Archives

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


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 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


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 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


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 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


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 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


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 1

Table of Contentsfor Issue 1

issue09-20142

Cover illustration: The original no man’s land logo superimposed on the Berlin Wall. © Jim Avignon, Adrijana Bohocki / photo art Leif Harmsen.

Welcome to no man’s land.

Nowhere has no man’s land blossomed as in Berlin. The fall of the Wall left a green swath through the city and uncharted territories everywhere, a breach into which rushed profit-seekers, entrepreneurs. We are speaking here of the entrepreneurs whose investment is ideas and enthusiasm – whose profit is the same, with interest. They, more than any venture capitalists, have profited from Berlin, and Berlin from them. Berlin’s real economy is the black market of inspiration.
While Berlin’s alternative music and art is already legendary in international circles, its phenomenal literary scene remains terra incognita for most English speakers. A remarkable boom in readings, slams and open mikes in recent years has made highbrow literature as cool as concert-going. And it has created a thriving alternative infrastructure that shapes sophisticated new talents and audiences alike. A prime example is the “literature lab” and magazine lauter niemand. The “lab,” an open mike for fiction and poetry, has been held every Sunday since 1996, its famously spirited discussions a testing ground for young writers who have emerged as some of the most exciting voices in German literature today. no man’s land, the English version of lauter niemand’s 10th anniversary edition, presents 29 of these voices, many never before translated.
lauter niemand does not stand for any one literary school or tendency; both the lab and the magazine reflect Berlin’s dizzying literary diversity. While it is impossible to generalize about the writers included in this issue, certain motifs recur. A good half of the contributors are themselves noted translators, while several work in two or more languages. The image of the “no man’s land,” of the boundaries and interstices between languages, cultures and minds, is reflected in manifold and subtle ways in the poetry and fiction presented here, culminating on the final page, in a symbolic act of “barter” between languages – a transaction from which everyone profits!
In this spirit, no man’s land, too, is a “literature lab” as well as a magazine, a forum for writers, readers and translators and an open frontier between German and English literatures in Berlin and beyond: www.no-mans-land.org

Isabel Fargo Cole
Berlin, December 1, 2006

no man’s land # 1 team
Editorial board: Adrijana Bohocki, Isabel Fargo Cole, Ernesto Castillo, Clemens Kuhnert
Translation editor: William Martin
Translation workshop director: Aurélie Maurin
Project assistant: Leina Gonzalez

Editors’ Note from lauter niemand

Dear readers,
lauter niemand, whose 10th anniversary issue we present here in English translation, is one of the most widely circulated magazines in Germany to publish exclusively fiction and poetry. With its unpretentious format, it is also one of the most accessible. The focus of this issue is on younger writers, those whom lauter niemand first published as unknowns and who have gone on to make a name for themselves over the decade of lauter niemand’s existence. Many are still regulars at the “lauter niemand literaturlabor” and form part of the growing circle of writers, musicians, artists and friends in which lauter niemand finds its echo.
These writers have more in common than a broad spectrum of prizes, publications and readers: their names stand for the unmistakable, personal voice in which their work speaks to the reader.
But what is “voice”? – What we read with all our senses, the way we have learned to interpret these sensations, what we regard as external to ourselves, what we understand as a part of our self: out of all these things we form the Gesamtkunstwerk of our personal cosmos. Its space of resonance, of (self-) definition, gives rise to a sound: to a soul, one could say.
But when we read, is it to discover the inner workings of the cosmos we create, or to despair at the chimaeras of a past we no longer inhabit, at the mirror image of our expectations? Authors take the reality they live, think and dream and translate it into the medium of writing, seeking to share its driving forces with their readers. Their presence, their unique testimony to our time, is revealed in the subjects and means they choose, in their innate tone: the voice.
How can this voice be echoed in a different language, in different contexts, without losing its soul? This is the question explored by the authors and translators of no man’s land.

Adrijana Bohocki, Isabel Fargo Cole, Ernesto Castillo, Clemens Kuhnert
Berlin, October 2, 2006

 

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.