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Issue 16

Table of Contentsfor Issue 16

Issue 16 cover

 

EDITORIAL

This issue of No Man’s Land is the sixth to be published since our new editorial team launched a revival of the journal five years ago, reconfiguring its website and making the transition to a different version of the existing, ten-year-old periodical.

We continued with the original mandate of publishing an online periodical of short-form new German literature in English translation, and have been gratified by the positive response to our new model from translators, writers, publishers, and others in the translation community.  Thank you to all who have supported us with contributions of your work.

This will also be my final issue as Editor, and I am delighted to announce that the post will be filled by Geoff Howes, an Assistant Editor of No Man’s Land who has been a mainstay of our editorial operations since 2016.

Geoff is Emeritus Professor of German at Bowling Green State University, Ohio with five published translations of literary works to his credit. He specializes in Austrian prose and has developed close relationships with numerous Austrian authors, from Faschinger to Franzobel and many more.

He is a former editor at Modern Austrian Literature (now Journal of Austrian Studies), a member of the PEN Translation Committee, and was a judge for PEN’s Translation Prize for 2020.

Behind the scenes at No Man’s Land, we know Geoff as an insightful reviewer of submissions who is always ready with praise for a translator’s well-chosen word or phrase.

I wish him well in his new position.

Susan Thorne
Editor

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Issue 16


The Wars are Coming Closer
There is nothing you can do about it
In Case of Illness
The Fruit
The Final Image



Ozymandias


Oma


Lorenz looks after his own


The Man in the Lift


That Immaculate Blue
Autobahn



Our Father


“Who, If I Cried Out?”


Confessions of a Morning-After Pill Popper


Madame Exupéry


Really, German


Stonemasonswife
Sorrow Islands, The North End of Outer Hope
Swimming
Carpet



badamm badamm
don’t come closer i’m freezing
if your house burns
“and as for hope, i learned that deep in the forest”
30
april, the tail-end



a mere house cat
is it going to snow again?
the germans with their distance fetish
in love lurks a desolate dungeon
kissing well is when things turn liquid
foreign



Dear Darling


Traces


Kloppitz/Kłopot nad Odrą
And tended snow in my warm hands



The Missing


LUX AETERNA. A Play.

Issue 15

Table of Contentsfor Issue 15

cover 2020 winter Issue 15

 

EDITORIAL

Dear Readers:

It has been an unusual year for No Man’s Land.

Each summer, as our September deadline approaches, this journal’s editors watch closely as translation submissions arrive through our website link, wondering who will send in their work and what writers will be represented.  In 2020 there was a further question:  How would the pandemic affect our response from translators?  Would isolation, disease, and distractions boost our numbers or diminish them?

The answer was a flood of submissions far larger than our usual intake – the greatest number in the experience of the current editorial board. Clearly, translating remains dynamic; in fact, two submissions were expressly identified as ‘pandemic projects’ spurred by lockdown conditions.  We are buoyed by the spirited response from translators, which has made for an exceptionally rich issue.

There are other landmarks. One is the contribution from Isabel Cole, a Founding Editor of no man’s land (when the title was all lower-case) and accomplished German-to-English translator who also writes compelling German-language fiction.  We are pleased to feature an excerpt from Isabel’s novel Die grüne Grenze (The Green Frontier) which she herself has translated into English.

This edition also expands our scope with works of fiction from both of the smallest officially German-speaking countries:  Luxembourg (Francis Kirps’ story, “The Mutation,”  translated by Rachel Farmer) and Liechtenstein (Jozef van der Voort’s English version of an excerpt from Für immer die Alpen by Benjamin Quaderer) .   As you’ll see from those selections,  these states have much to offer in terms of literary excitement.

We have also experienced loss, however, with the death in September of Assistant Editor Linda Frazee Baker.  A highly-regarded writer and literary translator of both poetry and prose, Linda partnered with me to re-launch No Man’s Land in 2016, and provided invaluable support for each of the issues published since then.  All of us greatly miss our valued colleague and friend.

We are proud to feature Linda’s translations of poems by Esther Dischereit in this edition.  Her website (www.lindafrazeebaker.com) and our biography page (see the TRANSLATORS index) offer further information about Linda’s achievements.

With best wishes for 2021,

Susan Thorne, Editor
No Man’s Land

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Issue 16


The Wars are Coming Closer
There is nothing you can do about it
In Case of Illness
The Fruit
The Final Image



Ozymandias


Oma


Lorenz looks after his own


The Man in the Lift


That Immaculate Blue
Autobahn



Our Father


“Who, If I Cried Out?”


Confessions of a Morning-After Pill Popper


Madame Exupéry


Really, German


Stonemasonswife
Sorrow Islands, The North End of Outer Hope
Swimming
Carpet



badamm badamm
don’t come closer i’m freezing
if your house burns
“and as for hope, i learned that deep in the forest”
30
april, the tail-end



a mere house cat
is it going to snow again?
the germans with their distance fetish
in love lurks a desolate dungeon
kissing well is when things turn liquid
foreign



Dear Darling


Traces


Kloppitz/Kłopot nad Odrą
And tended snow in my warm hands



The Missing


LUX AETERNA. A Play.

Issue 14

Table of Contentsfor Issue 14

2019 Winter

The Bodensee (Lake Constance), where Germany, Austria and Switzerland converge

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Issue 16


The Wars are Coming Closer
There is nothing you can do about it
In Case of Illness
The Fruit
The Final Image



Ozymandias


Oma


Lorenz looks after his own


The Man in the Lift


That Immaculate Blue
Autobahn



Our Father


“Who, If I Cried Out?”


Confessions of a Morning-After Pill Popper


Madame Exupéry


Really, German


Stonemasonswife
Sorrow Islands, The North End of Outer Hope
Swimming
Carpet



badamm badamm
don’t come closer i’m freezing
if your house burns
“and as for hope, i learned that deep in the forest”
30
april, the tail-end



a mere house cat
is it going to snow again?
the germans with their distance fetish
in love lurks a desolate dungeon
kissing well is when things turn liquid
foreign



Dear Darling


Traces


Kloppitz/Kłopot nad Odrą
And tended snow in my warm hands



The Missing


LUX AETERNA. A Play.

Issue 13

Table of Contentsfor Issue 13

St. Jerome Issue 13-2018

Saint Jerome, patron saint of translators.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Issue 16


The Wars are Coming Closer
There is nothing you can do about it
In Case of Illness
The Fruit
The Final Image



Ozymandias


Oma


Lorenz looks after his own


The Man in the Lift


That Immaculate Blue
Autobahn



Our Father


“Who, If I Cried Out?”


Confessions of a Morning-After Pill Popper


Madame Exupéry


Really, German


Stonemasonswife
Sorrow Islands, The North End of Outer Hope
Swimming
Carpet



badamm badamm
don’t come closer i’m freezing
if your house burns
“and as for hope, i learned that deep in the forest”
30
april, the tail-end



a mere house cat
is it going to snow again?
the germans with their distance fetish
in love lurks a desolate dungeon
kissing well is when things turn liquid
foreign



Dear Darling


Traces


Kloppitz/Kłopot nad Odrą
And tended snow in my warm hands



The Missing


LUX AETERNA. A Play.

Issue 12

Table of Contentsfor Issue 12

Issue 12 - Winter 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Issue 16


The Wars are Coming Closer
There is nothing you can do about it
In Case of Illness
The Fruit
The Final Image



Ozymandias


Oma


Lorenz looks after his own


The Man in the Lift


That Immaculate Blue
Autobahn



Our Father


“Who, If I Cried Out?”


Confessions of a Morning-After Pill Popper


Madame Exupéry


Really, German


Stonemasonswife
Sorrow Islands, The North End of Outer Hope
Swimming
Carpet



badamm badamm
don’t come closer i’m freezing
if your house burns
“and as for hope, i learned that deep in the forest”
30
april, the tail-end



a mere house cat
is it going to snow again?
the germans with their distance fetish
in love lurks a desolate dungeon
kissing well is when things turn liquid
foreign



Dear Darling


Traces


Kloppitz/Kłopot nad Odrą
And tended snow in my warm hands



The Missing


LUX AETERNA. A Play.

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


Issue 16


The Wars are Coming Closer
There is nothing you can do about it
In Case of Illness
The Fruit
The Final Image



Ozymandias


Oma


Lorenz looks after his own


The Man in the Lift


That Immaculate Blue
Autobahn



Our Father


“Who, If I Cried Out?”


Confessions of a Morning-After Pill Popper


Madame Exupéry


Really, German


Stonemasonswife
Sorrow Islands, The North End of Outer Hope
Swimming
Carpet



badamm badamm
don’t come closer i’m freezing
if your house burns
“and as for hope, i learned that deep in the forest”
30
april, the tail-end



a mere house cat
is it going to snow again?
the germans with their distance fetish
in love lurks a desolate dungeon
kissing well is when things turn liquid
foreign



Dear Darling


Traces


Kloppitz/Kłopot nad Odrą
And tended snow in my warm hands



The Missing


LUX AETERNA. A Play.

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


Issue 16


The Wars are Coming Closer
There is nothing you can do about it
In Case of Illness
The Fruit
The Final Image



Ozymandias


Oma


Lorenz looks after his own


The Man in the Lift


That Immaculate Blue
Autobahn



Our Father


“Who, If I Cried Out?”


Confessions of a Morning-After Pill Popper


Madame Exupéry


Really, German


Stonemasonswife
Sorrow Islands, The North End of Outer Hope
Swimming
Carpet



badamm badamm
don’t come closer i’m freezing
if your house burns
“and as for hope, i learned that deep in the forest”
30
april, the tail-end



a mere house cat
is it going to snow again?
the germans with their distance fetish
in love lurks a desolate dungeon
kissing well is when things turn liquid
foreign



Dear Darling


Traces


Kloppitz/Kłopot nad Odrą
And tended snow in my warm hands



The Missing


LUX AETERNA. A Play.

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


Issue 16


The Wars are Coming Closer
There is nothing you can do about it
In Case of Illness
The Fruit
The Final Image



Ozymandias


Oma


Lorenz looks after his own


The Man in the Lift


That Immaculate Blue
Autobahn



Our Father


“Who, If I Cried Out?”


Confessions of a Morning-After Pill Popper


Madame Exupéry


Really, German


Stonemasonswife
Sorrow Islands, The North End of Outer Hope
Swimming
Carpet



badamm badamm
don’t come closer i’m freezing
if your house burns
“and as for hope, i learned that deep in the forest”
30
april, the tail-end



a mere house cat
is it going to snow again?
the germans with their distance fetish
in love lurks a desolate dungeon
kissing well is when things turn liquid
foreign



Dear Darling


Traces


Kloppitz/Kłopot nad Odrą
And tended snow in my warm hands



The Missing


LUX AETERNA. A Play.

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


Issue 16


The Wars are Coming Closer
There is nothing you can do about it
In Case of Illness
The Fruit
The Final Image



Ozymandias


Oma


Lorenz looks after his own


The Man in the Lift


That Immaculate Blue
Autobahn



Our Father


“Who, If I Cried Out?”


Confessions of a Morning-After Pill Popper


Madame Exupéry


Really, German


Stonemasonswife
Sorrow Islands, The North End of Outer Hope
Swimming
Carpet



badamm badamm
don’t come closer i’m freezing
if your house burns
“and as for hope, i learned that deep in the forest”
30
april, the tail-end



a mere house cat
is it going to snow again?
the germans with their distance fetish
in love lurks a desolate dungeon
kissing well is when things turn liquid
foreign



Dear Darling


Traces


Kloppitz/Kłopot nad Odrą
And tended snow in my warm hands



The Missing


LUX AETERNA. A Play.

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


Issue 16


The Wars are Coming Closer
There is nothing you can do about it
In Case of Illness
The Fruit
The Final Image



Ozymandias


Oma


Lorenz looks after his own


The Man in the Lift


That Immaculate Blue
Autobahn



Our Father


“Who, If I Cried Out?”


Confessions of a Morning-After Pill Popper


Madame Exupéry


Really, German


Stonemasonswife
Sorrow Islands, The North End of Outer Hope
Swimming
Carpet



badamm badamm
don’t come closer i’m freezing
if your house burns
“and as for hope, i learned that deep in the forest”
30
april, the tail-end



a mere house cat
is it going to snow again?
the germans with their distance fetish
in love lurks a desolate dungeon
kissing well is when things turn liquid
foreign



Dear Darling


Traces


Kloppitz/Kłopot nad Odrą
And tended snow in my warm hands



The Missing


LUX AETERNA. A Play.

About the cover – Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin

Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (German: 15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German Jewish philosopher and cultural critic…. Among Benjamin’s best known works are the essays “The Task of the Translator” (1923), “The Work of Art in the Age of  Mechanical Reproduction” (1936) and “Theses on the Philosophy of History” (1940). – Wikipedia