Speak of the devil. No sooner do I mention the lovely Dorota Stroinska in my last post, and she goes and reveals all in a library. Not in the traditional sense of the word, of course.
The Berlin Übersetzer packen aus team is playing away this Friday - with a guest appearance at the Kurt Tucholsky Library in Prenzlauer Berg. Dorota translated Wojciech Kuczok's novel Dreckskerl from Polish into German - along with Gabriele Leupold, who was nominated for the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair this year. They've already "done" this event once so I happen to know that they're both very witty, insightful and entertaining.
If you're thinking, "Damn, why can't they do that in the Rhine area?" you're in luck. Because next week is the first ever Translators Reveal All reading in Cologne. Hartmut Fähndrich and Stefan Weidner meet up next Tuesday to talk about their work as translators from Arabic at Buchhandlung Kaiser.
So two evenings to shatter illusions: Arabic literature that isn't Arabian Nights, and Polish literature that's funny as well as dark. Incidentally, my first encounter with Polish literature was when a sailor showed me and my young friends his poetry in his cabin on board a ferry to Ireland - all we could make out was the word hemoroidy. Then he showed us the stars, with Dire Straits playing quietly in the background.