Monday 18 August 2014

That Other Thing

So as I was saying, I want to start something new. I want to host people writing in German and people writing in English on one stage. I want to talk to them about their books and what they have in common and how they write and all those things people who write talk about on stages. And I want to bring together audiences for these two groups of writers, who I suspect are only millimetres apart. I started thinking about the way audiences in Berlin never meet when I moderated a reading by the awesome and very famous British writer David Peace at a German bookstore. The event was in English; the reading was in English and German; the audience was almost entirely German apart from a couple of my friends. We had advertised it in all the right places to let English-speakers know, and David Peace is a huge star, for fuck's sake. But for some reason, the Anglophones didn't come. It didn't matter in the end because there was a big crowd anyway. But still. And then I thought about how I rarely see English-speakers at events at the Internationales Literaturfestival, when Anglophone writers are talking but having their texts read in German translation. And then I thought about how I never see English-speakers at all-German literary events, apart from a couple of my friends. So I thought I'd like to do something to try and bring these never-the-twain-shall-meet audiences together.

Obviously my idea of an excellent literary event is modelled very closely on the old Adler & Söhne Salon, where everything was relaxed but intelligent, with shortish eclectic readings and conversations followed by longish chats between the relaxed, intelligent audience members. A kind of reach-out-and-touch atmosphere rather than the writers being whisked away afterwards and the chairs being put away to encourage the pesky audience to go home too. And because I like music, there kind of has to be a DJ for that part.

So I'm having a trial run on the 9th of September, at the very-Berlin ACUD Club on Veteranenstraße. I have two talented writers, Brittani Sonnenberg and Christiane Neudecker, and a guy called DJ Döner Summer, and I have a will to succeed. And if it works out I'll apply for funding so it can all be a little bit more professional, i.e. so people get paid. If you're in Berlin, please come. I think it'll be relaxed and intelligent and fun, and I promise not to hand out feedback forms. It's officially presented by love german books and Slow Travel Berlin, and here is our flyer and our Facebook event page. I hope to see you all there.



Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

re-posted here: and feel free to issue weekly reminders, only three to go!

kjd said...