Friday, 18 April 2008


I was going to provide something very sensible for your weekend delectation, but then this came along. It's from Germany's most-read "newspaper" - although they're not allowed to call themselves that as they don't run enough news stories - Bild. And it's a piece about the ubiquitous Feuchtgebiete/Wetlands author Charlotte Roche and her book. Usually, I suspect, the literary section is small to non-existent. But this story is filed under "Star-News".

One of my least favourite German actresses/lecturers/provocative she-rappers, Lady Bitch Ray, has apparently slagged old Charlotte off. She says: "If anyone's allowed to talk about fucking in Germany, then it has to be me! She just wants to hitch a ride on my vagina style with her book. She's just a bad copy of me."

Now then, obviously LBR is not quite as stupid as she pretends to be, seeing as she is currently writing her PhD (the semiotics of the clothes in the Bild photos are fairly clear, I'd say). But surely she realises that writing a book and making a film are two different things. And I would like to hope that more than one person in Germany is allowed to talk about fucking, actually.

Anyway, I had a good laugh at this piece, especially the moralising video that bleeps out all sorts of words in various red-faced readings from the book - the first one, in case you were wondering, is "tampon".

Zickenkrieg, by the way, translates literally as "war of the nanny goats". Alas, German is no better than English when it comes to referring to women by animal names. But that presumably doesn't worry someone who calls herself a dog.

Ms Roche declined to comment.


sTeFaNiE said...

interesting & informative post. i'm in the u.s. and trying to get a hold of this book by ms roche. has it been translated into english yet?

kjd said...

Hi Stefanie,

The rights to translate the book into English don't seem to have been sold as yet. But you're in luck if you speak other languages - they've sold the rights to:

Anagrama (Castilian); Proa (Catalan); Athene (Danish); De Bezige Bij (Dutch); Basam Books (Finnish); RCS/Rizzoli (Italian); Cappelen Damm (Norwegian); Eurasian Press (Complex Chinese Characters, Taiwan), Debora Publishing (Slovene); Bonniers (Swedish)

That's probably not a great deal of help, right?

sTeFaNiE said...

hi there - thanks a lot for your response. i guess i have no choice but to wait for the english to become available. ha ha, i do read japanese but don't see that on the list yet either...

kjd said...

I'm not sure which is less likely - an English or a Japanese translation. The chances are probably pretty slim - why not start learning German?

sTeFaNiE said...

funny you would mention that, i'm actually considering it! too bad the euro is stacked against us americans right now. got any ideas / info on inexpensive but quality short-term classes in germany?

kjd said...

I'm not really the right person to ask, but I do know most universities offer summer courses - you could just choose where you want to go and take a look at the local university's website.

Good luck!