Tag Archive for Literature

In Red by Magadalena Tulli

Magdalena Tulli~Poland


Anyone who makes it to Stitchings appreciates its promising misty grayness and the moist warm breeze in which desires flourish
so handsomely. A wide choice of furnished rooms with all the modern conveniences, and homemade meals available just around the corner, cheap and filling. Daybreaks and sunsets at fixed times. A
moderate climate, flowers throughout the year. It’s well worth making the long steamboat journey, putting up with seasickness, till the port of Stitchings comes into view crowded with freighters
flying various flags. Or for the same number of days rattling along in a train, dozing form tedium, rocking to the rhythmic clatter of the wheels. The visitor–for instance a traveling salesman with
a valise bursting at the seams, as if instead a few …

Urs Widmer’s My Mother’s Lover

Urs Widmer~Switzerland


He’d been a musician, a conductor. Three days before he died, he conducted his final concert in the Stadthalle. Gyorgy, Ligeti, Bartok,
Conrad Beck.–My mother loved him all  her life. Not that he noticed. That anyone noticed. No one knew of her passion, not a word did she ever speak on the subject. ‘Edwin,’ mind you, she would
whisper when she stood alone at the lake, holding her child’s hand. There, in the shade, surrounded by quacking ducks, she’d look across at the sunlit shore opposite. ‘Edwin!’ The conductor’s name
was Edwin.

Many may not have heard of Urs Widmer, but if you’re wanting to get a good taste of modern …

Kafka’s Leopards by Moacyr Scliar

Moacyr Scliar~Brazil


Leopards in the Temple

Leopards break into the temple and drink to the dregs what is in the sacrificial pitchers; this is repeated over and over again; finally it can e calculated in advance, and it becomes a part of the
ceremony.

–Franz Kafka (1883-1924), (transl. Clement Greenberg), from Parables and Paradoxes, 1946

Perhaps the leopards symbolized something. A leopard is a wild beast. Capitalists are ferocious in their greed for profit and their exploitation of the
proletariat. Killing a leopard in a zoo might be a way of demonstrating to the capitalists that their days were numbered. But, reasoned Mousy, workers are also ferocious when demanding their

Peter Handke Does Beckett

Peter Handke~Austria


For the dark, gloom-ridden person was, perhaps is me, me, the woman here. My act now? No, in my night I never needed to act. You, you’re the
master actor, world champion at broad-daylight acting. No one can compete with you in that, no one, never. But I can be your audience. ‘I can put up with being ignored,’ another woman once said to
another man. Accordingly I join you in my signless night, stammer vaguely to myself and at the same time I feel the urge to sing my stammering, the refrain to the song you’re humming of the shadow
creeping down our mountains, of the azure sky growing dull, of the noise ebbing from the countryside around us, of our sleep in the coming peace. And I’m singing my stammered echo