost twenty years without cuore rhyming with amore. / Then corazon-tienes razon, now we’re at heart – / I’m doing my part. Am I? I’m alone in Trinidad...”).
In his most recent collection of poems, SONO DUE LE PAROLE CHE RIMANO IN ORE POESIE, he takes on the great subject of love. He speaks clearly and directly about love in all its forms in simple and poetically adept language.
In Leukerbad, he will read his works in several languages.
Publications in Italian:
SONO DUE LE PAROLE CHE RIMANO IN ORE POESIE. Poems. Edizioni casagrande 2017
IL PASSO DELL’UOMO. Edizioni casagrande 2012
ORA PRIMA. SEI POESIE LUNGHE. Edizioni casagrande 2008
Poems in English in:
Poetische Schweiz No. 2 – Suisse Poétique – Svizzera Poetica – Svizra Poetica – Swiss Poetics – Swiss Berpuisi. Poems. Published by Verein Poetische Schweiz. pudelundpinscher 2015
Poetische Schweiz. Moderne Poesie in der Schweiz. Published by Roger Perret. Limmatverlag 2013
Karl Heinz Bohrer
Karl Heinz Bohrer, born in 1932, is considered one of Germany’s most combative intellectuals. Whenever he has spoken out in the last decades, he has done so primarily direct confrontation with the mainstream: his contemporaries’ focused attention and often agitated response was assured. As head of the literature section of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, he was a controversial figure within his own institution. As publisher of “Merkur”, he was renowned for the rapidity of his response and his bold choice of topics. As a professor, he was an opposition figure to the left and as a scholar, with his central theory of suddenness, he was a challenge to all those used to adapting themselves to accepted intellectual and historical horizons.
Most surprising about his new book, JETZT (Now), is the mixture it offers, unusual for German intellectuals until now. It is at once highly private and analytical and blends theoretical reflection and emotional memory. This writer has an acute sense for scene setting: when, for example, in his role as literary editor, he eats beef sausage in silence with Thomas Bernhard; when his friend Ulrike Meinhof crushes out a cigarette on his wood floor on her last visit before disappearing in the underground, or when he receives a laudatory, and therefore worrisome, letter from the political theorist Carl Schmitt or again a hand-written, vehemently critical letter from Schmitt in 1989 after Bohrer had welcomed German reunification. An exceptional intellectual physiognomy is visible throughout.
JETZT. GESCHICHTE MEINES ABENTEUERS MIT DER PHANTASIE. Suhrkamp 2017
DAS ERSCHEINEN DES DIONYSOS: ANTIKE MYTHOLOGIE UND MODERNE METAPHER. Suhrkamp 2015
GRANATSPLITTER: ERZÄHLUNG EINER JUGEND. dtv 2014
PLÖTZLICHKEIT. ZUM AUGENBLICK DES ÄSTHETISCHEN SCHEINS. Suhrkamp 1981
Gianna Olinda Cadonau
Gianna Olinda Cadonau was born in 1983 in Panjani, India, grew up in Scuol, and completed her secondary education in Ftan. She then studied international relations and arts management and is currently responsible for cultural support at the Lia Rumantscha in Chur. She lives in Winterthur.
Her first collection of poetry, ULTIM’URA DA LA NOT / LETZTE STUNDE DER NACHT (Last Hour of Night) appeared in 2016. It is a collection of poems written over a period of 15 years. She also translates occasionally. “The last hour of night is a kind of intermediary space—between beginning and end, between worlds,” she has said of the title. “On the one hand, I write to document, on the other, writing is also kind of self-analysis.” The last hour of night is also meant as a metaphor for the transition from one language to another, the dissolution of borders, the moment when everything seems possible. The search for a home—geographic, linguistic, emotional, spiritual—is a central theme of her poetry. And echoes of the Romansh poet Luisa Famos—with Hilde Domin, one of Cadonau’s models—can be heard in many of her poems.
Gianna Olinda Cadonau, together with MARINA SKALOVA will report on her experiences with the “Poethreesome” project.
ULTIM’URA DA LA NOT / LETZTE STUNDE DER NACHT. editionmevinapuorger 2016
Arno Camenisch, born in Tavanasa in Graubünden in 1978, writes in German and Romansh (Sursilvan). Since his debut novel, SEZ NER (The Alp), appeared nine years ago, he has ranked among the most successful Swiss writers. He lives in Biel.
His new book, DER LETZTE SCHNEE (The Last Snow), is a tale of vanishing and remaining. Arno Camenisch, writes in his distinctive style with an intimate pairing of narration and dialogue, of anecdotes and wise sayings (“We only ever find out what tomorrow is in retrospect.”)
Paul and Georg operate and maintain a ski-lift somewhere in Grisons. This is no modern six- or eight-person gondola, but an unspectacular tow lift that was built in 1971 and has operated responsibly since then, tow bar after tow bar, uphill and down. Most of the bars remain empty, few customers come, often none at all for days on end. Because of the fog. Because the season has not started yet. Because it’s Monday. But above all, because there is often too little snow. Climate change, that abstract buzzword, is affecting Paul and Georg’s profession, and with it their entire lives.
Times were better in the past and life is a constant up and down. Arno Camenisch’s new book is a lyrical and witty elegy for the gradual transformation of the world, written in his distinctive and immediately captivating ‘Camenisch-sound.’
DER LETZTE SCHNEE. Novel. Engeler Verlag 2018
DIE KUR. Novel. Engeler Verlag 2015
NÄCHSTER HALT VERLANGEN. Columns. Engeler Verlag 2014
Available in English:
THE ALPINE TRILOGY:
THE ALP. Novel. Translated by Donal McLaughlin. Dalkey Archive Books 2014
BEHIND THE STATION. Novel. Translated by Donal McLaughlin. Dalkey Archive Books 2015
LAST LAST ORDERS. Novel. Translated by Donal McLaughlin. Dalkey Archive Books 2018
Roberta Dapunt was born in 1970 in Abtei, Südtirol, where she and her family run a farm. She writes in Ladin and in Italian and is one of Italy’s most important poets.
NAUZ is the first of her poetry collections to appear in German and the Ladin title means feeding-trough. The entire book is devoted to daily life on the farm overlooking the Badia Valley. This is no folksy book, but an intense and lyrical reflection on nature, on changing seasons, and on respect for the living beings there, human and animal.
“Dapunt’s poetry speaks of respect, of ties to nature, and of the will to survive... it revolves around the creaturely, the earthly, around deliverance, around death, for example,” a reviewer noted with precision. Good Friday is as frequent a topic as celebrations or the stall door.
In her new collection, DIES MEHR ALS PARADIES (This More Than Paradise), Roberta Dapunt’s poetry demonstrates that one’s homeland can become an entire world. These are poems about liturgy and work, about doubt and the search for “devout forms.” This poet is finally also accessible to German speakers. From a small language, Ladin, she has entered the vast world of poetry. Using simple, that is, condensed, means, Roberta Dapunt shows us how a homeland can become a world through poetry.
In Leukerbad, Roberta Dapunt will read from her work and will discuss translating poetry with ESTHER KINSKY.
DIES MEHR ALS PARADIES. Poems. Translated from Ladin by Peter Waterhouse and Versatorium. Folio Verlag 2012
NAUZ. Poems and Pictures. In Ladin and German. Translated from Ladin by Alma Vallazza. Folio Verlag 2012
Born in Südtirol in 1963, Oswald Egger studied literature and philosophy. He was publisher of the journals “Der Prokurist” and “Edition per Procura”. Oswald Egger writes poetry, prose, and plays and presents “productions of performative character,” exhibitions, and art books. In addition, he teaches as a professor at the Muthesius School of Fine Arts and elsewhere. He lives in Vienna and at the former rocket station on Museum Island Hombroich. He has won multiple awards and his poetry has been translated into several languages.
“I sing, therefore I am,” begins Oswald Egger’s most recent book VAL DI NON. The eponymous valley is located north of Trentino. In this work, Oswald Egger shows that, starting from something concrete, he can weave literature, science, sound, and visual art into a complex, inspired whole. The reader is initially captivated by the book’s delicate drawings that resemble technical representations and is then drawn into the text. Meaning arises from the interplay between two. Poetry and prose merge: clear borders are neither necessary, nor even possible.
Björn Hayer wrote of VAL DI NON in “Die Zeit”, “Eggers texts always describe the here and now, but are fundamentally oriented to a near, conceivable future. And they recognize few borders, just as this book does not restrict itself to the confines of genre.”
VAL DI NON. Suhrkamp 2017
HARLEKINSMÄNTEL UND ANDERE BEWANDTNISSE. The Gay Science Series. Matthes & Seitz 2017
EUER LENZ. Prose. Suhrkamp 2013
Aslı Erdoğan was born in Istanbul in 1967. She studied physics and computer science and worked for a long time as a journalist. She often lived abroad, in Switzerland, Brazil, Austria, and Poland, in part to conduct research after she abandoned her scientific career and concentrated solely on writing, in part because she no longer felt safe in Turkey. As a columnist, she advocated for the Kurdish minority and openly denounced the perilous state of democracy in her country. Today, after being arrested in the so-called ‘purges’ of July 2016 and imprisoned for 132 days, she is living in Germany on a two-year stipend.
Aslı Erdoğan’s breakthrough as a writer came in 1998 with the publication of her third book, THE CITY IN CRIMSON CLOAK. She has won numerous awards. In 2010, she was awarded the most significant literature prize in Turkey and she has received international literature and peace prizes before and after her imprisonment.
With NICHT EINMAL DAS SCHWEIGEN GEHÖRT UNS NOCH (Not Even Silence is Ours Any Longer), we now have a collection of her political essays in which she takes the victim’s perspective and tries to find words for the unbearable. She “makes use of her human right to the freedom of expression. She is an observer, her descriptions are penetrating and moving,” Alexander Skipis says in his laudation for the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize.
In Leukerbad wird Aslı Erdoğan ein Gespräch mit MURATHAN MUNGAN und ECE TEMELKURAN über die gegenwärtige Situation in der Türkei führen.
NICHT EINMAL DAS SCHWEIGEN GEHÖRT UNS NOCH. Essays. Translated from Turkish by Sabine Adatepe, Şebnem Bahadır, Angelika Gillitz-Acar, Angelika Hoch-Hettmann, Oliver Kontny, and Gerhard Meier. Knaus Verlag 2017
DIE STADT MIT DER ROTEN PELERINE. Novel. Translated from Turkish by Angelika Gillitz-Acar and Angelika Hoch. Unionsverlag 2008
DER WUNDERSAME MANDARIN. Novel. Translated from Turkish by Recai Hallaç. Ed. Galata 2008
Available in English:
THE CITY IN CRIMSON CLOAK. Novel. Translated from Turkish by Amy Spangler. Soft Skull Press 2007
THE STONE BUILDING AND OTHER PLACES. Short stories. Translated from Turkish by Sevinç Turkhan. City Lights Publishers 2018
Brigitta Falkner was born in 1959 in Vienna, where she now lives. She writes books, produces short films, and creates comics and drawings. Her work has been shown in many exhibitions and has garnered many prizes.
There is no continuous storyline in her new book, STRATEGIEN DER WIRTSFINDUNG (Strategies of Finding a Host), even though the aesthetic impression it gives is reminiscent of a graphic novel. The individual sections resemble comics series, but do not fall back on the classic comic strip form. Instead they range from full-page illustrations to complex arrangements of images and blocks of text.
Brigitta Falkner’s stunningly beautiful book is delightful and offers many ticklish hours as it is devoted to all the little parasites that nest and thrive around: rotifers, acari, ticks, and many things that escape our eyes. She works on the border between visual art, book art, and literature—and relishes dissolving borders. STRATEGIEN DER WIRTSFINDUNG is great poetry, highly complex and highly relevant.
Subversive play—composition and contamination—disguised as natural history. The not inconsiderable wit that marks her creations in images and words arises from this unusual concept.
STRATEGIEN DER WIRTSFINDUNG. Matthes & Seitz 2017
POPULÄRE PANORAMEN I. Klever Verlag 2010
BUNTE TUBEN. Anagrams. Engeler Verlag 2004
FABULA RASA. Ritter 2001
Filip Florian was born in Bucharest, where he still lives. After finishing his studies in geology and geophysics, he worked as a journalist for the magazine “Cuvintul”, and subsequently for “Radio Free Europe” and the “Deutsche Welle”. He is one of the most talented writers of contemporary Romanian literature.
ALLE EULEN (All the Owls), a melancholy book of remembrance, is work of world literature. Luca, a small-town boy, and Emil, who unexpectedly ends up in the provinces after an eventful life in Bucharest, are very different friends. Emil opens Luca’s eyes and mind to literature and music. Luca infects Emil with his own curiosity and tells him the latest local gossip. The boys spend the Carpathian summer nights in the woods, wandering through the wild, myth-infused mountain landscape and learning the owls’ language. This tender novel recounts the story of two small lives with mischievous humor and deep intelligence and revels in the powers of language and the imagination. Flip Florian has written an impassioned celebration of friendship and demonstrates that sometimes it is enough simply to change one’s perspective slightly to be happy and see the fullness of life.
“From the very first line of Filip Florian’s writing one reads, one realizes that his sentences are created. It’s not written down hastily, not construed, but first experienced and then created,” affirms Georg Aescht, Filip Florian’s German translator.
In cooperation with the DAAD Berlin.
ALLE EULEN. Novel. Translated from Romanian by Georg Aescht. Matthes & Seitz 2016
KLEINE FINGER. Novel. Translated from Romanian by Georg Aescht. Suhrkamp 2008
Available in English:
THE DAYS OF THE KING. Novel. Translated from Romanian by Alistair Ian Blyth. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2011
THE BAIUT ALLEY LANDS. In English and Romanian. Translated from Romanian by Matei Florian. University of Plymouth Press 2010
LITTLE FINGERS. Novel. Translated from Romanian by Alistair Ian Blyth Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2009
Nora Gomringer, born in 1980, is a Swiss-German poet, reciter, and arts mediator. She lives in Bamberg, where she has been director of the international artists’ residence Villa Concordia since 2010. That she is one of the most important poets of her generation has been clear since the publication of her poetry collection KLIMAFORSCHUNG (Climate Research, 2008). What is distinctive about Nora Gomringer is her profound trust in language and the self-evidence with which she sees literature and art as a natural part of life.
Nora Gomringer often works with artists in other fields and she is active in various media. Along with collections of poetry and essays, she has published opera libretti, radio plays, and poetry films. She has held lectureships in poetry in Koblenz/Landau, Kiel, Sheffield, and Vienna and in 2018 she will hold a lectureship with Philipp Scholz at the University of Klagenfurt.
She owes her success as a poet to her virtuosic use of language and performances. Classically trained as a singer, she has great expressive resources at her disposal and a high level of energy that take her to the most remote linguistic reaches. When Nora Gomringer is on stage, her words speak, call, holler, hiss, whisper, sing, and celebrate.
This year Nora Gomringer will be the featured author in the translators’ colloquium.
MORBUS. Book with Audio-CD. Illustrations by Reimar Limmer. Voland & Quist 2015
MEIN GEDICHT FRAGT NICHT LANGE RELOADED. Book with Audio-CD. Voland & Quist 2015
ACHDUJE. Spoken Texts. Der gesunde Menschenversand 2015
ICH BIN DOCH NICHT HIER, UM SIE ZU AMÜSIEREN. Writings and lectures. Voland & Quist 2015
Jürg Halter was born in 1980 in Bern, where he lives and works most of the time. He is a writer, musician, and performance artist. A pioneer of the new German-language Spoken-Word movement, he is one of the most widely known Swiss authors of his generation. He writes poetry, performs, and improvises—Jürg Halter is one of the most multifaceted writers in Switzerland and is constantly reinventing himself. He performs regularly throughout Europe, in America, Africa, Russia, and Japan and he has published numerous books and CDs. His most recent publications are the poetry collection, WIR FÜRCHTEN DAS ENDE DER MUSIK (We Fear the End of Music) and the chain-poem, DAS 48-STUNDEN-GEDICHT (The 48-Hour Poem), co-written with the Japanese poet, Tanikawa Shuntaro.
MONDKREISLÄUFER (Mooncycler) was Jürg Halter’s first dramatic work. He has developed this theatrical text further and transformed it into an impressive work of prose. Halter places his nameless protagonist in the border zone between reason and insanity and sends him searching for the mother he yearns for who is meant to be on the moon. He urges the reader to follow this character who talks non-stop and to found a new community with him. MONDKREISLÄUFER is an exceptional linguistic work of art.
In the fall, Zytglogge Verlag will publish Jürg Halter’s debut novel, ERWACHEN IM 21. JAHRHUNDERT (Waking in the 21st Century).
MONDKREISLÄUFER. Prose. Der gesunde Menschenversand 2017
ALLEINE TANZEND – IRGENDWO. EIN STRENG LIMITIERTES KÜNSTLERBUCH. Jürg Halter and Esther Vonplon. Edition Stephan Witschi 2017
DAS 48-STUNDEN-GEDICHT: EIN KETTENGEDICHT. In German and Japanese with Tanikawa Shuntaro. Wallstein Verlag 2016
WIR FÜRCHTEN DAS ENDE DER MUSIK. Poems. Wallstein Verlag, 2014
Felicitas Hoppe was born in Hameln and lives in Berlin. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Georg Büchner Prize.
In the 1930s, the Soviet party newspaper PRAVDA (Truth) sent the popular authors Ilja Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov to the United States. Their travel book, LITTLE GOLDEN AMERICA, so fascinated Felicitas Hoppe, that she set off on the same trip.
In PRAWDA: EINE AMERIKANISCHE REISE (Pravda: An American Journey), she undertakes an expedition into an unknown America. Hoppe travels ten thousand miles, as comic as they are poetic, from Boston to San Francisco, south to Los Angeles and then back east to New York. Clear-eyed and insightful, she follows like a literary whirlwind in the footsteps of Ilf and Petrov, two men who had made their journey 80 years earlier and become cult figures. Whether Hoppe is visiting a Ford factory and seeing the first electric chair as they did, white-washing Tom Sawyer’s fence on the side, vanishing in a tornado, or meeting Quentin Tarantino in the eye of the storm—PRAWDA lets the reader see things in the most unbelievable country in the world in a way they have never been described before. This book charts the literary discovery of a world.
What is important to Felicitas Hoppe is not describing things that stand steadfastly before our eyes but the blurred edges of reality.
PRAWDA: EINE AMERIKANISCHE REISE. S. Fischer Verlag 2018
HOPPE. Novel. S. Fischer Verlag 2013
IWEIN LÖWENRITTER. A retelling of the novel by Hartmann von Aue. S. Fischer Verlag 2011
Born in 1956, Esther Kinsky studied Slavic languages and literature and has worked for more than 30 years as a literary translator from Polish, Russian, and English into German. She has won numerous awards for her translations as well as for her own literary works. Esther Kinsky lives in Berlin and Battony, Hungary.
The narrator of HAIN (Grove) sets out on a journey through Italy, far from the centers of tourism, and back to her childhood in 1970s Italy. This ‘landscape novel’, as the subtitle calls it, shines because of Esther Kinsky’s differentiated and refined vocabulary, her virtuosic use of the sounds of words, and her clear, attentive observation of nature, people, and memory.
VIAGG’ INVERNAL, a winter journey, runs through her poetry collection AM KALTEN HANG (On the Cold Mountainside) in the form of a collection of prose texts—further proof for many of her brilliant use of language in ways large and small. Christian Thanhäuser’s illustrations will be exhibited in Leukerbad during the festival.
In an interview with the Goethe Institute Poland, Esther Kinsky said of translation: “The translator always works alongside the author’s original vision; he never creates his own images, although he does find his own words for them. Still, the tempo, temperament, and temperature of the language and of what is described are not those of the translator.”
In Leukerbad, Esther Kinsky will read from her work and will discuss translating poetry with ROBERTA DAPUNT.
KŐ NÖVÉNY KÖKÉNY. Poems. Edition Thanhäuser 2018
HAIN. GELÄNDEROMAN. Suhrkamp 2018
AM KALTEN HANG. VIAGG’ INVERNAL. Poems. Matthes & Seitz 2016
AM FLUSS. Novel. Matthes & Seitz 2014
Available in English:
RIVER. Novel. Translated from German by Iain Gailbraith. Fitzcarraldo Editions 2018
SUMMER RESORT. Novel. Translated from German by Martin Chalmers. Seagull Books 2011
Thilo Krause was born in Dresden in 1977 and lives in Zürich. After studying industrial engineering in Dresden and London, he wrote his thesis at the ETH Zürich and then worked as head of the research department in the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. He conducted research at the ETH Zürich until 2015 and is currently employed by the electric power company of Zürich.
The jury citation for the Brentano Prize, which Thilo Krause received in 2016, noted: “Thilo Krause’s serene verse offers a counterpoint to the frenzy of the media: with few words and unpretentious language this precise observer captures various moods and living situations, then transforms them into linguistic image and acoustic patterns with great depth of focus. The poem becomes a place ‘to completely let things be.’”
On the groundedness of his award-winning poetry, Thilo Krause himself has remarked: “Everyday life is my world.” A deep empathy for others and moods is tangible in his writing.
In the journal “Magazine”, Timo Brandt noted that in Krause’s new poetry collection, WAS WIR REDEN, WENN ES GEWITTERT (What We Talk About When It Rains), published in the renowned Edition Lyrik Kabinett series, “worlds of memory are raised up, weighted, and slowly turned around in the poet’s hand with terrible cautiousness, and this very cautiousness helps them eschew nostalgia, melancholy, and sentimentality.”
WAS WIR REDEN, WENN ES GEWITTERT. Poems. Hanser 2018
UM DIE DINGE GANZ ZU LASSEN. Poems. poetenladen 2015
UND DAS IST ALLES GENUG. Poems. poetenladen 2012
Murathan Mungan was born in Istanbul in 1955 and grew up in Mardin, a multi-cultural city in the Anatolian region of Turkey. A battle has been waged against the Kurds for more than three decades in this region. Mungan’s own family has Kurdish and Arab roots. In childhood, he was forbidden to speak Kurdish. Thus from the very beginning, he grew up in a field of cultural tension.
Murathan Mungan is one of the most famous contemporary Turkish writers. He is particularly appreciated and admired by young and liberal readers. He has a fondness for mixing elements of Western pop culture with Eastern mythical archetypes. This results in an apparently hybrid form of writing that seems at once postmodern and oriental, but always aims at a critical confrontation with topical issues of the present day. He advocates for the rights of the Kurds and speaks out against discrimination against homosexuals. He calls himself a “self-professed gay man”—because, as he has said in an interview, in a country like Turkey, “being gay is a way of life.”
His short story collection STÄDTE AUS FRAUEN (Cities of Women) centers on the topic of “women in Islam.” Mungan creates psychologically nuanced protagonists who are free from the apparently typical conflicts that our Western mindset assumes define the lives of Turkish women.
In Leukerbad wird Murathan Mungan ein Gespräch mit ASLI ERDOĞAN und ECE TEMELKURAN über die gegenwärtige Situation in der Türkei führen.
In cooperation with the DAAD Berlin.
STÄDTE AUS FRAUEN. Short stories. Translated from Turkish by Gerhard Meier. blumenbar 2010
TSCHADOR. Roman. Translated from Turkish by Gerhard Meier. blumenbar 2008
PALAST DES OSTENS. Short stories. Translated from Turkish by Birgit Linde and Alex Bischof. Unionsverlag 2006
Born in Budapest, Péter Nádas is a writer and photographer and is one of the great authors of our time. He has complemented his body of fictional work with his recent memoir AUFLEUCHTENDE DETAILS (Shining Details)—a document of great narrative force that bears witness to both personal and historical aspects of our era.
On 14 October 1942, as Nádas’ mother was riding the streetcar to the maternity ward, an Einsatzkommando was liquidating the Mizocz ghetto, Anne Frank was noting down each family member’s weight, Jan Karski was in the Pyrenees, reporting to the Polish government in exile, and Victor Klemperer was without bread in Dresden.
Every single event, according to Nádas, affects all other events, whether in the political or the personal sphere. These are the moments that render history tangible and constitute memory—the “shining details.” The broad web from which they are woven does not follow Péter Nádas’ life chronologically, but associatively, as do his great novels. Through each episode runs the unspoken question: how did I become the person I am when each memory, each personal influence is inseparably bound to history? When each moment in life is just the tip of an iceberg?
In this book, Péter Nádas looks back at his life, which is tied, down to the smallest shining detail, to the shifts in fortune of an entire continent in violent upheaval.
AUFLEUCHTENDE DETAILS: MEMOIREN EINES ERZÄHLERS. Translated from Hungarian by Christina Viragh. Rowohlt Verlag 2017
PARALLELGESCHICHTEN. Translated from Hungarian by Christina Viragh. Rowohlt Verlag 2012/2013 (paperback)
BUCH DER ERINNERUNG. Novel. Translated from Hungarian by Hildegard Grosche. Rowohlt Verlag 1991/1999 (paperback)
Available in English:
PARALLEL STORIES: A NOVEL. Translated from Hungarian by Arthur Morey. Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2011
FIRE AND KNOWLEDGE: FICTION AND ESSAYS. Translated from Hungarian by Imri Goldstein. Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2007
MY OWN DEATH. Translated from Hungarian by Janos Salomon. Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2004
LOVE. Translated from Hungarian by Imri Goldstein. Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2000
A LOVELY TAKE OF PHOTOGRAPHY: A FILM NOVELLA. Translated from Hungarian by Imri Goldstein. Steidl 1999
THE END OF A FAMILY STORY. Translated from Hungarian by Imri Goldstein. Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1998
A BOOK OF MEMORIES: A NOVEL. Translated from Hungarian by Ivan Sanders. Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1997
Melinda Nadj Abonji
The writer and musician Melinda Nadj Abonji was born in 1968 into the Hungarian-speaking minority in the Vojvodina, a province of what is now Serbia. She arrived in Switzerland at the age of four. She lives in Zürich.
She is one of the most celebrated writers in Switzerland in recent years. Her novel, TAUBEN FLIEGEN AUF (Fly Away, Pigeon) is the only book so far to have won both the German and the Swiss book prizes.
In her new novel, Melinda Nadj Abonji tells of the imagination’s gentle resistance against the constraints of a system that recognizes only commands, obedience, and submission. SCHILDKRÖTENSOLDAT (Shellshock) presents the story of Zoltán, who is “not quite right in the head,” but things are even worse for him in the world around him. As the insanity of war flares up on all sides, he is the one dismissed as insane.
Together with the musicians Balts Nill and Mich Gerber, Melinda Nadj Abonji has developed a unique style of performance that blends music and literature, which they will present in Leukerbad. Melinda Nadj Abonji switches continuously between script and improvisation, between narration and song.
BALTS NILL is a percussionist who performs on a range of sound objects, creates repetitive sound patterns, and composes songs with and without words. He is a founding member of ‘Stiller Has.’
MICH GERBER is a versatile and innovative exceptional bassist who has developed a style that can be placed somewhere between classical, electronic, ancient music, and folksong, between Orient and Occident.
SCHILDKRÖTENSOLDAT. Novel. Suhrkamp 2017
TAUBEN FLIEGEN AUF. Novel. Jung & Jung Verlag 2010
IM SCHAUFENSTER IM FRÜHLING. Novel. Amman Verlag 2004. New edition with Jung & Jung Verlag 2011
Available in English:
FLY AWAY, PIGEON. Translated from German by Tess Lewis. Seagull Books 2014
Christine Pfammatter grew up in Leuk-Stadt. She studied philosophy, literature, and art history in Bern and Fribourg. She has lived in Berlin for many years and works as an editor, translator, and teacher.
In her books, Christine Pfammatter addresses everyday topics, but also socio-political issues. Lived and imagined experiences inspire her to ponder life and human idiosyncrasies. In her short texts, she is adept at anchoring lofty philosophical discussions in daily life and thus creating existential miniatures.
In her new essay collection, she investigates the contradictions and beauties of our era and offers us a multifaceted portrait of Valais and its residents. Her texts are reminiscent of journal entries. She is a writer who takes in what happens around her and responds with a seismographic reading of society without ever relegating the beauty of language to the background. A wealth of vivid experiences is captured in notes, essays, observations, short stories, and philosophical reflection.
“Valais is its own continent with desert winds and glacial air,” she has said in an interview. “Instead of measuring precipitation, we measure contradictions.”
Christine Pfammatter writes a regular column for the “Walliser Boten” and writes about contemporary art.
PERMANENT TOURIST. Essays. Rotten Verlag, 2017
SCHNEE IM MÄRZ. Prose. Leipziger Literaturverlag, 2014
ANDERE NAMEN. Prose. Leipziger Literaturverlag, 2012
Ilma Rakusa was born to a Hungarian mother and a Slovenian father in Slovakia in 1946. She studied Slavic and Romance Languages and Literatures in Zürich, Paris, and Leningrad. She is a writer, journalist, translator, and a lecturer at the University of Zürich. Ilma Rakusa is a member of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung.
She has been instrumental in bringing Eastern European literature to German readers through her translations from Russian (Marina Tsvetaeva, Alexei Remisov), French (Marguerite Duras), Serbo-Croatian (Danilo Kiš), and Hungarian (Imre Kertész, Péter Nádas).
The jury citation for the 2017 Berlin Literature Prize notes: “Ilma Rakusa is a significant voice in multi-lingual Central European literature, profoundly shaped by the experience of migration, an experience that was marginalized and suppressed from public awareness by the Nazi terror and Communist dictatorships. Her literary works address the cultural diversity and multitude of languages in Europe with sensitivity and lyricism. Every genre is represented in her work, especially narrative prose and poetry. Rakusa’s literature is distinguished by its exceptional sensitivity to language and form and its musicality as well as its international sphere of reference and allusion. Her poetic works captivate with their unusually high level of reflection.”
IMPRESSUM: LANGSAMES LICHT. Poems. Droschl Verlag 2016
EINSAMKEIT MIT ROLLENDEM R. Short stories. Droschl Verlag 2014
AUFGERISSENE BLICKE. BERLIN-JOURNAL. Droschl Verlag 2013
Josef H. Reichholf
Born in 1945, Josef H. Reichholf is one of the most renowned biologist in the German speaking world. He taught for many years at both universities in Munich and was department head at the Bavarian State Zoological Collection in Munich. Reichholf has written numerous books on nature and conservation, ecology, evolution, and on climate and environmental protection. This bestselling author has been awarded many prizes including the Sigmund Freud Prize for scientific writing.
Josef H. Reichholf has made a name for himself as an unorthodox thinker—he is the originator of the theory that it was not the scarcity of game that led man to becoming sedentary, but the processing and storage of intoxicating substances.
In his book SYMBIOSEN (Symbioses), he illuminates the astonishing interconnectedness within nature. He makes tangible the attention we owe to nature and to ourselves as part of nature, for in real life no one is an island. And his book HAUSTIERE (Household pets) has a thought-provoking focus: whereas cats and dogs are often a coddled compensation for a meager social life, livestock are increasingly degraded to living machines in factory farming.
In Leukerbad, Josef H. Reichholf and CORD RIECHELMANN, along with the editor JUDITH SCHALANSKY will present the publishing house Matthes & Seitz’s Nature Studies series.
HAUSTIERE. Edited by Judith Schalansky. Matthes & Seitz 2017
SYMBIOSEN. Written with Johann Brandstetter. Edited by Judith Schalansky. Matthes & Seitz 2017
Available in English:
THE DEMISE OF DIVERSITY: LOSS AND EXTINCTION. Translated from German by Sandra Lustig and Michael Dills. Haus Publishing 2009
Born in Celle in1960, Cord Riechelmann studied biology and philosophy at the Free University Berlin. He was a lecturer on the social behavior of primates and the ‘history of biological research.’ He also writes a column and reports on nature in the city for the ‘Berlin Pages’ of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. His main interest is in conditions for nature in the culture of urban spaces. He lives in Berlin.
Cord Riechelmann’s book on crows, the first volume in the Matthes & Seitz ‘Nature Studies series’, shows his comprehensive perspective: he recounts the astonishing natural and cultural histories of this clever bird and presents twenty kinds of crows, which he observed on five continents. His portrait of this animal offers nothing less than an impartial view of an apparently familiar creature.
Or, as “Kulturradio RBB” says: “KRÄHEN (Crows) is a colorful mixture of observations about the black bird, a varied, hybrid book, a successfully implement idea of conceptual border crossers that have become mediators: between philosophy and biology, between content and form, between natural science and literature.”
In Leukerbad, Cord Riechelmann and JOSEF H. REICHHOLF, along with the editor JUDITH SCHALANSKY will present the publishing house Matthes & Seitz’s Nature Studies series.
KRÄHEN: EIN PORTRÄT. Edited by Judith Schalansky. Matthes & Seitz 2013
WILDE TIERE IN DER GROSSSTADT. Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung 2004
BESTIARIUM. DER ZOO ALS WELT – DIE WELT ALS ZOO. Die andere Bibliothek Volume 227. Eichborn 2003
Sasha Marianna Salzmann
Sasha Marianna Salzmann, born in Volgograd in 1985, came to Germany with her family in 1995 as Jewish quota refugees in 1995. After studying literature, theater, media, and scenic writing, she soon made a name for herself as a dramatist. She is resident writer at the Maxim Gorky Theater in Berlin. Sasha Marianna Salzmann lives in Berlin and Istanbul.
Her debut novel, AUSSER SICH (Beside Yourself), appeared in 2017 and was short listed for the German Book Prize. The novel tells the story of the twins, Alissa and Anton, who move with their parents from post-Soviet Moscow to the West German provinces. Later, after Alissa has already dropped out of her mathematics degree, Anton disappears without a trace. Eventually a postcard arrives from Istanbul—with no text or return address. Alissa sets out on a search in the city on the Bosporus and in her own family history—she is searching for her own brother, but also for the feeling of belonging that is not tied to one’s nationality, native language, or gender.
The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” said of AUSSER SICH: “With many ruptures, nooks and crannies, and reflections, the novel succeeds in unfurling its breath-taking story through a family and a century like a shimmering kaleidoscope... It is a family constellation that Ali pursues from Istanbul in her thoughts and that leads her ever deeper into history. Her multi-faceted memories ... lead to the center of the greatest dramas of the 20th and early 21st centuries.”
AUSSER SICH. Novel. Suhrkamp 2017
Available in English:
BESIDE YOURSELF. Translated by Imogen Taylor. Text Publishing. Forthcoming 2018
Born in Greifswald in 1980, Judith Schalansky studied art history and communication design, taught fundamentals of typography at the Fachhochschule in Potsdam and now lives as a freelance writer and book designer in Berlin. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her writing and her book design, including the Spycher: Literature Prize Leuk. Her books have been transated into more than twenty languages.
She has been editing the publishing house Matthes & Seitz’s ‘Nature Studies series’ since the spring of 2013.
This series publishes books about nature, about animal and plant life, about mushrooms and humans, about landscapes, stones, and celestial bodies, of inhabited and uninhabited spaces, about nature that is alien and nature that is familiar. The series’ name is exactly its program. This series does not offer the straight practice of science, but a passionate investigation of the world, informed, instructive, and conscious that concentrates on man’s view of nature from a perspective that includes himself. Each book in the series, regardless of its genre, offers a formulation of nature as complex, diverse, and beautiful as the configuration nature demands of its own elements. The books are illustrated, bound in historical formats, thread-stitched, and provided with a frontispiece and colored edges. The ‘Nature Studies’ celebrate the inimitable array of possibilities a vibrant book culture offers.
DER HALS DER GIRAFFE. Novel. Suhrkamp 2012
ATLAS DER ABGELEGENEN INSELN. FÜNFZIG INSELN, AUF DENEN ICH NIE WAR UND NIEMALS SEIN WERDE. Mare Verlag 2009
BLAU STEHT DIR NICHT. Novel. Mare Verlag 2008
Available in English:
THE GIRAFFE’S NECK. Translated by Shaun Whiteside. Bloomsbury 2014
ATLAS OF REMOTE ISLANDS: FIFTY ISLANDS I HAVE NEVER SET FOOT ON AND NEVER WILL. Translated by Christine Lo. Penguin Books 2010
Peter Schneider was born in Lübeck in 1940 and studied German literature, philosophy, and history in Freiburg and Berlin. He is a novelist, essayist, and script writer. His more than twenty books have been translated into a total of twenty-five languages. He has taught as a guest professor in various American universities, including Stanford, Princeton, and Harvard.
As an activist, a spokesman and companion in arms of Rudi Dutschke, Schneider experienced intensively all the phases of the protest movement from 1966 to the 1970s. But he chronicled the revolts at the same time.
In REBELLION UND WAHN. Mein 68 (Rebellion and Delusion: My 1968), a reflection on history and politics that is also a literary and vivid self-examination forty years on, he draws a characteristic resume: “The most important achievement of the 1968 movement in Germany remains its wide-spread—and perhaps permanent—break with the culture of obedience. Its greatest sin was that after a fundamentally democratic and liberal start, its leaders succumbed to an essentially anti-democratic doctrine and closed their eyes to the crimes committed by the revolutionary models—in Cuba, in Vietnam, in Cambodia, and in China.”
Peter Schneider has confronted his own past and that of his generation again and again, most recently in countless essays in the leftist “Kursbuch”, the “Spiegel”, and the feuilleton of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. He has even written for Springer’s “Welt”, he, of all people, who played a central role in the ‘Springer tribunal’ in 1968.
CLUB DER UNENTWEGTEN. Novel. Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2017
DIE LIEBEN MEINER MUTTER. A Reconstruction. Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2013
REBELLION UND WAHN. Mein 68. Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2010
Available in English:
THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY. Translated by Anna Faktorovich. Anaphora Literary Press 2018
BERLIN NOW. Translated by Sophie Schlondorff. Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2014
Monique Schwitter was born in Zürich in 1972 and has lived in Hamburg since 2005. She studied acting and directing in Salzburg, worked in theaters in Zürich, Frankfurt, Graz, and Hamburg, and now works as freelance writer. She is a defender of memory and writes against the careless forgetting through which many people toss away their lives instead of harnessing memory’s power to seek and recover any parts of their lives they may have lost. Alexander Camann wrote enthusiastically about her novel EINS IM ANDERN (One Another) in “Die Zeit”: “Few German-language authors today have written about love so enjoyably and intelligently, with such ease, virtuosity, and precision, but above all, without any mawkishness.” Opening with a banal google-search for her first love, the novel unspools the former loves of the protagonist, a woman in her early forties. There are twelve in all and they have more in common with the apostles than just names. Monique Schwitter hints at a range of possible interpretations. The protagonist is a writer who has trouble making progress in her current book until she makes productive use of her own former loves and expertly interweaves stories, the past, the future, fiction and reality into a masterful literary construct that does not lack for immediacy.
EINS IM ANDERN. Novel. Droschl Verlag 2015
GOLDFISCHGEDÄCHTNIS. Short stories. Droschl Verlag 2011
OHREN HABEN KEINE LIDER. Novel. Residenz Verlag 2008
Available in English:
ONE ANOTHER. Translated by Tess Lewis. Persea Books Forthcoming 2019
GOLDFISH MEMORY. Translated by Elunid Gramich. Parthian Books 2015
Marina Skalova was born in Moscow in 1988 and grew up in France and Germany. She studied literature and philosophy in Paris and Berlin and at the Swiss Literature Institute in Biel. She works as a translator, dramaturge, theater critic, and editor and lives in Geneva. Her writing has appeared in various newspapers and anthologies in France, Germany, and Switzerland and has been broadcast on the radio.
Marina Skalova writes in two languages—French and Germany—and occasionally translates her own poetry. She uses one language to expand the other, to eliminate inexactitude, and to open additional resonant spaces.
Her poetry collection ATEMNOT (Shortness of Breath) was awarded the prestigious French prize, ‘Prix de la vocation,’ in 2016. The poems in this volume are short and of great poetic concision. “Viceversa” observes: “... poetic stubbornness frees language from the corset of translation. The meaning of the words and the rhythm of the lines collide, images resist translation. As a result, slight deviations are formed in which the different languages assert a claim for their own existence, rhythmically, conceptually, metaphorically.”
In Leukerbad, Marina Skalova, together with GIANNA OLINDA CADONAU, will report on her experiences with the “Poethreesome” project.
AMARRES. Narrative. L'Âge d'Homme 2017
ATEMNOT (SOUFFLE COURT). Poems in French and German. Cheyne 2016
Born in Izmir, Ece Temelkuran is a lawyer, writer, and journalist. She was one of the most renowned journalists in Turkey until she was silenced in an unprecedented smear campaign. Because of her oppositional stance and her criticism of the governing party, she was fired from her position at one of the largest Turkish newspapers.
Without memory there is no future. This maxim impelled her to write her most recent novel, THE TIME OF MUTE SWANS. It is the story of a childhood friendship in the months before the military coup d’état in 1980. It is a time of political unrest. The country is deeply divided. Terror on the streets creates civil war-like conditions. A wave of imprisonment washes over the country. Everyone is under suspicion. A climate of fear reigns in Turkey in the summer of 1980.
In the novel, Temelkuran could be writing of Turkey today. And yet, THE TIME OF MUTE SWANS appeared a full year before the attempted coup last summer. “This novel is not prophetic, instead it reveals the cause of the insanity that holds sway in Turkey today,” says Ece Temelkuran. It is not solely the governing party, the AKP, that has led to Turkey to disaster over the past fifteen years, she points out; the seeds were sown after the military coup of 1980. “Then they drummed into peoples’ heads that asking questions and critical thinking were bad things.”
In Leukerbad wird Ece Temelkuran ein Gespräch mit MURATHAN MUNGAN und ASLI ERDOĞAN über die gegenwärtige Situation in der Türkei führen.
STUMME SCHWÄNE. Novel. Translated by Johannes Neuner. Hoffmann und Campe 2017
EUPHORIE UND WEHMUT. DIE TÜRKEI AUF DER SUCHE NACH SICH SELBST. Translated by Sabine Adatepe and Monika Demirel. Hoffmann und Campe 2015
WAS NÜTZT MIR DIE REVOLUTION, WENN ICH NICHT TANZEN KANN. Novel. Atlantik 2014
Available in English:
THE TIME OF MUTE SWANS: A NOVEL. Translated by Kenneth Dakan. Arcade 2017
TURKEY: THE INSANE AND THE MELANCHOLY. Translated by Zeynep Beler. Zed Books 2016
Wolfgang Ullrich was born in Munich, where he then studied philosophy, art history, logic, the philosophy of science, and German literature. Having held lectureships and professorships at several universities, he now lives in Leipzig and writes about history, art criticism, modern visual worlds, and affluence.
Wolfgang Ullrich closely examines the courses that central values take in various fields. Politicians invoke values, people are happy to profess them—in the realm of consumption, in political performance art, in life, in food, and in the cult of fitness. Ulrich’s thesis: professing one’s values is popular because it flatters one’s ego. One can feel moral and even creative when professing one’s values. Ulrich looks at how individual values are put in to play and asks how social and political debates can develop under these conditions. When everyone is trying to make their mark in the name of freedom, sustainability, and security, how can a culture of debate not be stunted?
Ullrich states: “... the difference between ‘left’ and ‘right’ is less defining than between ‘poor’ and ‘rich’ – that is, between people who must struggle to meet their basic needs and others who have enough resources to worry each day about their conscience, to profess values, and to experience their activities and their consumption as meaningful.”
WAHRE MEISTERWERKE. STILKRITIK EINER NEUEN BEKENNTNISKULTUR. Wagenbach 2017
SIEGERKUNST. NEUER ADEL, TEURE LUST. Wagenbach 2016
DES GEISTES GEGENWART: EINE WISSENSCHAFTSPOETIK. Wagenbach 2014
Born in 1974 in Bern, where he still lives, Raphael Urweider belongs to a generation that does not limit itself to one field of the arts. Although poetry is at the center of his creative work, Raphael Urweider is also a musician, dramatist, and translator.
One of his most important poetic role models is H.C. Artmann. Urweider’s first visit to Leukerbad almost twenty years ago is also closely bound up with Artmann. Leukerbad is where Urweider first met him. Raphael Urweider later visited H.C. Artmann in Vienna several times to show him his poetry, which Artmann supported enthusiastically.
WILDERN (Poaching), Raphael Urweider’s first poetry collection in ten years, does not follow the chronology of a decade, but an inner oscillation between civilization and nature. Through the stark contrast of these poems—no doubt one result of the ten-year gestation period—Raphael Urweider brings a deeply critical and thoroughly political stance to his new collection. Reflective and stylistically brilliant, these poems lead the reader through the upheavals of the present day without ever surrendering to the Zeitgeist.
This collection marks the return of a wild young man as a mature poet. He shows us what astonishing fruits the study of the present can bring. The wait was worth it.
WILDERN. Poems. Hanser Verlag 2018
DER TEICH. By Robert Walser. Translated by Händl Klaus and Raphael Urweider, Ed. by Reto Sorg. Insel Bücherei 2014
ALLE DEINE NAMEN. GEDICHTE VON DER LIEBE UND DER LIEDERLICHKEIT. DuMont 2008
Christina Viragh was born in Budapest in 1953 and emigrated to Switzerland with her family in 1960. She lives in Rome. She is a corresponding member of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung and the translator of Péter Nádas, Sándor Márai, Imre Kertész, Alain-Fournier, and others.
Twelve years have passed since Christina Viragh’s last novel appeared. In that time she has been awarded many prizes for her translations. In her most recent novel, EINE DIESER NÄCHTE (One of These Nights), Christina Viragh takes up a widely shared experience: on a long-distance overnight flight, the stranger in the next seat wants to talk. In this case, Emma is on the receiving end. Next to her sits Bill, a cliché of an American, who recounts his life story in great detail, fueled by enormous amounts of whiskey. And he is a good storyteller; so good, in fact, that all the passengers near them begin to tell their own life stories. Abysses yawn and connections are established, and several of the passengers will not leave the flight unscathed. Rainer Moritz writes in the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”: this novel is not about “... ‘trivial airplane chat,’ as Bill emphasizes, but instead about an existentially cyclical concert of voices in a swaying Boeing 777 that makes the uncertainty of existence physically tangible.”
In Leukerbad, Christina Viragh will read her most recent novel and will speak with PÉTER NÁDAS and ILMA RAKUSA about Péter Nádas novels.
EINE DIESER NÄCHTE. Dörlemann 2018
IM APRIL. Ammann 2006
PILATUS. Ammann 2003
Karin Wieland was born in 1958 and lives in Berlin. She studied political science with an emphasis on political theory and intellectual history.
In her new book, DAS GESCHLECHT DER SEELE (The Soul’s Gender), Karin Wieland shows us a surprising connection between theater history and the history of women in the early 20th century. The focus is on individuality instead of traditional roles—the modern woman made her first stage appearance in Brecht and Hofmannsthal.
Karin Wieland compares the ‘appearance of the modern woman’ in the images created by both writers. Her book does not center on these two writers, but on two women: the actresses Gertrud Eysoldt and Carola Neher.
When Gertrud Eysoldt came on stage, bent over and with her hair loose, she embodied all of Elektra’s suffering. Hugo von Hofmannsthal wrote this role on her body. He called actresses the “interpreters of the new emotional behavior.” Twenty years later, Bertold Brecht showed, through Helene Weigel and Carola Neher, the cold woman who can also take a utilitarian approach to love. Neher and Weigel are Brecht’s instruments in an art that, in the 20th century, is also politics. Karin Wieland’s book also considers this connection.
Wieland herself says: “The comparison [of Hofmannsthal and Brecht] shows what a revolution in feelings took place in the first thirty years of the last century. We have not got beyond this yet.”
DAS GESCHLECHT DER SEELE. HUGO VON HOFMANNSTHAL, BERT BRECHT UND DIE ERSCHEINUNG DER MODERNEN FRAU. Hanser 2017
DIE GELIEBTE DES DUCE. DAS LEBEN DER MARGHERITA SARFATTI UND DIE ERFINDUNG DES FASCHISMUS. Hanser 2004
Available in English:
DIETRICH & RIEFENSTAHL: HOLLYWOOD, BERLIN, AND A CENTURY IN TWO LIVES. Translated by Shelley Frisch. Liveright 2015
Fanny Wobmann was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1984. She studied sociology at the University of Neuchâtel. She is a founding member of the ‘Ajar’ author collective and of ‘Princess Leopold’ the theater company, where she writes, acts, and directs. AM MEER DIESES LICHT (At the Sea of Light, original French title: Nues dans un verre d’eau/Nudes in a glass of water) is her second novel.
Laura, the protagonist, is sitting at her grandmother’s bedside. They are both preparing for the grandmother’s death and talking about life—life already lived and yet to be lived. Both women open themselves up in this time between life and death and ask the essential questions.
“There is not a word too many in the wonderful novel, with its modest lightness and poetic clarity,” the jury of the Schillerstiftung’s Terra-Nova Prize declared when they awarded it to Fanny Wobmann for AM MEER DIESES LICHT in 2017.
Fanny Wobmann will present her novel AM MEER DIESES LICHT in Leukerbad with her translator Lis Künzli.
LIS KÜNZLI, born in Willisau in 1958, studied German literature and philosophy in Berlin. She lives in Berlin and Toulouse. This prize-winning translator has primarily translated contemporary French literature into German. Her authors include Amin Maalouf, Emmanuel Carrère, and Atiq Rahimi. She has received particular praise for her exceptional exactitude and her feel for linguistic nuance as well as for her delight in beautiful formulations.
In cooperation with the Center of Literary Translation at the University of Lausanne.
AM MEER DIESES LICHT. Novel. Translated by Lis Künzli. Limmatverlag 2018
Published in French:
LA POUSSIÈRE QU’ILS SOULÈVENT. Novel. Éditions de L’Hèbe 2013