Thursday, 28 October 2010

Schulze & Hartwig on Contemporary German Writing

Two great pieces on German books in English:

My number-one fave critic Ina Hartwig gets all enthusiastic about Lutz Seiler, Clemens Meyer, Herta Müller, David Wagner (one of those people I see literally almost everywhere I go), Ulrich Peltzer (whose Part of the Solution will be out in English next year, translated by Martin Chalmers) and Marlene Streeruwitz. At sign and sight.

Hartwig writes:

The post-ideological vacuum which, at the end of the old world order, seemed to have resulted in a certain paralysis, has now given way to powerful and fascinating diagnoses of our times. Contemporary literature has long been fulfilling its very real seismographic duties. It is delivering earnest, sarcastic, sceptical, lyrical, buoyant and enduring images, more bold that the most incisive editorials, which go straight to the heart of the unknown society in which we live.

And in the run-up to their Best European Fiction 2011 anthology, Dalkey Archive Press interview the German contributor, Ingo Schulze. Echoing almost every writer I know, Schulze says:

Someone like Wolfgang Hilbig, who died three years ago, should be read and translated far more than he is. The best writing of the last thirty years in German comes from him.

This is indeed a crying shame. You can read translations of three very short pieces and "The Abandoned Factory" by Isabel Cole online, but he hasn't been published in the US or UK so far.


David said...

Have yet to read Hilbig. Where to start" "Ich"??

kjd said...

Oh dear, I'm stuck on starting too. I have the short stories here, which were recommended to me as a good place to start.

Now all I need is a long weekend with nothing else to do...