Sunday, 27 June 2010

Ingeborg Bachmann Prize Day 4

Start at the bottom and scroll up.

12:00: The last bouquet goes to Michaela Monschein, who organised the competition from top to bottom - my contact in Klagenfurt, a delightful and very persuasive woman who deserves all the recognition she can get. I'd like to thank her and the people behind the prize for the opportunity to translate my half of the texts, which was an absolute pleasure. And many many thanks to my fellow translator Stefan Tobler, who is a wise editor and a great person to work with.

11:57: I've had a fantastic time blogging from my sofa. I hope you've enjoyed following my humble opinions, and I was delighted to get your feedback in the comments. And in fact, it's been so much fun that I feel wholly compensated for not actually going along. Because knowing myself, I realise I would never have concentrated on the texts and the criticism if I'd actually been there - I'd have been standing outside chatting, drinking too much every night and combatting hangovers every day.

11:45: Hubert Winkels was a juror for the first time this year. I found him unnecessarily cruel and I suspect he made notes in advance to make sure he looked good - but those comparisons to Stephenie Meyer and Stephen King were very much below the belt. Alain Claude Sulzer was the class clown, in a way, never afraid to say he just didn't get it. Which is cool. Hildegard Keller was fair, friendly, and made fantastic comments revealing her deep knowledge of German literature. If I'd been there I'd have wanted to hug her. Karin Fleischanderl was passionate and rude to her fellow jurors, which was very entertaining. Meike Feßmann looked at the language, for which I am grateful, but was too keen on the realistic for me to take her entirely seriously. Burkhard Spinnen was witty, wise and wordy. He was a popular contender in conversation yesterday. But the Chez Katy Prize goes to Paul Jandl, for only ever saying things that made sense, for keeping his feet firmly on the ground, and for taking a back seat and allowing the focus to remain on the texts.

11:40 My friend Meike Ziervogel from Peirene Press told me Klagenfurt is a great showcase for writers - and especially for critics. And I'd agree. We've seen three days of writing, and three days of critics talking about that writing. So I'd like to criticise the critics here and award the Chez Katy Prize for the top critic.

11:34: Audience Award goes to Peter Wawerzinek. A very personal text, beautifully and imaginatively written. The novel comes out in August from my buddies at Galiani Verlag (once again proving their immaculate taste).

11.33: Ernst Willner Prize Go Janesch!!!! Vote between her and Scholz. Scholz takes it - narrowly (even Burkhard Spinnen voted for him, with clenched teeth).

11:32: 3Sat Prize Scholz or Zander? Judith Zander. God those poor writers all sweating in their corner.

11:30: Can you believe Rossbacher's not on the shortlist? Elmiger wins the Kelag Prize. Cheering. She looks a bit emotional.

11:29: Kelag Prize vote between Elmiger and Scholz.

11:28: Who's won? Peter Wawerzinek. I'm happy with that. €25,000. He looks a bit upset.

11:24: Feßmann loves Wawerzinek. Sulzer too. Fleischanderl Elmiger. Spinnen Wawerzinek. Winkels Scholz. Keller Zander. Jandl Elmiger. So now they have to vote again between Wawerzinek and Elmiger. Yawn.

11:21: Shortlist for the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize: Peter Wawerzinek, Dorothee Elmiger, Aleks Scholz, Judith Zander, Daniel Mezger, Sabrina Janesch, Christian Fries. This is the very dull part where the critics vote on their nifty touchscreens.

So today the critics argue over who gets the four prizes. Yesterday 3Sat showed us Jo "the überchooch" Lendle, big boss man for proper literature at Dumont Verlag, talking about his favourites. And as he said, there really are only four writers in the running: Dorothee Elmiger, Aleks Scholz, Peter Wawerzinek and Verena Rossbacher. So here we go.


manan said...

I randomly caught this on telly and am absolutely confused as to how/why the poor writers are in the audience while being voted upon! Whenever I corner you next, I will demand explanations, please.

kjd said...

It's very very complicated, Manan. And rather sadistic.

manan said...

Yeah, the sadism was damn near the sixth (seventh?) judge

kata said...

and the "chez hermit prize" goes to you katy! most brilliant, entertaining and insightful bachmann coverage ever.

jochen said...

i second that!

Stefan Tobler said...

I third that, Katy! you were the gourmet taster and boxing commentator and font of knowledge for all of us who saw less of the show than we'd have liked.
And - ok, don't puke - it was great to edit your translations, the best way to see what a good translator you are.

kjd said...

Can I just bounce that compliment right back, Stefan, now that we've started this whole love-fest here? Everyone should check out that Wawerzinek piece in English.