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Editorial: Issue 11

Table of Contentsfor Issue 11

Atrium of Stuttgart’s Stadtbibliothek am Mailänder Platz

Cover illustration: Atrium of Stuttgart’s Stadtbibliothek am Mailänder Platz
© die arge lola, Stuttgart

With this eleventh issue, the incoming editors of No Man’s Land proudly continue the work of Isabel Cole and other  founders of the journal, taking it into a second decade of presenting diverse writing from the German-speaking world.

This new edition offers a sampler of what is being done in and with recent German-language poetry and prose, without attempting to link stories and poems with a common theme.   The selections suggest the breadth and energy of current German-language literature:  they include the work of established writers such as Esther Dischereit, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Yaak Karsunke, and Günter Kunert; and writings by emerging writers, among them Nico Bleutge, Marc Degens, Meral Kureyshi, Farhad Showghi, and Saskia Trebing.

Their translators likewise represent a wide range of ages and approaches.

We have been gratified by the response from the community of German-to-English translators to the revival of this online magazine, and thank them for bringing their work to us.  We are grateful as well to the authors and publishers of the original works, who have permitted us to use English versions of these stories and poems on our website.

Some exciting new literature awaits you in this edition.  Please read and share!

‒ Susan Thorne, Editor

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Forever the Alps


Balder & Sons


The Good Days


Across Time in my Room


The Green Frontier: A Fantasy


Three poems from “fugitive moons”


To my Angel
Cold Rain
Departure
Holy Week
Super 8 Film



Family Portraits


Ricardo


Krakatoa’s Cry


(for I.
maribor
steep coast



Alphaversions


Something Small
the sum of goodbyes
In stages, at the lake
Les fleurs du ⁠[ʃa ɛ̃]
Temperature change
Long in the tooth landscape



Babushka


Maramba


Antigone’s Sister


The Box from Cologne


The Woman from the East


So Much Life


Dark Green Almost Black


The Fluid Land


37,112 FEET ABOVE THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN. APRIL 1992.


Sophocles
STOP WARS OR
National Trust



The Mutation


The War after Next
Bowl in the Oven
Television Poems
Autumn Crocuses
Morbid Contest
Return



Torches


Heavenbound


Childhood Memory
Unreal May Day
The Linden is in Bloom, and It is Night
After the War
Stele


Editorial: Issue 10

Table of Contentsfor Issue 10

Puzzle pieces

Cover illustration: Puzzle pieces / photo art Leif Harmsen

As the tenth year, and tenth issue, of no man’s land approached, we found ourselves thinking that it would make a good stopping place. Not without mixed feelings – but on the whole it feels like a cheerful farewell. We began this journal at a time when publication opportunities for translations were few and far between, and English-speaking audiences had little idea of the richness and diversity of contemporary German-language literature. Over the past ten years, we have seen a renaissance of translation culture in the Anglophone world, a surge of interest in foreign literatures even in their most challenging forms – driven almost entirely by a burgeoning community of small presses, online journals, blogs, networks and dedicated individuals operating outside the bounds of mainstream, commercial publishing. In our home town of Berlin, the Anglophone literary and translation community is thriving, engaged in a lively dialogue with German colleagues.

We are proud to have been part of these developments – and with all the new opportunities for translators, we feel we can move on in good conscience. At the same time, though no man’s land will discontinue as a journal, we plan to maintain the no man’s land community through our Berlin Translation Lab and other activities.

no man’s land # 10 is an exceptionally rich issue, with many new voices alongside returning favorites, bringing our total roster of writers to nearly 150. For the first time, we feature a literary essay, Bodo Kirchhoff’s searing, clear-eyed confrontation with the trauma of sexual abuse. The issue’s fiction features storytelling on a grand scale: Nino Haratischwili’s “The Eighth Life” launches a German-Georgian family epic, while Ulrike Edschmid’s autobiographical “The Disappearance of Phillip S.” delves into the political terrorism of the 1970s; Gunter Geltinger’s “Moor” (narrated by the moor itself) and newcomer Josef Felix Ernst’s “The Cripple and the Silken Garrotte” are tours de force of dark, surreal imagination. Our poetry includes work in experimental formats, with Anja Utler’s “9th Leaf” and Uljana Wolf’s “subsisters”, Maja Haderlap’s exploration of the borderlands of language, and a taste of novelist Clemens Setz’s first poetry collection.

For the final issue, we decided to allow our editors to submit work of their own: poetry editor Catherine Hales has contributed translations of the young poet Konstantin Ames as well as no man’s land regular Hendrik Jackson, while Isabel Fargo Cole presents an excerpt from Ulla Lenze’s The Endless City, a novel of Berlin, Istanbul and Mumbai, and Katy Derbyshire “leafing through the world” with Annika Reich’s linguistic virtuosity.

Finally, we’ve given our translators the chance to reflect on the translation process. We’re delighted that so many of them have taken us up on the offer and offered insights into their own creative process and their passion for the work they translate. It is their inspiration and dedication that has kept no man’s land going – and will continue to sustain a flourishing culture of translation.

The no man’s land editors: Isabel Fargo Cole, Katy Derbyshire, Catherine Hales.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Forever the Alps


Balder & Sons


The Good Days


Across Time in my Room


The Green Frontier: A Fantasy


Three poems from “fugitive moons”


To my Angel
Cold Rain
Departure
Holy Week
Super 8 Film



Family Portraits


Ricardo


Krakatoa’s Cry


(for I.
maribor
steep coast



Alphaversions


Something Small
the sum of goodbyes
In stages, at the lake
Les fleurs du ⁠[ʃa ɛ̃]
Temperature change
Long in the tooth landscape



Babushka


Maramba


Antigone’s Sister


The Box from Cologne


The Woman from the East


So Much Life


Dark Green Almost Black


The Fluid Land


37,112 FEET ABOVE THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN. APRIL 1992.


Sophocles
STOP WARS OR
National Trust



The Mutation


The War after Next
Bowl in the Oven
Television Poems
Autumn Crocuses
Morbid Contest
Return



Torches


Heavenbound


Childhood Memory
Unreal May Day
The Linden is in Bloom, and It is Night
After the War
Stele


Editorial: Issue 9

Table of Contentsfor Issue 9

Issue 01 2006

Cover illustration: Visitors at the Frankfurt Book Fair, 2014
© Alexander Heimann Fotografie, Frankfurt, Germany

German literature is often accused (mainly from within its own ranks) of navel-gazing – we feel the fiction in this year’s no man’s land offers ample evidence to the contrary. We take a light-hearted excursion into the past with Friedrich Nietzsche in Christian Schärf’s A Winter in Nice, while Nina Jäckle’s The Long Breath takes a sensitive look at a tsunami-ravaged Japan. Vladimir Vertlib, with mordant humor, visits a Klingonian Jerusalem (The Silence of Shimon), and elsewhere describes the Way Stations of a Russian Jewish family that immigrates to Austria in the 1980s. The still more wrenching Jewish émigré experience of the Second World War is explored in “The Children Have Been Found”, an excerpt from Ursula Krechel’s novel Landgericht, which was awarded the German Book Prize. Angelika Klüssendorf’s April, shortlisted for this year’s Book Prize, tells a dark tale of a young woman who lives as an outsider in 1970s East Germany. The ultimate outsider was Ronald Schernikau, a remarkable figure whose coming-out story Small-Town Novella appeared when he was only 20, and who spent his short life torn between East and West. The two pieces set in present-day Germany are blackly humorous kammerspiele: Anja Jardine’s macabre look behind the scenes of a hotel in “Just Five Minutes”, and a spirited clash between artist and model in Artist for Rent by Feridun Zaimoglu, the grand seigneur of Turkish-German literature.

Our poetry section centers on two very different complexes of prose poems. A selection from Frederike Mayröcker’s most recent collection, études, distills the highly personal language of a great experimental poet who can look back on a nearly 50-year career. Meanwhile, Sabine Scho’s Animals in Architecture is taken from an ongoing internet project in which the poet combines text and photography. Michael Krüger, one of Germany’s great literary publishers, proves his poetic talent in a selection from Seasonal Time Change. And finally we feature two younger poets, Peggy Neidel and Marius Hulpe, with very distinct voices.

The publication of this issue is a bittersweet moment for us, as we mourn the loss, this August, of our dear friend and colleague Tom Morrison. He was a mainstay of our Berlin Translation Lab, and we are proud to have featured his fine work over the years. We remember him here with his translation of an exquisite poem by Achim Wagner, and of Ralf Rothmann’s haunting, transcendent story “Gethsemane”.

Isabel Cole, Katy Derbyshire, Catherine Hales :  Editors, no man’s land

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Forever the Alps


Balder & Sons


The Good Days


Across Time in my Room


The Green Frontier: A Fantasy


Three poems from “fugitive moons”


To my Angel
Cold Rain
Departure
Holy Week
Super 8 Film



Family Portraits


Ricardo


Krakatoa’s Cry


(for I.
maribor
steep coast



Alphaversions


Something Small
the sum of goodbyes
In stages, at the lake
Les fleurs du ⁠[ʃa ɛ̃]
Temperature change
Long in the tooth landscape



Babushka


Maramba


Antigone’s Sister


The Box from Cologne


The Woman from the East


So Much Life


Dark Green Almost Black


The Fluid Land


37,112 FEET ABOVE THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN. APRIL 1992.


Sophocles
STOP WARS OR
National Trust



The Mutation


The War after Next
Bowl in the Oven
Television Poems
Autumn Crocuses
Morbid Contest
Return



Torches


Heavenbound


Childhood Memory
Unreal May Day
The Linden is in Bloom, and It is Night
After the War
Stele


Editorial: Issue 8

Table of Contentsfor Issue 8

keyboardWhile sifting through the stacks of submissions for this year’s no man’s land, one of the editors commented on the dominance of Big Subjects: Death, War, Politics, the Sea, the Mountains. Indeed, no man’s land # 8 is rich with narrative, grand themes and landscapes, from the Alpine churchyard of Christoph Ransmayr’s “The First Years of Eternity” to the uncannily encroaching sea of Dehe and Engstler’s “Incoming Tide” and Margarita Iov’s “The Drift”. Iov’s portrayal of a brother-sister relationship overshadowed by depression is echoed in Mirko Bonné’s “Night No More”, an excerpt from his German Book Prize-shortlisted novel. Madness takes a grotesque turn in Francis Nenik’s “How Hunter Mayhem Traveled” to Uruguay, and the mosquito speaks for herself in Carmen Stephan’s “Mal Aria”. Ralf Rothmann’s “The Stars Below” takes us to the morgue, exquisitely mingling innocence with the macabre. Glimpses of Cold War Germany come from the West, with Michael Buselmeier’s spirited reflection on the student movement, and from the East, with Franz Fühmann’s subversively political Säiens Fikschen. And the darkest era of German history is reflected in Jörg Bernig’s “No Man’s Time”, a sensitive look at the aftermath of World War Two in Czechoslovakia, and Liane Dirk’s “Krystyna”, about the unlikely romance between a Holocaust survivor and the son of a Nazi filmmaker.

In the poetry section, we’re pleased to welcome award-winning young Berlin poet Steffen Popp to our pages, along with Martin Jankowski and Utz Rachowski, writers from two generations of the heady East German underground literary scene. Helwig Brunner, also new to no man’s land, is a prominent voice in Austrian poetry. And we welcome back Tom Schulz and Volker Sielaff with compelling new work.

Isabel Cole,  Katy Derbyshire, Catherine Hales:  Editors, no man’s land

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Forever the Alps


Balder & Sons


The Good Days


Across Time in my Room


The Green Frontier: A Fantasy


Three poems from “fugitive moons”


To my Angel
Cold Rain
Departure
Holy Week
Super 8 Film



Family Portraits


Ricardo


Krakatoa’s Cry


(for I.
maribor
steep coast



Alphaversions


Something Small
the sum of goodbyes
In stages, at the lake
Les fleurs du ⁠[ʃa ɛ̃]
Temperature change
Long in the tooth landscape



Babushka


Maramba


Antigone’s Sister


The Box from Cologne


The Woman from the East


So Much Life


Dark Green Almost Black


The Fluid Land


37,112 FEET ABOVE THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN. APRIL 1992.


Sophocles
STOP WARS OR
National Trust



The Mutation


The War after Next
Bowl in the Oven
Television Poems
Autumn Crocuses
Morbid Contest
Return



Torches


Heavenbound


Childhood Memory
Unreal May Day
The Linden is in Bloom, and It is Night
After the War
Stele


Editorial: Issue 7

Table of Contentsfor Issue 7

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), Father of Translation Theory

Cover illustration: Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), Father of Translation Theory

With this, the 7th issue of no man’s land, we find ourselves just shy of the 100 mark – since 2006 we’ve published fiction and poetry by nearly one hundred contemporary German-language writers. We owe a great debt of thanks to the many talented and passionate translators who’ve submitted their work, giving us the chance to publish excerpts from some of the most talked-about new German novels, introducing us to fascinating insider tips, or giving us ever-new looks at writers we know and love. (And we’re very grateful to the authors, translators and publishers for allowing us to print their work free of charge.) Seven years in, we’re continually struck by the range of submissions we receive, the discoveries of new, often very young talents and the rediscoveries of unique and outstanding figures. It is a privilege to present what are in many cases the first English translations of these writers’ work. We’re sometimes asked whether we’d consider broadening no man’s land’s scope to include works from the full historical spectrum of German literature – but time and again we find that we have a constantly-evolving embarrassment of riches as it is.

Issue # 7 skews novelistic, with a wealth of excerpts illustrating the formal and thematic range of the contemporary German novel. Kemal Kurt couples Molly Bloom and Gregor Samsa, while Clemens J. Setz takes us on a surreal tour of the Clemens J. Setz Archive. Thomas Stangl transports us to a 19th-century Timbuktu of hallucinatory vividness, Antje Ravic Strubel to a remote Swedish island rife with enigmatic tensions. Thomas von Steinaecker offers a devastatingly deadpan take on the Zeitgeist of financial and natural catastrophe. And Steven Uhly relates his Grandma’s murder plans. In addition, the issue includes short fiction by young talents Christian Helm and Johanna Hemkentokrax.

As we welcome back Arne Rautenberg, Ulrike Almut Sandig and Lutz Seiler, new poets in this issue include Sylvia Geist and Katharina Schultens, with their very different fusions of poetic and scientific language, joined by Dagmara Kraus’ flights of linguistic invention and Judith Zander’s evocative tableaux. We’re also very pleased to feature a selection of poems by Rebecca Ciesielski, Tabea Xenia Magyar, Tristan Marquardt, and Lea Schneider, members of g13 – this collective of young poets is a fine example of the vital grassroots infrastructure of the Berlin literary scene that gave rise to no man’s land itself.

Sharmila Cohen, Isabel Cole, Katy Derbyshire, Alistair Noon:  Editors, no man’s land

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Forever the Alps


Balder & Sons


The Good Days


Across Time in my Room


The Green Frontier: A Fantasy


Three poems from “fugitive moons”


To my Angel
Cold Rain
Departure
Holy Week
Super 8 Film



Family Portraits


Ricardo


Krakatoa’s Cry


(for I.
maribor
steep coast



Alphaversions


Something Small
the sum of goodbyes
In stages, at the lake
Les fleurs du ⁠[ʃa ɛ̃]
Temperature change
Long in the tooth landscape



Babushka


Maramba


Antigone’s Sister


The Box from Cologne


The Woman from the East


So Much Life


Dark Green Almost Black


The Fluid Land


37,112 FEET ABOVE THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN. APRIL 1992.


Sophocles
STOP WARS OR
National Trust



The Mutation


The War after Next
Bowl in the Oven
Television Poems
Autumn Crocuses
Morbid Contest
Return



Torches


Heavenbound


Childhood Memory
Unreal May Day
The Linden is in Bloom, and It is Night
After the War
Stele


Editorial: Issue 6

Table of Contentsfor Issue 6

The Bamberg Apocalypse

Cover illustration: The Bamberg Apocalypse

This year’s no man’s land includes not one, but two special features. The long-awaited documentation of Ann Cotton’s and Monika Rinck’s 2010 interlingual performance “Rotten Kinck Ohne: The Igel Flies Tonight” features visuals, texts and audio episodes – from John, the Hypnotized Irish Man to the Side Effects of the Translation Trance. In “Terrariums and Teramachines” we present the results of the translation tandem between poets Lars-Arvid Brischke and Donna Stonecipher, who joined us for a special transatlantic dialogue on “The Poetics of Sustainability”.

And the issue contains the usual wide range of work submitted by colleagues far and wide – with poetry by Dieter M. Gräf, Christine Marendon, Monika Rinck, Peter Rühmkorf, Ulrike Almut Sandig, Daniela Seel, Jan Wagner and fiction by Zehra Cirak, Eleonore Frey, Michael Lentz, Eva Menasse, Michael Roes, Lutz Seiler and Keto von Waberer.

Isabel Cole, Katy Derbyshire,  Alistair Noon : editors,  no man’s land

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Forever the Alps


Balder & Sons


The Good Days


Across Time in my Room


The Green Frontier: A Fantasy


Three poems from “fugitive moons”


To my Angel
Cold Rain
Departure
Holy Week
Super 8 Film



Family Portraits


Ricardo


Krakatoa’s Cry


(for I.
maribor
steep coast



Alphaversions


Something Small
the sum of goodbyes
In stages, at the lake
Les fleurs du ⁠[ʃa ɛ̃]
Temperature change
Long in the tooth landscape



Babushka


Maramba


Antigone’s Sister


The Box from Cologne


The Woman from the East


So Much Life


Dark Green Almost Black


The Fluid Land


37,112 FEET ABOVE THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN. APRIL 1992.


Sophocles
STOP WARS OR
National Trust



The Mutation


The War after Next
Bowl in the Oven
Television Poems
Autumn Crocuses
Morbid Contest
Return



Torches


Heavenbound


Childhood Memory
Unreal May Day
The Linden is in Bloom, and It is Night
After the War
Stele


Editorial: Issue 5

Table of Contentsfor Issue 5

Street art: X times People Chair

Cover illustration: Street art: X times People Chair
Projekt: x-mal Mensch Stuhl
© Projekt: Angie Hiesl
© Foto: Roland Kaiser
Performerin: Gisela Oehlschläger

It’s hard to believe, but no man’s land has just turned five, and (perhaps we shouldn’t say this too loudly) seems to be thriving on a total lack of funding. With nearly double the submissions to choose from this year, we’ve put together perhaps our best, and certainly widest-ranging, issue to date.

For the first time we’ve included a piece that is distinctly of a different era, though it appeared only in 2007, 30 years after the author’s death – an excerpt from Werner Bräunig’s legendary, banned GDR novel Fairground. The issue includes several other older, indeed canonical writers. Bohemian par excellence Jörg Fauser. Siegfried Lenz, whose elusive “guest worker” offers a rejoinder, thirty years later, to Germany’s shrill debate on integration (pace Thilo Sarrazin). Volker Braun, who examines with equal keenness the abyss between haves and have-nots in contemporary South America. The Austrian Gerhard Roth, with a flight of satirical “anti-aphorisms” from his monumental novel triptych.

A sharp political edge is also felt in the work of younger writers such as Dietmar Dath, with his exuberant demolition job “Germany Shuts Up Shop” (again, pace Sarrazin), and Peter Licht, whose manic monologue garnered him awards at the Bachmann Competition in 2007. That year’s main Bachmann Prize winner Lutz Seiler joins us as well with the exquisitely-turned “Frank”. We also present two voices from the German Institute for Literature in Leipzig, Johanna Hemkentokrax and Kai Gero Lenke, in seamless translations by a seminar group at the Martin Luther University in Halle – a highly promising collaboration between young writers and translators. Meanwhile, Czech-born Milena Oda harks back to Eastern European traditions of the grotesque.

Writers working in German as their second language are playing an increasingly important role in the German literary scene: one fine example is the acclaimed Bulgarian-German poet Tzveta Sofronieva. We also find poets experimenting with English, as in Lars-Arvid Brischke’s translations of his own work, and Ulrike Draesner’s virtuoso reworkings of Shakespeare’s sonnets. The issue is rounded out with poetry by two more up-and-coming graduates of the “Leipzig School”, Ulrike Almut Sandig and Claudia Kohlus. And we welcome back Marcus Roloff and – continuing what has become a tradition – Fitzgerald Kusz in Glaswegian.

Last but not least, we’ll update the issue with a documentation of whatever bizarre bilingual doings transpire when “The Igel Flies Tonight” with star poets Ann Cotten and Monika Rinck on November 24 in the CCCP Club – celebrating five years of no man’s land!

Isabel Cole, Katy Derbyshire, Clemens Kuhnert, Alistair Noon, Liesel Tarquini: Editors,  no man’s land

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Forever the Alps


Balder & Sons


The Good Days


Across Time in my Room


The Green Frontier: A Fantasy


Three poems from “fugitive moons”


To my Angel
Cold Rain
Departure
Holy Week
Super 8 Film



Family Portraits


Ricardo


Krakatoa’s Cry


(for I.
maribor
steep coast



Alphaversions


Something Small
the sum of goodbyes
In stages, at the lake
Les fleurs du ⁠[ʃa ɛ̃]
Temperature change
Long in the tooth landscape



Babushka


Maramba


Antigone’s Sister


The Box from Cologne


The Woman from the East


So Much Life


Dark Green Almost Black


The Fluid Land


37,112 FEET ABOVE THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN. APRIL 1992.


Sophocles
STOP WARS OR
National Trust



The Mutation


The War after Next
Bowl in the Oven
Television Poems
Autumn Crocuses
Morbid Contest
Return



Torches


Heavenbound


Childhood Memory
Unreal May Day
The Linden is in Bloom, and It is Night
After the War
Stele


Editorial : Issue 4

Table of Contentsfor Issue 4

Adaptation of Gustav Adolf Hennig, Reading Girl

Cover illustration: Adaptation of Gustav Adolf Hennig, Reading Girl / photo art Leif Harmsen

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. And the mined and barbed-wired no man’s land became everyone’s: a long, green open space in the middle of the city, a place for biking, walking dogs, for impromptu concerts, illegal campfires and beer from the bottle. Thankfully, as the rest of the city has changed almost past recognition, this space has remained, tamed perhaps, but still green, still open, still there for everyone.

Purely by chance, this issue of no man’s land features two stories that trace the arc of this Wende, or “turn”: Julia Schoch’s evocation of the GDR in the little-girl brutality of summer camp, and Emma Braslavsky’s shifting “Amplitudes” of pre- and post-Wende friendship. Purely by chance, and fittingly so; despite the frenzy of commemoration, Berlin, and Germany, defines itself less and less by the rigid borders of its past and more and more by the fluid present, less by collective experiences and more by a multitude of personal and cultural imaginations. In Sudabeh Mohafez’s story “Sediment”, Berlin’s history-laden heart dissolves, a palimpsest through which the mountain Damavand shimmers. Claudius Hagemeister’s farcical Grim Reaper escorts us unceremoniously from post-Wall to posthumous reality. While in Keto von Waberer’s tender “Stella”, life after death is “an intermediate kingdom where animals ruled”.

This issue’s poetry also encompasses a range of approaches. In excerpts from Nicolai Kobus’ “imaging procedures”, poems “image” works of art. Hendrik Jackson’s work can be said to “image” poetry itself, referencing the modernism of Mandelstam. Carl-Christian Elze plays with the drive of language itself, while Harald Weinrich looks at language’s historical scripts and shibboleths. And Adrian Kasnitz, Birgit Kreipe and Christoph Wenzel offer highly individual snapshots of land- and cityscapes that seem to slip into the surreal – like the old no man’s land itself.

Isabel Fargo Cole, Katy Derbyshire, Clemens Kuhnert, Alistair Noon, Liesel Tarquini: Editors, no man’s land

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Forever the Alps


Balder & Sons


The Good Days


Across Time in my Room


The Green Frontier: A Fantasy


Three poems from “fugitive moons”


To my Angel
Cold Rain
Departure
Holy Week
Super 8 Film



Family Portraits


Ricardo


Krakatoa’s Cry


(for I.
maribor
steep coast



Alphaversions


Something Small
the sum of goodbyes
In stages, at the lake
Les fleurs du ⁠[ʃa ɛ̃]
Temperature change
Long in the tooth landscape



Babushka


Maramba


Antigone’s Sister


The Box from Cologne


The Woman from the East


So Much Life


Dark Green Almost Black


The Fluid Land


37,112 FEET ABOVE THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN. APRIL 1992.


Sophocles
STOP WARS OR
National Trust



The Mutation


The War after Next
Bowl in the Oven
Television Poems
Autumn Crocuses
Morbid Contest
Return



Torches


Heavenbound


Childhood Memory
Unreal May Day
The Linden is in Bloom, and It is Night
After the War
Stele


Editorial: Issue 3

Table of Contentsfor Issue 3

A No Man’s Land between Dialects

Anselm Kiefer, The Secret Life of Plants (La Vie secrète des plantes), 2002. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Cover illustration: Anselm Kiefer, The Secret Life of Plants (La Vie secrète des plantes), 2002. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

This year we shift language fronts to explore a new no man’s land between them. The centerpiece of this issue is an experiment conducted in Edinburgh in March 2008, when two German and two Scottish poets met to translate not merely between German and English, but between their respective dialects: Franconian and Scots/Shetlandic. An intentional challenge to the poet, the dialect, the language, translation itself – and a challenge that all rose to.

We are proud to present the outstanding translations as well as reflections on the process of dialect writing and translation itself, offered here in part as a new approach to more fundamental questions: How does language reflect a given natural, cultural and social landscape? How do poets find “their” idiom within this landscape, within the broader language of their society, its everyday speech patterns and literary traditions? And how do their translators, in turn, find their idiom?

In this spirit, the current issue focuses entirely on poetry. We hope that our excursion into the dialectic of dialect will shed a new light on the remaining work featured here, on the poets’ and translators’ use of language.

For instance, while Norbert Hummelt’s work mines the historical and cultural dimensions of specific landscapes, the overlapping strata of time, and Waltraud Seidlhofer’s poetry navigates the cityscape, mapping its labyrinth of facades, Daniela Seel turns inward, seeking an idiom for the vulnerable body. Gerhard Falkner, Hendrik Jackson, Bert Papenfuß and Monika Rinck – poets we have featured in previous issues of no man’s land – likewise focus on constructing radically individual idiolects.

One way or the other, poetry lives by finding specificity in the surrounding landscape of language and images that too often threaten to blur into generality.

Isabel Fargo Cole,  Clemens Kuhnert, Alistair Noon : Editors, no man’s land

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Forever the Alps


Balder & Sons


The Good Days


Across Time in my Room


The Green Frontier: A Fantasy


Three poems from “fugitive moons”


To my Angel
Cold Rain
Departure
Holy Week
Super 8 Film



Family Portraits


Ricardo


Krakatoa’s Cry


(for I.
maribor
steep coast



Alphaversions


Something Small
the sum of goodbyes
In stages, at the lake
Les fleurs du ⁠[ʃa ɛ̃]
Temperature change
Long in the tooth landscape



Babushka


Maramba


Antigone’s Sister


The Box from Cologne


The Woman from the East


So Much Life


Dark Green Almost Black


The Fluid Land


37,112 FEET ABOVE THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN. APRIL 1992.


Sophocles
STOP WARS OR
National Trust



The Mutation


The War after Next
Bowl in the Oven
Television Poems
Autumn Crocuses
Morbid Contest
Return



Torches


Heavenbound


Childhood Memory
Unreal May Day
The Linden is in Bloom, and It is Night
After the War
Stele


Editorial: Issue 2

Table of Contentsfor Issue 2

Bus stop bookshelf

Cover illustration: Bookshelf at German streetcar stop

Welcome to no man’s land 2

In the no man’s land between the literatures, translators themselves are the most adventurous scouts and canniest agents, and what they smuggle back, with effort and ingenuity, has a value beyond that set by the literary marketplace.

no man’s land was launched in 2006 as the only online literary magazine to focus entirely on contemporary German literature in English translation. The first issue presented the 10th anniversary issue of the Berlin literary magazine lauter niemand in English – a mini-anthology covering the Berlin literary scene and beyond. While retaining its basis in lauter niemand‘s literary laboratory, with its second issue no man’s land has opened up for unsolicited submissions. Our faith in the instincts of translators acting as “free agents” was more than rewarded by the diverse range of submissions – and our faith in our own instincts was confirmed by the fact that a number of translators have been tackling work by authors featured in our first issue. In several cases the translations were so outstanding that we felt it was worth featuring these authors’ work again. We’ve cross-linked to the translations in Issue 1 to let you compare the different translators’ approaches.

We’re very pleased to feature short fiction by Julia Franck, who won this year’s German Book Prize, as well as an excerpt from Clemens Meyer’s searing debut novel While We Were Dreaming, the literary sensation of 2006. Volker Röhlich takes an equally devastating look at German society in an excerpt from his autobiographical novel The Stumbler. A conception of prose as enigmatic, poem-like fragment is embodied in the work of Johannes Jansen and Veronika Reichl and reflects a strong tendency among young German prose writers, while stories by Daniel Oliver Bachmann and Florian Werner feature something less often associated with German writing – humor. Donal McLaughlin’s Glaswegian version of Bachmann’s story points toward our flourishing contacts with Scottish translators and an interest in dialect in translation which we will be exploring further in 2008. (See Events)

The poetry in this issue moves beyond Berlin to include work by the widely-recognized – and under-translated – young poets Arne Rautenberg, Silke Scheuermann and Volker Sielaff. The Berlin scene is represented by two award-winning newcomers, Nadja Küchenmeister and Jan Imgrund, as well as new work from no man’ land 1 authors Anna Hoffmann and Ron Winkler.

Enjoy!

Adrijana Bohocki, Isabel Cole, Clemens Kuhnert, Alistair Noon :Editors, no man’s land
Berlin, December 16, 2007

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Forever the Alps


Balder & Sons


The Good Days


Across Time in my Room


The Green Frontier: A Fantasy


Three poems from “fugitive moons”


To my Angel
Cold Rain
Departure
Holy Week
Super 8 Film



Family Portraits


Ricardo


Krakatoa’s Cry


(for I.
maribor
steep coast



Alphaversions


Something Small
the sum of goodbyes
In stages, at the lake
Les fleurs du ⁠[ʃa ɛ̃]
Temperature change
Long in the tooth landscape



Babushka


Maramba


Antigone’s Sister


The Box from Cologne


The Woman from the East


So Much Life


Dark Green Almost Black


The Fluid Land


37,112 FEET ABOVE THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN. APRIL 1992.


Sophocles
STOP WARS OR
National Trust



The Mutation


The War after Next
Bowl in the Oven
Television Poems
Autumn Crocuses
Morbid Contest
Return



Torches


Heavenbound


Childhood Memory
Unreal May Day
The Linden is in Bloom, and It is Night
After the War
Stele